No sooner do we have one new pub opening in my area, but then we have another. Different in scale and target audience to Hogarths in Rochdale, is the long awaited - well it was trailed quite a while ago - Broad St Social in Bury. Operated by the well respected Brewsmith Brewery based in Stubbins by Ramsbottom, this is rather a neat little bar in Broad St, right in the centre of Bury, handy for some other good drinking establishments, as well as the Bus and Metro Interchange.
Situated in a mid terrace, with large windows and a little outside seating for the hardy, this is a neatly laid our bar with wooden floors, exposed brick and two distinct drinking areas, served by one fairly small bar. It somehow manages to cram in no less than six handpumps, all from Brewsmith and six keg pumps, all from elsewhere, but local to Greater Manchester. Service during these difficult times was at table (we had booked) and on its first official trading day, was swift and cheerful. Some local worthies were there too and greetings were exchanged from a safe distance - though against guidelines no doubt. There was warmth and atmosphere which you don't always have from the git-go.
Like my friend and fellow blogger, Beers Manchester, who has also written about the bar - I urge you to read it - I thoroughly enjoyed it. In my case, not least of all because of the excellence of the Brewsmith cask beers, which have always appealed. They have the most redeeming of features. They are always carefully and well brewed, and they have the cleanliness that allows you to pick out the flavours. I could go on, but these two things are important - to this writer at least and if you wish to judge a brewer's skill, a good - nay essential - starting point.
Our two hours were soon up, which gave me an opportunity to slip round the corner to Joseph Holt's Wyldes to try out the new Holt's Stout. Devotees of Twitter will likely know I'm a bit of a fan of stout. I regularly drink Lees Stout in its cask conditioned form at my local, the THT and at the Rose of Lancaster - another local - where I drink it à la nitro. It is superb in both forms, with its deep roasty taste, full body and luscious white head. How then would Holts stand in comparison? Well, it isn't at all bad. Slightly sweeter and with a darker, more tan head, it reminded me rather of Sam Smith's Stout. All in all a good job, though it is only available in nitro form. So still Lees for me, but don't hesitate to try Joey's offering.
We finished off in the Thirsty Fish, another micro pub and right by the bus station. All quiet here around teatime and another stout, this time from Deeply Vale, was on cask and on form, unlike Diamond Bus. But that's another story.
Not often I write much about actual beer, so a rare treat for you here. Bury is well worth a visit. On the subject of Bury, I peeped in the window of the closed Clarence, which was extensively and expensively renovated not so long ago. It has new owners, but it looks as though the lovely square bar has been removed. Shame.
We didn't fancy plastic glasses at the Trackside (outside) either, so swerved that.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
This blog mentions specifics; pubs and beer, good and bad. The opinions will be forthright, but you can always disagree, just don't be offended. Comments from those mentioned are particularly welcome and a right of reply is hereby offered.
Read my information and links and then decide for yourself. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes.
If you wish to email me you can do so by using this address: tandleman[at]yahoo.co.uk
These are the life blood of any blog. Please feel free to comment. I do not practice censorship if you stick to the point, but personal insults are frowned upon and may result in deletion. Anonymous entries may have the piss taken out of them or be deleted.
Beer samples are welcome, but I cannot guarantee a good review. You, the brewer, on the other hand can.
I do not currently accept adverts on this site, but if you feel so inclined, make me an offer. If you wish me to wear your brewery stuff, great. XXL please
The contents of this blog represent the personal views of the author only. They do not represent CAMRA policy in any way whatsoever.
The contents of this site and individual articles may not be reproduced in whole without the express permission of the author and will require an appropriate credit. Extracts may be reproduced with a credit to the author.