The Morning Advertiser has the news that Wetherspoons is buying five pubs from Punch Taverns. I read the list without expecting to know any of them, but I was wrong. One is the Childwall Fiveways Hotel in Liverpool. I know it,or rather, knew it rather well. Set back from a massive road junction - no prizes for guessing how many roads converge there - The Fiveways was one of the nearest pubs to where I worked in a Social Security office in South Liverpool over twenty years ago. It was usually the pay-day venue for lunchtime beer, for the simple reason that most banks were nearby, back in times when cash machines were a rarity, lunchtime drinking wasn't frowned upon and pay-day couldn't come quickly enough.
In those days Higsons of Liverpool owned it and many pints of Higgies Bitter were supped, while claimants sweated it out in the waiting room, waiting for claims to be assessed and their giros issued. It was also a stopping off point on the way home once in a while too, though usually we preferred the better beer choice at Wavertree, a few bus stops down the road. Now it will be a JDW outlet by January next year, but to me, it will always be the fifties style pub it was when I first went in it. Splendidly old fashioned, redolent of polished wood, red handpumps, parquet floors and my beloved Higson's Bitter.
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
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Beer samples are welcome, but I cannot guarantee a good review. You, the brewer, on the other hand can.
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