Hi Ho Silver Lining

It was nice and quiet in Manchester’s pubs today. The lull before the New Year storm? Or were people busy throwing themselves at the so-called sales? I say so-called because you can guarantee if there’s 75% off it, it’s bound to be tat that the shop wants rid of. Is beer discounted? Is Cheese? Or toilet roll for that matter? No. So my weekly outgoings remain completely unaffected by the sales frenzy.

Anyway, whatever the reason, apart from a lack of daytime customers, the pubs seemed to be suffering from a little lack of choice. Probably not geared up for tomorrow night yet, but still annoying. The first stop-the Marble Arch is usually reliable, but today half the pumps were turned round. They would be pulling some through, but beer and tide wait for no man, so after some JP Best, it was time to move on.

The English Lounge only had 2 beers on, but both the Cumberland and the Landlord were in decent form. No real ale at all at Odd, but Pennine Ales White Owl and Bank Top were both on at the Crown & Kettle. No sign of cask at Cask-it was Kwak for me, whilst the Bank was also depleted but delivered a surprisingly light hued Polar Bear. Best beer of the day, however, was found at the Waterhouse-Phoenix Snowbound-beautifully crisp and hoppy.

The sun had long since set when I heard some old fogey Camra types were about to drag their Zimmer frames to Manchester. All those people do is talk about beer-who wants to do that? Anyway, as I had drinking business elsewhere, I set sail for a port nearer home. First up was the Whitchaff at Townsend. This was very busy with most people seemingly here to dine. I tried both of the real ales on offer-Old Stockport and Hartley’s XB before getting the bus back into Ramsbottom.

Unlike Manchester, Rammy was doing well with people getting an early start on the New Year festivities. I squeezed into the First Chop only to be told there was no keg lager available as the cooler was knackered. Oh no. In despair I turned to the cask offerings of Flat Cap and Outstanding Ginger. The Major was even busier with both a quiz and the football attracting attention. The plan was to move on, but we never did. Was it the lure of the Golden Pippin? Or the close proximity of a scantily clad 32D? I guess we’ll never know.


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