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Manchester, United Kingdom
Tyson is a beer hound and cheese addict living in the beery metropolis paradise known as Manchester
If the people are buying tears, I'll be rich someday, Ma

Friday, 26 July 2013

Swings and Roundabouts

Or losses and gains in the Bury area. First up is the sad sight of the Derby Arms on Bolton Road being reduced to rubble in preparation for its conversion to a car delearship forecourt. The ex-Thwaites pub, despite being described as an “eyesore” in the local paper, was actually in perfect physical condition but has now had the ultimate humiliation of being wiped completely off the map. It was the last in what was once a heavily pubbed area: think Arthur, Blue Bell, Jolly Carter and Eagle & Child.

However, there have been exciting developments in the town centre. Well, developments anyway. There are two real ale gains to report, although how long they’ll last in anyone’s guess. First up is Malloys on Silver St. This ‘Oirish’ pub has joined the real ale craze and installed Hobgoblin and Bombardier on the bar. Frankly, it’s not a selection likely to draw too many away from the other watering holes of Bury, but they are hoping that the lure of Sky Sports and Hobgoblin at £2.09 a pint will draw punters in. Perhaps but, on my last visit, the customers consisted of two Polish girls, neither of whom were necking Hobgoblin. Which was warm, by the way.
The other Johnny-come-lately to the cask party is Yates on Market Street. They actually had cask on in the long distant past (Boddingsons) but have been more famous in recent years for having the most police call-outs in the Bury area. Basically it was the place you went if you were barred from Wetherspoons. However, we were promised a £100,000 makeover that would “wow” us. Having been in for ths soft launch, I can reveal that they have fixed the cracked windows and toilets and given it a deep-clean. Not the massive overhaul some were expecting, but then £100,000 doesn't go far these days. And some cynics might argue what is the point when it seems they are still aiming at the same clinetele.

The only other big change with Yates is the appearance of handpulls on the bar. And while you wouldn’t expect a row of craft beers, they could have done a lot better than plump for Greene King. With a Greene King pub round the corner and two Wetherspoons knocking it out cheap as chips, you can see nobody is paying local attention. How long before we experience the old catch-22 of quality suffering/declining sales and then the inevitable “There’s no demand for it” as it disappears from the bar?  What could have been two important and interesting cask gains have, in the hands of uninterested large pubcos, been already dismissed as short-term phenomena.

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