Local News Roundup

Tomorrow is the first day of spring and the spring beer festival season has begun. If one festival isn’t enough for you, you can try two local festivals this weekend. Up in Ramsbottom, the Hare & Hounds has started its 10 day festival. You can expect 24 beers on handpump and 3 ciders. Breweries featured range from the local: Ramsbottom Craft, the fairly local: Blackjack and the pretty far away: Shepherd Neame. An interesting feature is the use of beer miles. Customers collect tokens for every pint they drink and accumulate beer miles based on the brewery’s location.

750 beer miles buys you a free pint and 1500 will get you a tankard. The pub is easily accessible via the 472/474 bus and CAMRA members get a discount on their pint. Whilst in the area, why not pop along to the revamped Fusilier and try some of Allgates’ finest? Also easily accessible by public transport is the Prestwich Beer Festival. Promising lots of local beery delights and an interesting bottle beer list, you can read all about it here.
While on the Hydes brewery visit, talk turned to the Pack Horse at Affetside. This well-known country pub was once a mainstay in the Good Beer Guide but has suffered in recent years from bad management. The good news is that Hydes have taken it back under their wing and spent £900,000 remodelling it. Having now been myself, I can testify that they’ve done a great job; one of the best I’ve seen. And with the beer quality back up to scratch, this is well worth a visit.
Finally, something for the culture vultures among you. Bury has a new art gallery on Bolton St. Worth a visit on its own merit. But particularly noteworthy as today saw the launch of a major exhibition by prominent local artist, Malcolm Lucas. Described in the Daily Mirror as “a castaway from Last of the Summer Wine” Mr Lucas is a well-known man-about-town who is no stranger to the odd hostelry or two. All are welcome, preferably with cheque book in hand.


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