Stockport Swagger

If reports have reached you of strange individuals roaming the streets of Stockport, never fear, it was merely a group of thirsty travellers. A motley crew, including such luminaries as Eddie, the eager, legal beagle and Uncle Albert had decided to try several of the local watering holes

First stop was the Nursery in Heaton Norris. This is a classic 1930s multi-roomer and was CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year 2001. And, although we didn’t indulge (old school rules-no eating whilst drinking), the chippy opposite looked very enticing as well.

The Nursery is a Hydes pub selling a good range of their own ales and guest beers as well. Hydes Jekyll’s Gold and Roosters Celtic Corker were both judged as being excellent. You could while away many a happy hour here, but the drinking was just beginning, so off we went.

We managed to fortuitously flag down a passing 364 bus and were soon ensconced in our second stop. The Hope Inn still bears the signage of its original owner-Hardy’s Crown Brewery, who were based in Hulme and were swallowed up by United Breweries in 1962. These days it serves a pint of the lesser spotted Bass.

A very short walk took us to the Labour club next door. This was like going back in time with Thwaites Original at only £1.50 a pint and despite being the first poured, was in good form. It was Stockport CAMRA’s current Pub of the Year next-the Railway on Wellington Road North. This is a smart, ex-Punch tavern, which now serves a good range of ales. The Darkstar Golden Gate was very tasty.

One of the new giants of the Stockport drinking scene loomed large next. The Magnet is a freehouse that has an interesting layout with rooms on different levels. It’s run by the same team who used to have the famous Crown on Heaton Lane and the experience shows. Some decent stuff on font, Brooklyn Lager, Flying Dog etc in the fridge and 14 beers on handpump.

With so much choice, it wasn’t easy to pick just one, so we had to stay for two. Ossett Madeleine Lilly was good-light and nicely hopped, but for me Hornbeam Moody Ale was the beer of the day. It had a lot of flavour for 3.6%, mixing a perfect blend of biscuit malt and citrus hops that lasted well into the finish.

A quick pit stop at the Midland to admire the tiling and sink a pint of Copper Dragon Best and then it was the aforementioned Crown. Here again the selection was impressive, but Pictish Rakau was, for me, the pick of the sampled beers.

Another old friend next: the Swan with Two Necks. This Robinsons pub was built in 1926 and features in CAMRA’s Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors. Stockport’s finest also featured in our last stop-the Arden Arms. Yet another classic Robinsons pub that had the first timers here drooling. 

Noting that the sun had set and signs of beer fatigue were showing, it was time to head back home. We shall gloss over the failings at the Trackside where we called for a nightcap. An excellent day in terms of both pubs and beer and proving Stockport is still in the top tier as far as drinking is concerned.


Curmudgeon said…
I can confirm the chippy opposite the Nursery is very good.
antony little said…
theres no where left near us that does 1.50 pints any more all 2 quid +

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