I don’t go to many beer festivals but Manchester is one of the best. Held in the restored Manchester Central Station, the experience was enhanced by attending a beers from the wood tasting session where we were expertly guided by Roger Protz. It is well covered here – https://chrisdyson55.blogspot.com/2019/02/all-aboard-for-manchester-central.html?spref=tw&m=1
It was a pleasure to meet Chris and Alex for the first time. All present purred over the glorious Brass Castle Bad Kitty.
The day before the festival I went to the Olde Nag’s Head in Castleton, Derbyshire. It’s a pretty town in the High Peak but often very congested with visitors. This time there was snow down to road level and the shops full of Blue John were quiet. Blue John is a highly localised, semi-precious mineral not Derbyshire Viagra.
A few hardy walkers gathered round the grand fireplace in this 17th Century coaching inn.
There were six beers on, of which the Littleover Citra was on good form. Behind the pub is an ancient church and the 11th Century Peveril Castle.
This is the Peveril of the Peak that gives its name to a famous Mancunian pub. So famous a pub that Walter Scott wrote a novel about it. It’s not widely known that all his English series were about pubs, Ivanhoe, Woodstock and Kenilworth being the others. (Note to overseas readers – historical accuracy is no longer deemed desirable in the UK. We have adopted a new system where you just believe what you want to believe. So much simpler).
Winnats Pass was a wintry spectacle.
The micro in Burnage was doing a good trade on a Thursday night. Having jettisoned the car I could join everyone else in attacking the invigorating 6.2% Northern Monk New World IPA. Next to me were two women and a man. The man kept asking the young women “how old do you think I am?” in a reprise of a familiar, desperate pub conversation. They resisted the temptation to aim too high- he looked like a man who’d had some major organs harvested by a rogue clinic in Thailand. Every inch in his 60’s surely but after repeated pressing they kindly guessed 50. Inevitably he was 45. The pub’s name was Reasons to be Cheerful.
On the morning of the festival I went to the Elephant & Castle in Bolton, where later that day Martin completed the Greater Manchester section of the Good Beer Guide http://retiredmartin.com/2019/01/30/and-it-all-ends-in-bolton/ to widespread acclaim, not something Fred Dibnah ever came close to accomplishing. This statue bears an uncanny resemblance to the great man (Martin not Fred).
And that was almost that for January.