The Age Of Innocence

The Nags Head used to reside at the corner of Barlow St and The Rock. It was a compact little boozer that you would pass on the way into Bury centre. It was here that I first flew solo and ordered a pint of beer. I knew nothing about beer, other than I had tried some once and been nonplussed by it. Still, I was aware that pubs and beer seemed to be an important component of life and so had determined to give them a fair try.

Thus it was, on passing the Nags one balmy autumn day; I took a deep breath and breached its mysterious borders. Drawing myself up to my full height, I stood tall at the Tap Room bar and ordered a pint. The barman, having given me a sceptical once-over, then threw my carefully laid plans into disarray. He asked me if I wanted Bitter or lager?

How was I to know there were different types of the damn stuff? And what was the difference between the two? Having pretended to give it some thought, I ended up blowing my pocket money on a half of each.

Much later I discovered that it was fairly irrelevant what you chose at the Nags. The Bitter went back into the Mild and the lager went into everything. The picture shows the Nags circa 1951 with its original Bury Brewery signage. Bury Brewery was the smaller of the two town breweries still trading after WW11. It was bought along with its estate of 80 pubs in 1949 by Daniel Thwaites and ceased production in 1955.


Richard said…
I had a similar dilemma, but was asked if I wanted Tetleys or Guinness. The latter sounded like more of a man's drink so I plumped for that... oh Jesus Christ, is there any more foul taste than your first pint of Guinness?!

(I do have the odd pint now and again these days but back then it was a bit of a culture shock.)
RedNev said…
As I walked into the pub with my couple of shillings not knowing what to order, I saw a friend there and asked what his drink was. He said, "Half of mild." I ordered the same and I think it cost 10d.

Not a bad beer to start on, mild.

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