Sunday, 25 May 2008

The 590 and Hebden Bridge

Despite the local council's attempts to isolate Rochdale from the rest of the UK (not a bad idea some of you may think) by digging up every major roundabout at once, we (me and Eileen) set out for Hebden Bridge to attend the Fox and Goose Inn's beer festival. We nearly missed the hourly 590 service due to aforementioned road works, but arrived breathless and just in time from our delayed bus from Middleton. We were due to meet our friends from our local there, but we were alone as we set off, to arrive just a few minutes late at the Fox and Grapes pub. We were soon joined by the others, some of who came on the train and the rest by the next bus having fallen foul of the traffic delays.

The Fox and Grapes is a very small pub indeed and smells strongly of damp. It was fairly busy when we got there and became more so, with a good mix of types. There was a reasonably good selection on a mixture of gravity and handpump. We made a bit of a mistake in starting with Oakham Bishop's Farewell, as it set a standard that no other beer reached. Eileen (wisely) stuck with that but I did try Triple FFF Moondance which was OK, Orkney Dark Island which was fine, before moving on to Thornbridge IPA which didn't disappoint. Beers were all a fair £2.40 a pint whatever the strength. I don't have any contemporary pictures of this event though, as my mobile phone is at T Mobile being mended and my camera had a flat battery. Ho Hum.

Later we decamped to Hebden Bridge where, in the White Lion, I enjoyed a very good pint of dry and bitter Phoenix May Fly and later joining the rest of them in the White Swan for my first pint of Hoegaarden in a couple of years. It was aromatic and refreshing. I neatly handed the pub bore who had affixed himself to my ear on to Stan, by the trick of including him in the "conversation" (and then stepping out of it) for which Stan thanked me later. Then back on the 590 to Todmorden and the Mason's Arms. This is a Skipton Brewery House and Golden Pippin was the quarry. Alas it was not on form, but pints of 1860 and Best Bitter were just fine and saw us through to the 590 home.

This is a good day out and we'll do it again, but not at a weekend. The traffic situation is just too frustrating!


Paul Garrard said...

Think I'd have to be pretty desperate to drink Hoegaarden Wit. I'd rather drink nitro-keg as the wit is bland beyond belief. I think it's the only widely available white beer that I'd want slices of lemon in, and plenty at that.

Tandleman said...

Well Paul, you can only speak as you find. Hoey is back brewed in Hoegaaarden and it was rather nice. You can have the nitrokeg if you wish.

Boak said...

I'm a big fan of Hoegaarden. Lots of people say it's been dumbed down - I'm not in a position to judge.

Paul Garrard said...

Perhaps I should give Hoegaaarden another go then - always open to having my mind changed. I'll look out for it.