last Saturday me and Wee's Fatha. Keefy and Myself (note - my new moniker is not Wee Myself...!) set off in the car to visit Cheshire. Here are some details of the pubs we visited.
We left early - WF had anticipated a massive queue out of Glossop to join the motorway. It did not materialise. At 10.58 we were 10 minutes form our first pub - which opened at 12.00. Luckily, some motorway traffic jams and a good 10 minute walk to the pub meant we ended up there at just 12.00. It probably opens at 11.30 anyway....
The Railway at Broadheath is on CAMRA and English Heritage's National Inventory of historic pub Interiors. Its easy to see why. Five separate rooms, lovely tiled floors, three access points to the bar, low bench seating around the walls of the bar room, all features which contribute to the pubs listing. It was here by the way that I first met Martin, AKA Dimpled Mug. We were both there to photograph the interior - we did. He isn't working on his blog so much these days, mainly as he has opened his own Micropub, the Grocers at Cadishead. More on that later.
We had a pint of Holts Bitter for me and halves of the Mild for Wee Keefy and Fatha. WK swapped with me later as he didn't like the Mild - I thought it tasted fine. I took some photos and we chatted, before heading off into Cheshire, since, as far as I know, Broadheath is in Greater Manhestershire.....
The first stop in Cheshire was marked;y different. The Axe and Cleaver near Dunham Massey is a large , old nut ostensibly food orientated pub full of wedding guests. The pub and its outlook were dispiriting, but they do sell Dunham Massey beer - this time Summer Meadow Pale ale, so we all had halves and went to sit outside away from the hooray Henry guests inside.
Next we parked in Lymm for our lunch and then tried to get to the Ferry Tavern at Penketh. Having failed last time, this time we found the car park which is still a decent walk from the pub for WF, was full and we'd have to park further away. Apparently there was a concert on behind the pub. We decided not to. Instead we went to the Fiddle ith Bag Inn at Winwick.
This is a traditional old pub full of wartime RAF memorabilia and a mixture of artifacts and oddities that attract the attention. On the bar were 3 beers, WF had some of a half of the Harts Lancashire Bitter and me and WK halves of the Merlin Wizard Ale. This was on good form, and the pub is always worth a visit.
Next we mad the journey to Cadishead. I had never been but WF#s Manchester and Cheshire upbringing meant he knew exactly where it was. There was a bit of a problem parking but it turns out there is a public car park for the community nearby and we could have parked in there. As it was we were ip a street under the railway bridge.
The Grocers Micro Pub is the brainchild and now livelihood of Dimpled Mug. Its at 152A Liverpool Road between 2 pubs and sells real ales and ciders. There is no bar, which was the first surprise for me as I walked in. There is also, in the single room, only seating and tables. Like Martin said, there's barely enough space as it is, so the beer is kept on stillage in a back room. Its a very traditional version of a micropub, is the grocers.
We had quite a bit to drink in here. I had 2 or 3 pints of the excellent 7 Brothers IPA at 5.0% which I think is £2.80 a pint (I think all beers are the same price) and Koof had a pint and maybe a second of the Wilson Potter Rum in the Black Porter. WF was on Fentimans curiosity cola nad a few mouthfuls of the Prospect beer.
Its great to sit at a table drinking well priced and well kept cask ale surrounded only by the sound of conversation. There are 3 boards advertising the wares and numerous old posters on the rest of the surfaces and traditional style Grocers micropub windows keeping the outside world just that. Its an oasis in what I believe is a staunchly no cask area. Congratulations to Martin for a fine boozer.
Our penultimate stop was at the Lymm Brewery Tap. I had a Dunham Massey Cheshire IPA and WK two halves of their amazing Porter, whilst WF had some of the Lymm Bitter. The pub was rammed but comfortable and the beer range was in excellent condition. A perfect next to last stop.
Our final drinks came with our tea at the Treacle Tap in Macclesfield. I have no idea what I drank in here but I remember it was a local beer so perhaps Red Willow? Either way, it, and the pies we ate, was a prfect way to round off a day in Cheshire and Greater Manchester.
Pubs of the day for me were the Railway at Broadheath and the Grocers, but to be honest they all had something to offer. Beer of the day was the 7 Brothers IPA - which went down far too easily, and also the Dunham Massey Porter, which didn't, but was still lovely.