February arrived with a summing up of the last couple of days of January. Ended up in the Wilton Arms on Belmont Rd, Bolton on Saturday evening. They always have York brewery Guzzler on in the Wilton and I made enquiries as to the link. It turns out that the Wilton is owned by Mitchells of Lancaster who also own York Brewery. Turns out that I have been in quite a few of other Mitchell’s pubs in the Carnforth area as well as one or two in York. We are planning our next work’s do for York. May will mark our 3rd birthday trading at Farmers’ markets and a York should provide a good beer playground for a couple of days. I was in the York Brewery Tap over the new year and I am looking forward to heading back and exploring the city. In the meantime, my father-in-law happily dug into a pin to Guzzler. 3.8%, light and fresh. Good and reliable pint from their 20 Barrel plant near Mickelgate.
We then started on the Bank Top Flat Cap and Coniston Blue Bird. Most of our meal was then taken over with lively debate on county boundaries. We only sell Lancashire beer on our stall and include Coniston within the Lancashire boundary. We only recognise the proper boundaries which run from the River Mersey to the Duddon. Coniston Old Man is the highest point in Lancashire. Not a lot of people know that.
I ended up sending a case of Park Utd ale up to the north east. The lady who took them had come back for more and said that it was delicious and reminiscent of the beer she used to drink up there with her dad as a young woman.
Park Utd are a local junior team playing within the Halliwell area at Smithills. They have a long a distinguished history with old boys including Julian Darby and Terry Connor. My son now plays for them and Park was a beer we bottled to help raise a bob or two over Christmas. It was nice to send them over a healthy donation which will could help towards their planned tour this summer. Looking forward to it myself. I will be searching for little breweries in Ireland before we go.
On Sunday afternoon, I popped in to the Unicorn Coop in Chorlton. It is many years since I have been in and it was bustling. It reminded me of an organic store we go in when visiting family in Geneva. Funnily enough, quite a few of the beers seemed to be the same. The pool of organic beer seems to be small. As always, I was looking for something local and the nearest i could get was a Liverpool Organic Imperial Stout.
Across the road, is the Marble Beer House and it would be remiss not to pop in. Quick half of an Earl grey IPA on draft whilst settling in and then a Antipodean on keg. I thought I might grab a bottle to take home and asked for a Wild Beer Ninkasi. The till rang up at £10.35 for a 330ml bottle. £10.35. One for another day.
A bit of brewery business during the evening. It is a year since we received our license to sell online and the bill to renew came from the council followed by a BACs payment to Matt at Rammy Craft for the 8 cases I picked up a couple of weeks ago. We are slowly updating our systems to keep our brewing records online. Slowly, slowly but getting there. It will make life easier when we finally submit our accounts.
A colleague at work said that she had found a new pub that I might like. We went round the houses a bit and eventually it turns out that she has become a bit of a regular at Bunburys on Chorley Old Road. People seemed to know that Daryl is putting on a pin of Manchester Imperial Stout from Rammy Craft. ‘The strongest beer ever sold in Bolton’ is how they described it. I am not sure that is true but it is good. We have sold a few bottles of 24% Rammy EisBeer in our time. Freeze distilled in Ramsbottom and the key ingredient in Rammy Bombs.
Called into Bunburys on Friday. I was a day late for Daryl’s Rauchbier-off between DUB and Torrside. I still had half each and settled down after a long week at work. A good place to just sit for a while.
I enjoyed both smoked beers. One on keg and one on cask. In the end, the Torrside would have got my vote. The smokiness suited the cask rather than keg and was subtle and more in the background. I would have happily settled in for a few but I needed to get on, picking up a couple of bottles for later.