Thursday saw a VIP pay Bury a visit. The first clue was the limo parked outside Wetherspoons and the bunting that was last used for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. It’s a long time since he last graced us with a non-CAMRA related visit. Indeed, the last time he partook of a Bury pub crawl was way back in 2003 and the locals still talk of it in hushed tones.
Yes, Tandleman was coming to town.
We started in the rather plush Art. This has come on leaps and bounds with its cask ale range and this week overtook its sister Spoons in terms of real ale sales. Tetley’s (with new pumpclip) and Phoenix White Monk were tried here before we moved onto MALT.
The first problem here was that MALT was shut meaning we had to go into the adjacent Automatic. Which means we didn’t have the choice of beer we wanted? Not really acceptable when all the barperson has to do is pop round the corner.
I wanted TM to try the house beer, Northern Light, as it can prove “interesting”. And so it proved with TM comparing it to “licking a painted creosote fence”. Having never done that, I was happy to take his word for it. So, nice place, shame about the beer.
Next stop was the Robert Peel and George Wright Dream. This proved a welcome respite after our last encounter. Then it was up to Ramsbottom and the Rammy Ramble. First call was the Good Sam which is under new management. Unfortunately, the Golden Pippin was warm and lacking in condition. However, the landlord is keen and I will certainly be calling in again.
Despite being quiet (just an observation, not a mark of surprise) the Pippin was much better in the First Chop, although TM remains unconvinced it’s still the same beer that it once was. It was over the road then to the Major where we dodged the ubiquitous Doom Bar and settled for some Landlord.
Finally a short bus ride took us the Hare and Hounds and a choice of 10 beers. There were several hoppy ones on and once TM had us settled in at the bar, we were off. After several pints of Phoenix Hopsack I began to wish I had lined my stomach with something more than 2 Weetabix some 13 hours ago. Luckily my ordeal at the hand of the merciless TM was coming to an end as the evening drew to a close.
There was just time for TM to have a run in with a barmaid and then it was goodnight sweetheart. An enjoyable day out, full of the highs and lows of any pub crawl. I’ve pencilled a return visit in for 2017. In the meantime, there is talk of a rematch in Rochdale.