The Duckworth Arms
The Duckworth Arms is on Whalley Road, Shuttleworth, approx 5 miles out of Bury town centre. It's a large, roadside, pub that once was a Brewers Fayre clone. Recently acquired by JW Lees (www.jwlees.co.uk/), the Middleton based family brewer. It has been spruced up quite nicely with pictures depicting the history of Lees throughout. Very much a dining pub, it's all tables and chairs, apart from a kind of waiting seated area near the entrance. To be fair, there isn't any reason why you couldn't just have a drink, but it's hard to imagine having a session there. You know the ambience they are aiming for when they serve you with napkins for beer mats-although I did spy some of the genuine article on the bar. It sells Lees Bitter at £2 a pint and their seasonal at £2.10. We were surprised (and delighted), to find Plum Pudding as the seasonal offering, christmas being only a dim memory now. This is easily the best of Lees beers and it did not disappoint here. The 4.8% strength gave it a good body, with the mix of Styrian Goldings and ripe fruit making it unlike other Lees beers and rather drinkable. It was with some reluctance (my companion was driving) that we moved on.