About Me

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Manchester, United Kingdom
Tyson is a beer hound and cheese addict living in the beery metropolis paradise known as Manchester
If the people are buying tears, I'll be rich someday, Ma

Friday, 16 September 2016

Breakfast Beer Tasting: Camba Bavaria Imperial Black IPA

I`ve developed a taste for the strong stuff. Well that`s what it seems like anyway.  After the dabble (more than a dabble, actually) with Sixpoint Resin the other day, I find myself once more in Imperial IPA territory. This time with Camba Bavaria Black IPA which, I believe, is brewed in Truchtlaching, Germany. Yes, a foreign beer. I know, I know. We`re now living in a post-Brexit world and we shouldn`t be having any traction with the likes of the Hun but, hey, I won`t tell anyone if you don`t.

It`s a 331ml bottle and comes in at 8.5% with a heavyweight IBU score of 120. It poured, as one would hope, a jet black with no light seepage and a large tan head that gradually settled to a finger`s worth. There was a strong aroma of dark chocolate, liquorice, roast malt and citrus as well. Mouthfeel was quite thick but surprisingly smooth. Dark stone fruits, chocolate, pine and a slight smokiness are all there in the initial taste. This is quickly followed by a heavy dose of all your favourite big C hops. The long finish is a slug of bitter-fruit hopiness that lingers on the palate.

Tyson says: As a friend of mine might say: complex. Full of flavour and full of all the goodness that any decent breakfast beer should have. 

Monday, 12 September 2016

Breakfast Beer Tasting (Live): Sixpoint Resin

The Monday Club early bird drinkers are in Spoons as per usual. However, today there is a disturbance in the Force. Normally the routine is set in stone. A few rounds of Smooth and animated discussion of wins (not so many, usually) and losses (more of, generally) at the bookies. But word has got round of a new, very cheap, super-strong beer. What exactly is this Sixpoint Resin 9.1% stuff? And who was going to be the first one to try some?

Obviously I felt obliged to enlighten them as to its provenance etc. And that, dear reader is how things began. And that is how I now find myself doing a live breakfast beer tasting. Firstly, the basic facts. It`s a 355ml canned double IPA weighing in at 9.1% and with an IBU count of 103. It`s described as “an ode to the sticky quintessence of hops - we extracted the alluring nectar from every precious citrus, pine, dank and herbal cone and channeled it all into one vessel. Now that's Mad Science”.

Hard to be absolutely sure in this light, but it appears to pour a light orange/amber with a good, off-white, foamy head. The clue to the aroma is in the name of the beer. Yes, it`s resinous. Strong scent of pine, some breaded malt and marmalade. Mouthfeel is full-bodied. It`s a warming beer but otherwise the alcohol is well disguised. Surprisingly balanced, it`s not abrasive and the firm malt base perfectly complements the hop content.

Ultimately it delivers on its promise. The piney hops shine through with marmalade, fruitcake and a little caramel in the background. The finish is a satisfying bitter-sweet crescendo of flavour that slips down the throttle easily. In many ways it`s hard to believe that this is a DIPA. Obviously you can tell it`s strong but, for me, the best ones (think Cloudwater) manage to disguise the alcohol well and on that front, this proves to be a winner.

Tyson says: Rather a damn fine breakfast beer. 

Friday, 1 July 2016

Cardiff

So the mission was clear: to boldly go where no man had gone before. Well ok, a few had gone before but not many lived to tell of it. Why? Because we’re talking about Wales: of course. Yes, that far-off land of fierce tribes such as the Silures and the Ordovices. To be fair, we were visiting Cardiff and South Wales which, we were reliably informed, is quite civilised and not a muskeg like North Wales. So with expectation and just a little trepidation, the wagon train of Rochdale, Oldham and Bury CAMRA set off for pastures new.

On a campaign such as this, as any Roman legionary will tell you, it’s wise to surround yourself with seasoned veterans. So naturally I headed for Jack and Jill, as campaigners don’t come much more seasoned than these two. Once we were underway, our drinking plans for this adventure were outlined by Stopwatch Sid’s erstwhile Padawan: Bingo Billy, who had kindly forsaken his award-winning bingo calling duties for the duration and was to be our guide for the weekend. And a fine job he did as well.

Now I don’t know if you realise this but it’s a long way to Cardiff from the idyllic plains of Lancashire. Horses and mules and their riders all need sustenance to maintain their strength. So before we reached our first official stop: Cheltenham, we were obliged to call in at the Crown in Wychbold, Droitwich. This is a large, rather attractive looking, Marston’s roadhouse pub of the variety that has become something of a rarity in the North West. It did offer several real ales from the Marston’s range and one immediately stood out to me. Banks’s Mild was a one-time favourite of mine many moons ago. I couldn’t recall the last time I tried it, so it seemed the obvious choice. Sadly many a beer has run down the urinals since its heyday. It’s changed; my palate has changed, so suffice it to say that it wouldn’t be my first choice again.

It was then time for the afternoon’s excursion into Cheltenham. Naturally, like blood sucking leeches on an open wound, a swarm of thirsty CAMRA members soon descended on the nearest pub. However, rather conveniently, there are several pubs on the High St and so my posse decided to explore those further along. First stop was the Old Restoration, a large mock-Tudor affair. An impressive number of, largely unknown, pumpclips awaited us. A couple of samples were tried that didn’t excite; so the decision was made to have a beer that someone else had already ordered. A half of vinegar was duly delivered. When this was pointed out, the barman’s excuse was that it was “an unusual beer”. It was swapped for something else but I was less than impressed.
(Strand)

(Vine)
On the opposite end of the same block as the Old Restoration lies the Vine. This has an appealing, rare, green tiled frontage and consists of a narrow room smartly spruced up in contemporary style. Hook Norton and North Cotswold Shagweaver were both on good form. Further along on the same side of the road is the Swan. This is a modern Marston’s house with a pleasant little beer garden. The beer range, particularly given the choice elsewhere, showed exactly all that’s wrong with the tied system. You can have any beer as long as it’s a middle of the road Marston’s brown/copper/auburn beer. Hobgoblin? I think not. To be fair, the Brakspear I had wasn’t in too bad nick, just on the warm side. Across the road is the Strand. With its airy, open plan modern style and large shop front windows, this looks like a high end conversion. It’s got a nice patio area and the beer choice was the best so far, with Gloucester Galaxy proving a winner.

(Sandford)
It was then time for the main contender to step forward. The Sandford Park Alehouse just shows what can be accomplished in a short time. A former nightclub housed in a Grade 11-listed building, it only opened in 2013 and yet managed to win CAMRA’s coveted national pub of the year award in 2015. It may boast 10 handpumps and 16 keg lines but as we all know, quality is king and it has a well-deserved reputation for delivering on that. I particularly liked the large beer garden and the Oakham Citra was excellent.
(Cambrian)
Friday and Saturday night saw us wandering; some may say staggering, round the watering holes of Cardiff. It’s a very compact crawl and whilst it may not yet rival the beer goddess that is Manchester, it has plenty to offer the discerning imbiber. Although busy, it seemed a little quieter than Manchester would at the equivalent time. Having said that, the young lass relieving herself in an alleyway did remind us that the two cities have more than just beer in common. Tyson’s Top Tip: when in foreign lands seek out the autochthonous drinker for up to date info. The locals also appreciate it if you can muster a few words of their native tongue. Here I found repeating eich defaid hardd” had them nodding sagely.

In the shadow of the Millennium Stadium lies the Urban Tap House. This is a large, quirky-think student design here-pub operated by Tiny Rebel. No surprise then to find it offers an excellent range of cask, keg and bottled beer than can be enjoyed in rooms of differing décor. Apart from their own good stuff, I enjoyed Windermere Pale alongside several other guest beers. Across the street is the City Arms, a two-roomed Brains house that sells 10 real ales as well as the same amount of that evil keg filth. Cask came out on top though; with Bude’s Pendeem American Pale being the pick of the crop.
(City)

(Zerodegrees)
If it’s evil keg filth that you’re after, you can satisfy your unnatural lust al fresco style at Brewdog. Talking of craft, if you want to see what craft was like before, erm, craft ‘arrived’, then check out ZeroDegrees. This swanky, US style, brewpub is part of a chain that were bringing craft to drinkers well before Brewdog hijacked the concept. The upper floors are reserved for diners but you can relax and enjoy a glass of beer-and pizza-on the ground floor. The black lager, American Wheat and Pilsner were all excellent and required a return visit. Beer is served cool via a font but the beer comes straight from the tank and is CAMRA endorsed, so you know it must be good for you.
(Urban Tap)
Another chain that offers pizza is the Stable. Not much in the way of beer here but with a choice of 80 ciders and perries, you won’t go thirsty. Nearby is the Gravity Station, Cardiff’s first micropub, which I believe is now in the process of relocation. Having had a negative report from the Oberst, it needed checking out. It was the only place I didn’t like. A small, sterile, shop space where ridiculously loud music, presumably for the benefit of the staff, was banging out. The draught beer was warm diacetyl and there didn’t seem to be any cooling for the bottles either. Fail, as they say on Twitter.


(Hopbunker)
Much better was the Cambrian Tap, another Brains pub that had a good selection to suit most palates. Spying Magic Rock High Wire Grapefruit on tap, there was really only one rational choice. Other pubs worth a look include the Goat Major and the Rummer Tavern which claims to be Cardiff’s oldest pub. However, the one place that no serious drinker can afford to miss out on is the Hopbunker. This basement bar, run by Hopcraft-Pixie Spring Brewery-like the Cambrian is a latecomer to the Cardiff beer scene and has only been open a year. It’s got a very relaxed vibe and of course offers plenty of beer. Some 15 casks, 10 ciders and numerous keg options. Prices at around £3.20 were extraordinarily reasonable for the area. Who says craft has to be expensive?
(Greyhound)
Saturday saw an excursion out into the murky depths of Swansea and the Gower Peninsula. First stop was the Greyound at Oldwalls, Llanrhidian. This is a pleasant, traditional 19th century inn with a large beer garden and is a tap for the Gower Brewery. Unfortunately, I didn’t really take to the Gower beers; too sticky and not clean enough for my palate.


I fared much better with the beers in Mumbles, Swansea. The Pilot is a small local on the seafront. Their own Pilot beers were quite acceptable to the drinking man, with the Pilot Light delivering a nice refreshing crispness. The Park inn was another cosy, terraced, side street boozer of a type sadly all too rare in Manchester these days. They specialise in Welsh beers, but try not to hold that against them. Last but certainly not least was the Mumbles Ale House. This is a tiny micropub on the ground floor of a standard terraced house. A proper pub with no keg or other unnatural distractions. Just some excellent beer, cider and perry along with top-notch banter. The tres petit unisex outdoor loo is a gem where, as the locals say, there isn’t room to change your mind.
(Fagins)
We had two more stops of note before returning to Cardiff for the night. Fagins Ale & Chop House at Glan-y-Llyn is a very popular village local consisting of a main bar area and a back room that was reserved for diners. Being a free house it has a better range of beers than you might imagine and, unusually for this neck of the woods, has Dark Star as a regular beer. Coincidently also boasting Dark Star American Pale, was the Gwaelod y Garth Inn. This is another cosy village pub that boasts terrific views from its beer garden and an onsite brewery. But, just between me and you, you’re much better off on the guest beers.
(Bathams)
Sunday saw us returning to hot running water and the beautiful mills and cottages of Lancashire. But, naturally, there was beer on the way. An old, old favourite was first. The Vine, better known as the Bull & Bladder, in Brierley Hill is the Bathams brewery tap and a smashing Black Country pub. Times and palates change but the Bathams Mild and Bitter remain as tasty as ever. You could do a lot worse in life than spend some time supping in the sunshine here.

The Old Swan aka Ma Pardoe’s at Netherton is a nationally famous pub and one of the last four remaining English home-brew pubs from 1974. It’s on CAMRA's National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors and is a treat for pub architectural aficionados. I’ve been here many times over the years and while it’s undoubtedly a great place, the beer isn’t the best. Certainly on the last two visits, I remember discussing the matter with several others who had the same opinion.

This time the Olde Swan beers were either diacetyl or unduly harsh and chewy. Unwilling/unable to stomach an afternoon of them, a breakaway party made for the hills. Well the nearby Bulls Head, to be precise. This community local, despite seemingly being the antithesis of the grand Swan, is another CAMRA success story. It has recently  been bought free of tie and now sells Holden’s Golden Glow. Not only was the beer excellent but the welcome from the staff and customers was top rate as well. Thus it was with a heavy heart that we quaffed out final pints, got our exit visas stamped, saddled up and headed back to our homesteads.

The lesson here, to everyone’s amazement, is that you CAN go to Wales and still really enjoy yourself. 

Monday, 29 February 2016

Poulton-le-Fylde

Another compact pub crawl that was recommended to me is the little market town of Poulton-le-Fylde. Easily accessible by train from Manchester, it makes for a pleasant change and all the pubs are more or less based round the market square. Be warned though, this is a traditional area with lots of cask on offer but barely a wisp of hipster hair to be seen. 
Barely five minutes from the station was the first stop: the Poulton Elk. Formerly the Edge nightclub, this was converted by JD Wetherspoon in 2013 and it made for a good initial impression. Being in Poulton it was much more civilised-no screaming ankle-biters and cleaner than your standard Spoons. As one of our party remarked, you felt you should be wearing Harris Tweed rather than the de rigueur Spoons outfit of piss-stained tracky bottoms. Most importantly the beer was very palatable with the double offerings of Phoenix fitting the bill nicely.

The Grapevine on Market Place is the nearest to modernity you’ll find in Poulton. Spread over several floors, it’s obviously aimed at a slightly different crowd than its potential rivals. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, it has eschewed the possible lure of the daytime drinker and opens at teatime until late. That’s not to say it doesn’t offer a reasonable selection of real ale and if that doesn’t tickle your laughing stick; you can always try the Prosecco at £12 a bottle before 8pm.

The Bull on the corner of Market Place is your typical local pub offering big screen sports etc. and, unusually for a non-Wetherspoons pub, opens at 9am. However, it’s sadly a Stonegate tavern who, in my experience, run their pub estate quite badly. Certainly the beer choices you’re faced with in their establishments are little more than pedestrian. And so it was in this case; with only the drab malted brew that passes as Bombardier and Thwaites Bomber on offer.
Things improved in the quiet but comfortable Golden Ball, situated, appropriately enough, on Ball St. This is a former coaching house that is decorated in the house style of its former owner: Spirit Group. So lots of cushions, light wood and neutral pastel colours. I don’t know what their new owners Green King have planned for them but their beer range, whilst not brilliant, is still better than the insipid offerings usually on display in a GK house.
Easily the best two pubs in Poulton are the Old Town Hall and the Thatched House and I would recommend leaving them until last. Or first and last to be fully sated. The OTH on Church St has the bar with five pumps on the left as you enter with seating areas split up throughout the pub. Horse racing seems to be a bit of a theme here: check out the prints and copies of the Racing Post. Roosters Wild Mule was the pick of the crop here, I thought, although some went for the Bowland.
The Thatched House meanwhile is the Local CAMRA branch Pub of the Year 2016 and certainly offers the largest range of beers in the town. The bar stretches along the left hand corner as you enter and the first thing you notice is the high number of Chapel Street beers. This is because the microbrewery is housed in the old coaching shed at the rear of the pub. Some people giddy with the occasion may go straight for these but the seasoned professional will tread more carefully. All the ones I sampled seemed to have the same fault: lack of crispness and a chewy Crystal malt undertone. However, the guest beers were excellent.

There are two other points to mention about Poulton. Enviably it boasts a Booths supermarket right in the centre and also a renowned chippy: Doodles, which lived up to its reputation. The rest is up to you

Sunday, 21 February 2016

West Didsbury

There are numerous good pub crawls in and around the great beer metropolis that is Manchester. One of the newest and also one of the easiest is the West Didsbury run. Having sampled its delights myself on several occasions, I wasn’t going to miss out on another crack at it with some chums in attendance. All the famous faces were there: Stopwatch Sid, Archimedes and Pythagoras, The Wallsend Wonder, The Whitefield Holts Bandit. Not to mention Jack and Jill, without whom no pub trek is complete.

First stop was the handily placed Wine and Wallop on Lapwing Lane. I say handily placed as it’s practically opposite the West Didsbury Metrolink stop. It’s always good to be able to snag a pint quickly after a lengthy journey. Or indeed even if the journey isn’t lengthy. And, of course, it’s always good to be able to stagger onto your chariot home without inconveniencing oneself too much. Owned by the same people who run the nearby Folk Café, Wine and Wallop is apparently aimed at the more mature drinker. Which is handy; as the odd CAMRA member may just be over 21.
W&W has the relaxed-note the trad jazz music-feel of what used to be called a wine bar. However, that always seemed to be a derogatory term amongst serious drinkers and doesn’t do what is a comfortable, contemporary outlet justice. There is space upstairs and a small outdoor drinking area at the front but it is hard to wander too far from the bakers dozen row of pumps. I generally find the selection here very good and wasn’t disappointed by the Brightside and Marble on offer this time.
Barely five minutes away down Lapwing Lane, on the corner with Burton Road lay the next two, very different, prospects. The Railway is a small ex-John Smiths basic boozer that Joseph Holt’s transformed in the 1990s into something more fitting for the area. They have done well with the limited space by using snob screens to break it up into separate areas and the log fire is a nice touch. It may come as something of a shock to be paying more than £2.70 for Joey’s finest wares but they do stock the sadly all-too-little seen IPA. Perhaps a sign of the times are the bottles of Belgian and American ale also available.
Across the road is the Metropolitan. This is altogether a much larger, grander affair. It’s what Uncle Albert classes as a “proper pub”. Formerly the rather rough (with a capital R) Midland Hotel, quite a lot of cash has been splashed to make it the pub you see today. Now it is far more representative of the sumptuous Victorian railway pub it once was. The high ceilings, large tables and extensive al fresco drinking give it lots of space. Which it needs, as unsurprisingly it majors on food in a big way and is the area’s busiest pub. Perhaps because of this, they seem to rather let the beer side slide a little. Certainly the choice generally seems lacklustre and often one ends up with a rather expensive pint of Landlord.
Much more reliable, usually anyway, is Mary & Archie just along the way on Burton Road. This is another small bar; they usually are round here, with drinking areas to the side and rear of the bar. I say usually reliable as, on this occasion, some people had skipped ahead and supped all the good stuff. Perhaps a downside of only having three pumps? But, never fear, refrigerated goodness in the form of Founders and Beavertown came to the rescue.
On the other side of the road and next to each other are the Folk Café Bar and Volta. FCB is the opposite of the TARDIS, it’s much smaller than it appears from the outside. Past the Palm tree terrace lies the framework of the two shops that now make up this bar. As the name suggests, the décor is rather eclectic and music plays its part at weekends. Volta comes to you courtesy of the folk behind Chorlton’s successful Electrik bar albeit with more of a focus on being a neighbourhood eatery. This being Didsbury though that doesn’t stop it offering a couple of pumps to tempt you with.
Another Chorlton offshoot lies across the road at Saison. This one is the brainchild of the Dulcimer crew and has only been operating since September 2015. Very much a beer led venture, it consists of a narrow ground floor bar with seating all along the downstairs space and some upstairs. Most importantly is the choice of four cask and sixteen keg lines. Cask won out on this occasion as the keg offerings seemed to have fallen into the seemingly classic craft trap of being unpalatably strong.
Our last scheduled stop was the George Charles which cannot hide its origins as a corner shop. Nicely converted, the wraparound windows let in a pleasing amount of light. However, it is cosy with only a couple of tables, bench seating and stools to provide room for about 40 imbibers. There is more room downstairs but alas, the curse of the modern age, that is often reserved for diners. Having been lucky and acquired a table, all that remained was to sample some excellent Saltaire Gold. And Flying Dog, naturally. And we could hardly have left without saying bonsoir to Shindigger IPA.

A leisurely stroll round the watering holes of South Manchester that even the laziest of imbibers can manage. 

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Cafe Beermoth

Well there has been only one question on the lips of Manchester beery folk of recent: when will Café Beermoth open? Yes, ever since it was announced that N/4 favourite Beermoth was getting a bigger sibling, anticipation and expectation has been quite the mood amongst the hipsters and shakers of Cottonopolis. Whilst the announcement took some by surprise, it was the natural step after Beermoth quickly outgrew its original remit. And co-owners Scott, Jeremy and Simon did well in securing an empty site in Spring Gardens. Whilst the area is not synonymous with beer, it was for many years the centre of banking in the north-west; it does remain an important thoroughfare.


It’s a good location as it links the likes of the Waterhouse and City Arms with the centre of the city whilst remaining a destination in its own right. Opening night was a real celeb fest. I haven’t seen so many of the crafteratti out and about since the (false) rumour about KFC giving away chicken wing buckets. As promised it’s quietly stylish with one long bar and lots and lots of wood with a small space upstairs. It’s comfortable and I immediately felt at home. Well it is a bar after all. A little tweaking is still taking place. Food in the form of sandwiches and, hooray, cheese platters is promised and it is open from 8am to serve the needs of the coffee hungry.


Oh and what about the beer? There are seven cask lines and ten keg offerings with details displayed above the bar. They also seem to have an inordinate amount of wild and saison bottles. Saturday, like my photos, is slightly hazy as I was ten pints in before arriving. However, I do recall enjoying the reassuringly bitter Mallinsons Hop Tzarina along with some London murky Kernel Nelson Sauvin IPA. And there may have been an Odell IPA in there as well. Prices seemed very reasonable for the Manchester scene; although let’s face it I was past caring by then. It seems almost pointless to wish them well as it seems rather self-evident that they will do so. Manchester has a great beer scene and Café Beermoth is a great addition to that scene.

Cafe Beermoth, 40 Spring Gardens, Manchester M2 1EN

Saturday, 12 December 2015

A Prestwich Ramble

Prestwich village lies at the outer rim of the grand metropolis that is Bury and so it often gets overlooked in favour of its brighter, louder, neighbour Manchester. Although it harbours aspirations-some would say pretensions-to be a Didsbury clone, the reality has been somewhat different. Beer choice has traditionally been limited and was heavily dominated by Holts with only a very limited choice of other ales. However, things have been steadily improving and the burgeoning dining scene has started to have a knock on effect on the beer front. Eager to check out the latest disturbances in the Force, I set sail for pastures new.

New adventures in drinking, as everyone knows, can be thirsty work so the experienced traveller will always warm up with a pint or two. The logical place to start seemed to be the Coach & Horses, just over the border in Bury Old Road, Whitefield. This Victorian boozer is a traditional Holts pub divided into 3 rooms. I tend to find the Mild a little variable but the Bitter is always a safe bet. Prestwich Liberal Club also offers the lure of real ale but is harder than Fort Knox to get into. Even if you get past the swipe card protected front door, you may find yourself trapped in the foyer awaiting a friendly face to buzz you in. If you do get the hard-as-nails barmaid to serve you, the choice is Holts Mild & Bitter alongside Landlord.

Much more amenable is one of the new kids on the block: All the Shapes. This new café bar nestles on the site of a former tanning salon on Warwick St and is just the sort of place that Prestwich has sorely been lacking in. It’s cosy with a small downstairs bar area and more room upstairs. Obviously it offers the now de rigueur food options, which are very good I believe, but most importantly it has a decent beer offering. Two handpumps offer a changing selection of local ales: First Chop and the excellent Track Black IPA on my first visit. There’s also the likes of Cloudwater and Camden on tap and a decent bottled collection. This should do really well and you can see it expanding in the future.

(All the Shapes)
Already part of a growing empire is the other new kid on the block: Solita. Situated on Bury New Road, this will need no introduction to those who have visited the Didsbury or Manchester City centre branches. Known ostensibly for their food, particularly the burgers, they do also offer the opportunity to just go in and enjoy a few drinks. The Prestwich bar downstairs is comfortable and far larger than you might think. They seem a little shy about the fact that they serve real ale and the handpumps tend to go unbadged. Here the rather excellent Pale Ale house beer is brewed by Bury’s very own Brightside. They also brew the equally excellent house keg beer Solita Brau. Other options on draught include Kona Big Wave and Paulaner. Whilst not an obvious option as somewhere to pop in for a drink, the beer selection does offer something different for the area.
(Solita)
Whilst in the area it would be rude not to check out the Church Inn which is tucked away at the end of, appropriately enough, Church Lane. For many years the Church flew the flag for beer choice in Prestwich and was the first in the area to offer a no-smoking room. its Deuchars-when that was considered cutting edge-was also rated the best in the borough. Despite still being an Enterprise Inn pub, it makes the most of the available guest beers and offers four for your delectation. To get to the Church, you’ll have to pass Prestwich Conservative Club. It’s worth poking your head in here to marvel at the rather plush surroundings. They do have real ale on; it varies but was Robinsons Trooper when I called in. 

Now of course Prestwich wouldn’t be Prestwich without a drop of Holts. You’re spoilt for choice really, what with the Red Lion and the White Horse but on this sortie it was the Foresters that took the prize. This is a 1960’s two-roomed boozer where the Bitter is usually on form. You’re very close to the Metrolink stop now, but it’s worth calling in the Railway & Naturalist. Built in 1850, the ‘Nats’ was originally named after the members of the Botanical Society that used to meet there but the coming of thirsty railway labourers changed the name to its current status. When the pub was knocked through, along with the loss of the famous ‘Rat Pit’ room, it lost much of its character. However, in recent times it has returned to the real ale fold and now offers a changing guest beer.

Prestwich definitely looks to be on the up beer wise and is only a bus or tram ride away from Bury or Manchester centre.