Now every man needs the love of a good woman. Or a beer. Finding myself without the former, the other day, I went in search of the latter. And, somewhat surprisingly, my travels took me to the wilds of Rossendale. And the valley of Rossendale is indeed wild. From the gentle hobbit folk of Stacksteads to the rednecks of Bacup (Bak-up) it revels in its reputation as the Royston Vasey of Lancashire.
Now, like anywhere, there are good pubs to be found, but generally the beer bubble hasn’t even arrived here, yet alone burst. A gastropub is one with an inside loo and craft beer is just a phrase in a foreign dictionary. But hold on...what’s this? Has craft beer sneaked into the valley?
Well it appears it has. For the Griffin brewpub in Haslingden now has a sign outside proudly acclaiming its “craft beers”. Now, with changing brewers and beers priced at £2.10 a pint, it may not be your atypical craft setup. But full marks to them for spotting an opportunity to ride the craft wave. Even the delivery van mentions the “C” word.
So craft beer may have reached the Rossendale Valley, but I’m not sure the locals have noticed. Asking them to define it is most likely to meet with a “do you mean cask?” or just a shrug of the shoulders.