A Night To Remember

It was a night to remember alright. Well, at times it did seem like being on the deck of the Titanic as it quickly sank beneath the waves. It started innocently enough. Could I meet Eddie, the eager, legal, beagle, for a martini and a discussion on the Second Anglo-Sikh War. Perhaps I should have consulted the chicken bones more carefully? Anyway, the first signs should have set off alarm bells. The Railside had a reduced range on as they were clearing the decks for a big diesel weekend. Unfortunately for us, this only left Bazens Zebra as anything we really fancied. And even that was reluctantly, as recently Bazens have all had an unpleasant smoky taste. It proved an adequate, if undemanding, beer, but what has happened to the great Bazen taste?

Never mind says I. I’ve been keeping an eye on the Peel and the “coming soon” sign has been removed from Howard Town’s Wren’s Nest-if that’s on we will be in clover. So off to the peel we skipped. Wren’s Nest was turned round, but there seemed a fair spread of Bank Top beers to choose from. However, despite it being curry club night and student night, there was only one barman working. Service was made even slower by the fact that he kept disappearing into the back to bring out glasses. Our suspicions were confirmed when the glasses proved to be red hot-straight from the washer. Not ready for cold beer in hot glasses, we decided to move on and return later. If only we had tried the beer then, we could have ourselves some heartache later.
The weather proving very inclement, a taxi was proffered, and soon we heading for the Help Me Thro’. This was pleasantly busy with early evening locals, and we settled in the cosy side-room. The Wainwrights was as good as Thwaites gets and of a quality that the Two Tubs can only dream of. Next stop was the Dusty Miller where the guest beer was in good condition, but the real test is how it keeps the Premier. Mine was fine, but warm, whilst Eddie’s was cooler. We would have perhaps stayed longer here, but some local idjut decided to put some crap, sorry rap, music on. Thereby turning my brain to mush and making conversation difficult. A quick romp back to Bury was in order.

Ah, much more staff on at the Peel. Good. Wren’s Nest was off as they were cleaning the lines and this would take 5 hours. Maybe on tomorrow. Ok, then 2 pints of Bank Top Orient Line, then please. Not only was this mud but I made the mistake of actually tasting it. I nearly puked it was that bad-was there actually line cleaner in it? It certainly tasted like it. Bank Top Bikes and Trikes was also pure mud. The barman was most apologetic and seemed genuinely concerned-you could tell he was new! Moorhouses Blond Witch was offered and, guess what, that was duff as well. Had someone been in the cellar kicking all the casks? By now the manager was observing the farce, but no apology was forthcoming, only a shrug of the shoulders. To cut it short, all the beer allegedly on sale was unfit for human consumption. Shocking, even by the Peel’s poor standards. A letter detailing this ridiculous situation is now winging its way to Mr Martin. Unbelievable! Henceforth this will be known as the Troughside as the beer is only fit for farm sluice.

Now desperate, we called in at Wyldes next door. Ah, the Holts seasonal-Nuts & Holts. Lady luck had deserted us-this was hazy and had that cidery taste which is never good in beer. Tail between our legs we headed back to the Trackside where nearly all the cask beer had gone. However, at least there is always the excellent bottled range to fall back on. Thank God for the Germans, as the Poles never say. So it we ended up on bottles of Kolsch and Jever, but not before Eddie had confused the gormless barmaid by asking for isotonic Erdinger. Naughty Eddie. The fulltime whistle meant a stop at Pizza Pioneer for Eddie-only the best for eager, legal, beagles, and a nightcap for me at the Sam.

The picture shows what was purportedly available in the Robert Peel. Remember, not one of these was actually drinkable.


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