Ramsbottom Ramble

A gentle ramble took me to the extremities of Bury’s drinking area. To infinity and beyond. Or to Ramsbottom and beyond to be accurate. Passing through Ramsbottom’s famous real ale mile, I experienced both sides of being a real ale fan-joy and disappointment. I also picked up some juicy gossip titbits which is always a bonus.

First the joy. Surveying the bar at the Dogs, I immediately ruled out the offerings by Wentworth and Blakemere on the grounds of being dubious brewers. Dark Star Espresso (5%) is a good drink, but I settled on Saltaire Yorkshire Pale, which from our excursion to Halifax, I knew to be a good beer. So it proved, with a very refreshing clean hop taste. Outlaw Wild Mule was also excellent, as usual. Over at the Good Sam, I was forced to try Roosters YPA which was very pleasant. Grindleton Old Fecker (named after Don Ricardo?) at 4% was lighter than a traditional bitter, but had that mix of roast bitterness that one associates with that style-not too bad at all. Of course, the Pippin was on form as usual, leaving only the Lees untried. Which is what I should have done at the next pub!

The Railway is the next pub up from the Good Sam, just over the railway line, and adjacent to the ELR station. Last year it was taken over by the licensee of the GBG listed Albion in Whitworth and expectations were high. Unfortunately, they proved optimistic. Whilst initially there were 5 beers on, quality was an issue, and it struggled in the ultra-competitive Ramsbottom pub scene. I had heard it had gotten even worse so decided to put it to the test. The place itself is smartly decorated and has a very nice outdoor drinking area. It lacks the atmosphere of some of Ramsbottom’s hostelries, but it’s the sort of place you want to like. First impressions weren’t very good. The barmaid-a pretty, Yorkshire lass, was deep in conversation with her friends at the bar. Although we were the only customers in the place, she left us waiting at the bar while she served her friends. Beer choice was 2 pumps serving Lees and 2 pumps serving Black Sheep, with Spitfire turned round. The Lees was warm, flat, and indifferent, with the Black Sheep even worse. It lacked any condition at all and had a cloying taste making it just about drinkable. All for £2.35. The menu had items like bacon & brie sandwiches with mango chutney, but no essentials like a ploughman’s. What with the prices and the quality, I can see why it’s not got the locals flocking in.

A strong finish at the TS though. Robinsons Tempus Fugit (4.2%) was ok, if a little sweet. However, there was only one real choice for the connoisseur -Marble’s Janine’s One. This 3.9% is a classic, with lemon and pine notes, and a stunning bitter hop finish. Just what the doctor ordered to take me into the wee small hours. Only problem then is getting a decent pizza at 130am. When will the government tackle this major problem???
The pictures are of the interior of the Railway at Ramsbottom.


Tandleman said…
Pity about the beer in the Railway but I like the sound of the pretty Yorkshire lass!
Tyson said…
Ah its the old conundrum-is a pretty face worth enduring warm flat Lees for?

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