A good turn out tonight-we even had the Stomach tagging along to entertain us with stories about Zeppelin spotting. A late work finish meant we restricted our imbibing to central Bury. No problem, Wetherspoons are starting a festival tomorrow-the Peel will doubtless have some festival beers on already. So, in hopeful anticipation, the Crazy Gang piled into the Troughside (AKA The Robert Peel).

No sign of any impending festival, apart from a t-shirt hung at the bar. Beer wise, apart from the usual suspects, there was Bank Top Brydge Bitter (3.8%), Wychwood Dirty Tackle (4.4%) and Exmoor Gold (4.5%). Brydge Bitter was flat and listless, whilst Dirty Tackle was soapy and obviously the end of the barrel. Exmoor Gold was the only drinkable beer and even that was far from perfect, verging on the bland. Some of the Crazy Gang were only use to seeing the Troughside at the end of the night, through alcohol infused eyes. Taking a look round stone sober, they were shocked. The Trackside gets some flak for its sticky tables, but it’s a palace compared to this dump. Uncollected glasses, dirty tables, dirty windows and useless staff. I was going to say it’s the worst pub in Bury, but of course there are some dossholes (hello Radcliffe), you need SAS training to feel safe in. So, let’s just leave it as a strong contender for the worst cask pub in Bury. Even the Two Tubs next door shades it, and that’s saying something.

Needing some hop relief, we headed for the Trackside and some decent beer. Steamin’ Billy’s Bitter (4.3%) was light, but lacked the hop bite I would have liked. I actually only chose it because of the dog on the pumpclip, anyway. Elgood’s Black Dog (3.6%) wasn’t bad and it’s always nice to see a Mild available. Acorn Madness (4.4%) was the pick of the bunch, being a well-balanced, pale Bitter, with a nice dry aftertaste. Also tried Millstone Cat & Fiddle (4%), which, unusually for them, was a dark beer. Yes, dark. I say this because our genial barman had marked it up as a no 2 colour, suggesting something much lighter than the pint I received. After enquiring about colour blindness running in his family, I got down to the serious job of sampling it. I’m a big fan of Millstone, but this beer didn’t suit my palate. The strong roast bite was matched by vanilla sourness which was quite unpleasant. To be fair though, it shortly ran out, so I shall try it again under fresher conditions.

For anyone Googling, let me just say-Wetherspoons, Robert Peel, Bury, rubbish, garbage, dirty, useless, poor, crap, and dingy...


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