Prevailing opinion is that to succeed in the pub business, generally you have to be free of tie, or if not, the only pub for miles around and in a highly populated area. I know - not always the case - but I'm sure you recognise the broad picture I'm painting.
On Friday evening, a time when I am rarely in the pub due to "meeting E at the station duties", I met with a fellow CAMRA committee member to discuss some business. We decided to kill two birds with one stone and rendezvous in a conversion from smooth to cask. The pub is tied to Thwaites and at 7 pm it was heaving. We found a relatively quiet spot in the games room with our (excellent) pints of Wainwright, but lasted only 30 minutes or so before sheer weight of numbers and the volume of conversation drove us out. We decamped along the road to a Lees pub, hoping to try the new seasonal offering, Fool's Gold and complete our form filling. The pub was again full to bursting, with nowhere to sit in the lounge and just two seats in the packed vault. We squeezed into them enjoying the very bitter Fool's Gold and doing our best to finish our business against an atmospheric background of happily supping customers. It took us back to the old days, so beloved of Curmudgeon, when most pubs were like this and was heartening in the extreme.
It did make us realise though that pubs are regretfully rarely like this, but nonetheless we both felt real delight to see them doing so well.
The pubs were: Thwaites' Hare and Hounds, Oldham Rd, Middleton; Lees' Rose of Lancaster, Haigh Lane, Chadderton
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.
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.
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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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