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Wyldes Refurbishment

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Wyldes sits on the corner of Bolton St and Market Place in the centre of Bury. When it first opened, it was a flagship Holts pub. It sold Mild, Bitter and, revolutionary for the time, guest beers. It offered all day dining and sports TV. However, the wheels soon began to come off. The guest beers were too expensive for the regular Holts drinkers and quality suffered. This in turn deterred the casual drinker from going in and slowly both Mild and the guest beers disappeared from the bar.

I wrote about its woes back in 2008 and the years in-between havem't been kind. Pub trade in the centre is fiercely compettitve and it's had more lows than highs. It didn't get to grips with Wetherspoons on the food side, failed to build up a weekday trade and relied too heavily on the weekend late night music-led crowd. It was looking dark and tired and even the TV picture was poor.


Now however; as part of Holts estate refurbishment, it has had a long overdue makeover and reopened last wee…

Holding Out For A Hero

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Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and I turn And I dream of what I need
Cask is dead. Cask is the future. Cask is dead. Cask is the future. Or so we've been hearing over the last 50 years. The latest rival that promised to sound the death knell for cask was evil keg filth. Or craft as its purveors prefer to call it. It was cool, hip, daddio. While cask was old fashioned and for squares. And sold too cheap, apparently, although I'd avoid saying that around Uncle Albert. 
Isn't there anyone out there who can save cask from a slow and painful death? Where's the streetwise Hercules to fight the rising odds? Enter Cloudwater. Who along with Brewdog (they don't count as they seem to be a bit of a joke these days) have gone back to the future and are producing cask once more. This has come as something of a surprise to some crafties who didn't realise that they had ever made the stuff but ho-hum. 
Anyway this takes us to the scene o…

Chesterfield

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All roads lead to Chesterfield. Actually no they don't, but that's what the locals say. Actually they say that all roads lead out of Chesterfield but, for the sake of literary licence, let's pretend otherwise. Chesterfield is the birthplace of such luminaries as Barbara Castle, Sir John Hurt, Spycatcher author Peter Wright and, erm, Princess Di's rock, Paul Burrell. Well you can't win them all.

For our purposes it's fame mainly rests on the Brampton Mile. As the name suggests; this is a mile stretch running on or near to Chatsworth Road that boasts a dozen or so pubs. Of course many towns at one time or another could boast of something similar-locally we had the Rammy Mile-but these are few and far between now. Indeed, according to the locals, the Brampton Mile at one time stretched to 24 pubs but it is still pretty well-endowed. As is Chesterfield as a whole, actually.

Chesterfield was, for some reason, one of the few recommended pub crawls unknown to yours tr…

Cloudwater Brewery Tap

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Was it only three years ago that Manchester was gripped by Cloudwater inaugural fever? It seems a lot longer. Ah I remember it well. How innocent we all were. How young we all were. How thirsty we all were. But in the words of that great prophet Robert Zimmerman: "the times they are a-changin'. Indeed they are. Cloudwater-to no one's great surprise-are now firmly established in the top rank of UK craft brewing with a reputation that encompasses Trumpland.


But where can you regularly drink this delightful Manchester nectar? Until recently the answer would have been their Barrel Store underneath the Piccadilly arches. While some may have enthused about its cosiness, truth be told, it wasn't the best showcase for Cloudwater's beers. A brewery with the standing and ambition that they have needed a more suitable outlet. Something, say, like a proper brewery tap.


And so it came to pass. The brewery tap is located, logically enough, next to the brewery at unit 9 of the P…

Tuesday's Dead

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"Whoa, where do you go?  When you don't want no one to know? Who told tomorrow Tuesday's dead" (Tuesday's Dead: Cat Stevens) 
When I was a wee pup: back in ye olden days of Middle-earth, when Gandalf was just starting out, I learnt of the Tuesday Night Test. These were the days of pubs on every street corner (or so it seemed) and pubs selling gallons of Mild etc. Quality though, as ever, was an issue. And although you got to know where the best pints were to be had, the real test was what was the beer like on a Tuesday night? Any pub that could deliver on what was traditionally the quietest day was probably going to be a safe bet anytime.

Fast forward to the internet age and whilst quality may still be an issue, despite the falling number of outlets, what you can't fault is the choice. Or so the theory goes. A Tuesday afternoon stroll round Manchester therefore should be a piece of the proverbial cake. No problem at the first stop, the Pilcrow, where both the Ri…

That Friday Feeling

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It's Friday. You've got that Friday feeling. The sun, as always, is shining down on the great metropolis of Mancunia. Time for an afternoon aperitif or two. So it was that the clarion call for drinking compadres went out. And was duly answered. Now I'm not one to gossip but one thing I have observed is that some of those CAMRA members do like a bit of the old imbibing. And who am I to disappoint them?

Being proudly au fait with the Manchester drinking scene, you can forget that some poor devils are not quite as up to date as they should be. Having heard of, but never having been to, GRUB; the first stop was obvious. A now almost iconic Manchester street food outfit, they have come out of their winter hideaway (it can be cold and wet in Manchester, sometimes) and are now back outside at the Mayfield on Baring St.


If you can, go to one of their plant powered Sunday events as they are tremendous. However, if you can't make that, the Friday/Saturday events aren't too s…

The Thirsty Fish

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Bury's first, but hopefully not the last, micropub opened on Thursday at 3pm. Situated on the edge of the Millgate shopping precinct, right by the bus station, it is handily placed to catch shoppers just passing by and the drinkers wanting a last hooray before catching their bus.


It's a small corner unit with natural light flooding in through the large glass panels that make up its exterior. There is a mix of high and low tables with the bar cleverly wedged at the back to maximise space. The handpumps are along the side wall while a blackboard displays the current offerings.


There are eight real ales on offer alongside cider, German beer and the odd crafty keg. There's also bottled beer for those who like that sort of thing. Behind the bar you may recognise Petr who until recently was at the Rose and Crown and don't be surprised to see a few familiar faces in front of the bar as well.


This being the opening day, there were plenty of Bury's glittering crafteratti on…