Sunday, 14 July 2013

The Woolton Pub Crawl 2013

Goodness, is it that time of year already?  Indeed it was, so I caught the 89 bus to Woolton on the hottest day of the year.  After last year's problems we started this time in the splendid Gardener's Arms, although I'm told the Derby was open today, unlike last year.  The Gardener's was as good as ever, with a range of real ales available, and I settled on a pint of Landlord which was spot on.  We followed a bit of the cricket on the TV until it was usurped by football.

Up the hill to the County Court next, where we were disappointed to find the sole handpump, which had a Doom Bar clip, was not on.  So I resorted to lager.  Like the previous calling point, no change in decor here either.  Unlike last year, there were hardly any other customers in here, in fact there was just one when we left.

Last year the Cobden was shut when we got there.  No such problem this time, and we were soon settled down in the comfortable friendly surroundings enjoying something rather good from Liverpool Organic Brewery.  I hadn't been in here since 2008, when there was one real ale available, they're up to four now I'm pleased to say.  Pleasant though the interior is, I must say I was rather fond of the wagon wheels and fake half timbering of its previous incarnation.

The next pub to be seen was the long-closed Village Inn which is still standing, pending conversion to residential usage.

Just a little further along Quarry Street comes the Victoria, where I nipped out of the back door to check out the advertised beer garden while my friends got the drinks in.  Apparently the landlord then told them I shouldn't go out because the dog was loose.  Needless to say, no-one chased after me to pass on the warning but luckily the dog couldn't be bothered to come downstairs to see me, and I returned to the bar unscathed.  Once the dog was safely shut in we all adjourned to what I would call a beer yard rather than garden, and we sat in comfort in the shade and enjoyed another fine pint.  Again, not many customers here apart from us.

Our next port of call was a very unexpected bonus - A new addition to my guide.

Formerly the British Legion I think, it's now called The Quarry.  Perhaps a little unimpressive as you pass through the metal gate and cross the yard, but once you get inside it's much better:  We found a function room which appeared to be set up for a wedding reception and a pleasant comfortable bar where the regulars seemed rather startled by the invasion of twenty pub-crawlers.  No real ale I'm afraid, so it was lager again.

Moving on, we headed for the Elephant.  No change in here since last year, the interior remains well cared for, and once again I enjoyed a fine pint of Speckled Hen.  We'd reached early evening by now, and the young ladies of Woolton provided a scenic distraction as they commenced their Saturday night out.

Regrettably at this point in the evening I decided it was time to wimp out and go home, so I'll be looking forward to hearing later this week details of the remainder of the crawl in the White Horse, the Bear and Staff and the Black Bull.

So, once again a highly enjoyable annual get-together where I was pleased to meet a number of people I haven't seen since last year's crawl.  For some more information on the history of the crawl, see my post from last year.

One final footnote about beer quality:  I have noticed in the past that a hot spell soon finds out those pubs with unsatisfactory temperature control in the cellar, but on the hottest day of the year, at the end of a very warm week, every pint of real ale was of top notch quality. Well done Woolton.

No comments:

Post a Comment