Having nicely warmed up, it was round to the Arden Arms. This has long been a landmark pub of Stockport and one of my own favourites. I usually try to avoid it at “tourist” times-Sat lunchtime etc but we did manage to acquire some seats and settled down for some well kept Robinsons Unicorn and a sandwich.
Next stop was the Railway at Portwood. This used to be owned by Dave Porter (now of Outstanding Brewery) but is now a Pennine Ale pub. Bearing in mind my recent experience of their beer, I played safe with a couple of (excellent) Pictish Brewers Gold-a decision I was somewhat mocked for by Stopwatch. However, when the Floral Dance and Sunshine both had to be returned to the bar, the boot was somewhat on the other foot.
Sam Smiths Boar’s Head also needed the beer changing. Never having been a fan of the pub, I decided not to wait and try their other pub-the Queens Head, instead. This is another classic of the Stockport scene and although it would have been nice to see an actual woman in there, what really let it down was the beer, which wasn’t good.
The last stop was rather obvious. The Crown is a very famous ale house and with over a dozen beers on tap, it wasn’t hard to find something decent. I tried Pictish Staddle Stone, Facers DHB (not as good as I’ve had it) Oakham JHB and something golden from a little known brewery in Skipton.
Back in Bury, we tried the hoppy Goose Eye Chinnook Blonde in the Robert Peel before I was abandoned to my own fate. I decided to head for MALT but got sidetracked in the Trackside by Mr Duvel and Mr Jever. Neatly sidestepping the door-staff at MALT, I settled down to watch the beautiful people and enjoy a dram or three. Nothing too fancy this time-I stuck to Laphroaig, Macallan and Ardbeg.
Now waitress service is all well and continental but it can make for something of a shock when your tab arrives-particularly when you haven’t asked for it. However, that little mystery was solved when I realised that the witching hour had long come and gone and that the staff were eager to evict the few remaining drunks.
Knowing how to take a hint and feeling a little saddle sore, I headed for a taxi and home. Somehow I acquired a curry along the way and I think it was this that disorientated me, as I managed to get myself dropped off two blocks from home. Rushing in from the rain and hurrying in the dark to switch the alarm off, I managed to lose most of the curry on the carpet (I blame the cat) which did made me wonder if I’m getting too old for this game.