Well the feta pizza was tasty but, cor blimey, it doesn’t half make you thirsty. I was gagging for a drink all day (no change there I hear you cry) before receiving an answer to my prayers. Eddie, the eager, legal beagle, had secured a kennel for himself and the Manx Minx. What better excuse for a celebration? I organised a posse and we looked forward to an evening of champagne, caviar, and dancing girls. This being Bury, however, we had to settle for a pint in the Trackside.
Elgoods Black Dog (3.6%) is another dark Mild which has lost the “Mild” tag. It made for an easy enough start, although there was a little too much roast in this sample, I felt. Northern Hit & Run (4.5%) somewhat divided the party with one individual unable to stand even the aroma. The rest of us thought this blond, raspberry beer was quite palatable. I alternated this with Blakemere Lady (4.3%) which was also a blond beer, but with much more bitterness.
After lubricating our joints, we took a stroll to admire Eddie’s future kennel, admirably close to the drinking hub of Bury. He’s not as daft as he looks-well he couldn’t be, could he? As were in the area, we decided it would be rude if we didn’t check out the local hostelries. When I was doing my drinking apprenticeship, I was told Tuesday is the day to really test a pub’s mettle. And so it has proved over the years, with many failing the Tuesday night test. How would these two locals fare?
A quick check in the Trafalgar revealed that Jennings Bitter was unavailable, so nil points there. The Rose & Crown was depressingly quiet with only two barflies in attendance. One of the possible reasons for the locals having deserted it soon became apparent. Skinners Cornish Knocker was pure vinegar. As was the Deuchars IPA. And yet both were being merrily offered to any poor, unsuspecting soul. This once mighty GBG pub really is now a shadow of its former self. The barmaid agreed that the problem might be that the beer hadn’t been pulled through, but refused to do so-apparently that’s not her job. With no other choice, we settled for some Wainwrights.
Back in Bury we sampled Blakemere Womble (4.1%) at the Peel. Yet another blond beer, but this time lacking any major characteristics. Then it was time for Eddie to consult bus timetables-after his recent Metrolink trauma, he’s boycotting them-and head for Pizza Pioneer. Where we shortly caught up with him and, unable to resist the half price promotion, and with beer goggles on, we plumped for the belly-busting big un’. When will we learn...?
On a sociological note, it was interesting to see that the Trackside now has its own transvestite. Making her debut was a former glass collector. Real ale drinkers have been portayed on certain blogs as a group of nationalistic, misogynistic twits. However, the regulars never skpped a heartbeat and welcomed him/her as if they were wearing usual attire instead of pink bra and matching belt. Such is the inclusivity of real ale. In a lot of pubs, the reaction would have been quite different.