Chairman's Blog

Inglenook Inns from the Blackburn area have purchased 8 pubs from Robinsons brewery. Six of those are in our branch area

They are The Bull's Head in Glossop, The Crossing in Furness Vale, The George and Dragon in Charlesworth, The Greyhound in Bredbury, The Railway in Whaley Bridge and The White Lion in Hyde. It was previously assumed that Inglenook would manage these pubs not buy them.

Eastbourne Trip

The annual branch winter trip to Eastbourne and surrounding areas proved to be a resounding success. The weather was excellent. (We would not have been so lucky had we gone a week later!) Eastbourne is a useful base, there are some good pubs in town, favourites included The Lamb, The Dew Drop Inn and the Eagle. A bus ride away is East Dean and the excellent Tiger Inn on the village green. The Tiger Inn is also a good base for scenic walks to Birling Gap and Beachy Head. A short train ride away, a few miles east of Eastbourne is Hastings.The Old Town is the place to head to, The Dolphin, The Crown and the First in Last Out all merited their entries in the Good Beer Guide. One member of our party took the opportunity to visit the excellent RAFA club in Bexhill and came back with a glowing report.

No trip to East Sussex would,of course, be complete without a visit to Lewes, home of Harvey's Brewery. It did not disappoint. Harvey's beers dominate but not exclusively so. We tried most of the GBG listed pubs, particular favourites included the Gardeners Arms and the Lewes Arms but, again, all earned their place in the guide.

It is always a pleasure to drink beers that are not usually available in our area

Here is a sample of some of those we tried :

Holler Boys Fog Cutter Ale Franklin's English Gardens FILO's Crofter's Best Bitter Longman's Long Blonde Burning Sky Plateau Hammerpot Madgwich Centra Rother Valley Blues Kiln Brewery Bricks Brighton Bier Co South Coast IPA

Most of the Harvey's range and others!

In summary, another highly enjoyable High Peak winter weekend away.

Eight hardy souls turned up for our branch trip to Lancaster on Saturday the 25th of November The 11.15 Glasgow train took us to Lancaster in just over an hour. Our first port of call was the Merchant's on Castle Hill, a converted wine merchant's cellars.This bar has an interesting layout with three separate tunnels as main drinking areas, with another functioning tunnel as the entrance and bar area. A great variety of seven mostly local beers were available. Those beers tried by our group were all rated as good.

Our second port of call was the Robert Gillow on Market Street, just a few doors away. This is a converted shop with impressive huge curved windows The pub's name is a reference to the furniture maker who started his business nearby. It is now a Hyde's pub so their beers dominate but there are also two changing guest beers on offer. Beers, again, were rated as good

A brief detour took some of us to the imaginatively named ' The Pub' on China street This is primarily a live music venue and did not have much of an atmosphere with two locals propping up the bar in a cold room. The beers on offer were Robinson's Trooper and Wainwright's bitter. We tried the latter and it could not be faulted.

Onwards, we went to The Sun on Church Street. This is a busy and thriving town centre pub which is a major outlet for Lancaster Brewery beers, as well as having a range of guest beers. The description in the GBG states that the original space in this enlarged pub has space for 'vertical drinking'! At least at this stage of the crawl, our branch members managed to avoid drinking in a horizontal postion! Anyway, a variety of beers were tried here and all found to be in good condition

Our next port of call was the Three Mariners on Bridge Lane, a Robinson's pub which also has a range of guest beers on offer. Amongst them a bitter from the Firebird Brewery in West Sussex. This is a cosy, warm and welcoming pub and we could have stayed longer but, in the interest of research of course, we braved the elements and moved on.

A short walk took us to the Tap House on Gage Street.This is a refurbished pub, the interior is a little spartan but some original features remain. Hawkshead Windermere Pale is a regular and there usually three changing beers. Again, those tried were well kept.

And so on to the Borough, an imposing townhouse on Dalton Square ; one of my favourite pubs in Lancaster,which, perhaps surprisingly, does not appear in the 2018 GBG . The pub still offers a huge £1 discount to Camra members on their own house beers (The brewery moved their 2.5 barrel plant from the pub to other premises in 2016) The four beers produced are still very good.

Our last port of call was the White Cross a converted canalside warehouse, The large open drinking space and the general lay- out gives it the appearance of a Wetherspoon's pub, which it isn't of course, Ten changing beers are usually available, often locally produced. A variety was sampled by our members and met with approval.

So ended another enjoyable branch trip out. I should mention the great ' Lancaster Northern City of Ale' guide which is available for free from several pubs in the town. It lists every real pub in the city and is an excellent way to plan your route!

December 11th

We have two new social secretaries! Frank Wood and Fraser Brisbane have agreed to take over from Tom Lord. Looking forward to some interesting trips.

The May and August branch meetings next year will be held on Saturday afternoons followed by a pub crawl/social. I hope that this will make our meetings more accessible and attractive to our members. The committee is looking at potential venues (most likely to be Chapel en le Frith and Buxton areas.)