Chin Chin Cher-ee
Saturday saw us have a little canter out to the Old Hall at Whitehough, near Chinley in scenic Derbyshire. The Old Hall is a “proper pub” dating back to Elizabethan times. Originally licensed as the Red Cow Inn, it eventually became one with the adjacent Old Hall to form the current premises.
A pleasant walk from Chinley train station brought us to the pub and its beer festival. Sadly, not all the advertised beers were on, but it was a major plus to find all those that were, being served via calibrated handpulls into lined glasses. None of that gravity nonsense. And all the beers I tried were in good condition, proving once again that pub festivals are the best.
Arriving for some pre midday drinking also gave us a chance to bag a table in the beer garden. There we could wile away the afternoon untroubled by anything but one of creation’s most annoying beasts: the wasp. We came to the conclusion that it was the WHB’s Obsession For Men that was driving them crazy.
Beer wise, the Phoenix West Coast was very good and the Millstone Tiger Rut even better-fully of pungent, citric hops. Special mention should go to an old friend-Marble Dobber, a 5.9% hop beast that really hits the spot. Sadly, Marble Chocolate Heavy was adjudged to not be the beer it once was; being a little light on the chocolate side.
Our ruminations were temporary interrupted by the arrival of some familiar faces demanding bloodwine and gagh. Yes, Stockport Camra had arrived. Now I don’t care what the News of the World has to say about them, I’ve always found them to be a bunch of quite affable old drunks really. Led by chief scoutmaster JC, their number includes the legendary Bus Stop Bertie, who can apparently identify every bus stop in Britain by scent alone.
But time and trains wait for no man, so it was we eventually found ourselves back in Bury just in time for some al fresco drinking at the Trackside. The dreaded brown beer theme that seems to haunt the place was still very much in evidence but there was one glimmer of hope on the bar-Hornbeam Summer IPA. Of course this proved to be a false dawn, as it promptly ran out after one round. Having had an afternoon of quality beer, the likes of Leyden weren’t going to do, so I had to hit the bottled range once more. Although, Leyden might have been more appropriate as Archimedes and Pineapple Pete were actually discussing the merits of fertiliser.