For absolutely no reason whatsoever, I headed towards Crosby for an afternoon out. I took a bus ride from Liverpool, giving me the opportunity to update entries in the database along the way: Lambeth - tinned up, Lighthouse - closed, Prince of Wales - building site, Knowsley - closed, William Shakespeare - open and so on, all the way to Crosby. In all I noted information on 22 pubs.
Once off the bus I headed for Stamps, a small two-floor pub/bistro (That's what the sign says - I didn't see anyone eating.) serving a range of excellent real ales. I had a wonderfully tangy pale one called Solar Glare from Shiny Brewing in Derby.
I wasn't quite truthful when I said 'no reason whatsoever' because my next destination was that most annoying of phenomena - A pub in the Good Beer Guide that I've never heard of. This particular example of that rare classification is The Liverpool Pigeon, a self-proclaimed "Micro Pub" located in a former shop.
Here, I found a single open rather bare room with a parquet floor. In the corner a small counter offered an impressive selection of real ales, I selected Hawkshead's Windermere Pale. I was rather impressed when the barman came over a minute later to double check on the quality of my drink, because mine was the last one out of the barrel. Even being extra-critical because he'd asked, I couldn't fault the ale.
When I arrived there were only about four others in, and it did seem to be lacking a little in atmosphere, but I bet it's a lot better later on.
One very special feature of this place is the use of oversize lined glasses so you actually get a full pint of beer. This has become very rare nowadays, and I have pretty much abandoned my campaign for a full pint because it was going nowhere, so it was a pleasant surprise to find the larger vessels here. It felt slightly odd to hold the bigger 22 floz glass in my hand, and I had to struggle to suppress a tut-tut when someone passed by my seat carrying two pints with a generous head on each.
Note - They have limited opening hours and don't open until 4 on weekdays.
My third visit was to the George Hotel, located right in the centre of Crosby in a good-looking stone and half-timber building. I haven't visited this pub since 1999 and I was pleased to see the wood panelling inside was still there. In fact, the interior doesn't seem to have changed at all except that the "Surfeit of bunting, brewery adverts, disco lights and hand-drawn posters" which I grumbled about in my previous report have been substantially toned down, making the place even more attractive.
Only one real ale was on offer but as Bombardier has always been a favourite of mine one was enough. I was somewhat startled to find the price was only £1.89, this must be one of the cheapest pints around nowadays, and on top of that they offer a buy four get the fifth free loyalty card!
On the ceiling I noted a number of disco lights and glitter balls which threatened deafening music later on, but at the time of my visit, about five on a Thursday, there was no music at all, and the pub was filled with the pleasant background hubbub of cheerful drinkers.