CAMRA business took me and my mate Graham to Wigan last night. We checked out two pubs, both Good Beer Guide entries and both convenient for Wallgate Station. First up was the Anvil, oddly enough a Hydes pub, though guest beers from Allgates and Ossett complemented the Hydes offerings. The Anvil is very much a community pub and was buzzing happily when we arrived. What brings me to tell you about this? Well it occurs to me that a tied house of the brewery selling others beers is, when you think of it, an oddity. Why pay a dog and bark yourself as it were? Sam's wouldn't countenance it, nor would Lees. Hydes don't as a matter of course. Most other biggish breweries don't do it either. While my delight at choice was uppermost last night, I just wonder really why any brewery should do this, particularly one like Hydes with a decent cask conditioned range. Nonetheless I enjoyed my Allgates Mild and the 5% Ossett Quicksilver (pale, good body, hoppy and refreshing) though the mild really wasn't a dark mild, but a 3.8% dark bitter which reminded me of Lorimer's (formerly Usher's) Dark Heavy, a beer that hasn't been brewed for over thirty years, but which I sold in the pub I worked in a long time ago! A bit of history for you!
On the way out, we went for a pee. I was a little taken aback at the machine in the gents which (among others things - click on image to scandalise yourself) sold blow up sheep for a fiver. A nice accompaniment to your pie I suppose.
Across the road is the GBG listed Berkley. At first glance it could be a Wetherspoons until you are brought up sharply by the £2.60 pints. We enjoyed suprisingly good Nimmo's XXXX brewed by Cameron's of Hartlepool and Adnam's Explorer while the staff pointedly ignored us and chatted together. You think JDW soulless? This place knocked it into a cocked hat. I can't imagine what it looks like on a Friday night, but then again, I doubt if I'd set foot in Wigan on Friday night. I've seen it on one of these video cop shows. Not pretty!
I know the headline isn't original, but it is new to this blog, so that'll do.
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