Today we start #PrayForSi week, as BRAPA ventures into Cornwall with only a Good Beer Guide and the sure and certain knowledge that Newquay is a very bad base for tackling the county.
To cheer him up, I found a programme (above) of a Hull Tigers match that, by my reckoning, he might well have been conceived at. Don’t ask how. My own “Benjamin Button” theory of Simon has him as a wizened old man at that match in 1978, and probably listening to the sort of music they listen to in the Barlick Tap Ale House, if their collection of 78s is indicative of east Lancashire taste.
On the one hand this is a formulaic micro, down to the painfully precise 4pm opening; on the other it’s quite quaint, homely, almost twee.
I was first in (of course), kept company by an elderly couple who had mistaken the place for the Temperance Bar in Rawenstall, and were shamelessly ordering a Dandelion and Burdock.
The fact the Barlick serves that, and some excellent beer for under £3 a pint (Magpie Silver, NBSS 3.5), and played “Rock the Casbah” followed by “The First Picture of You“, puts it in my good books. That 1983 music fixation again.
Full marks for the “busiest” loo of the week. Unless it really was the cellar ;-(
Elsewhere, the town seems to have (finally) left ’83, and while you wouldn’t call it posh, it is by turns shabby and chic(y), a bit of a mini-Halifax, if you like.
Take Hutchinson’s Pie Shop, for instance;
Barnoldswick is one of my favourite little Pendle towns, certainly among those which begin with a “B”, which is nearly all of them. I wouldn’t want to drive there though, especially in Winter.
Back down the hill in Barrowford, you get an immediate sense of Prosecco Poshness with the spanking new Booth’s, where I enjoyed a lengthy queue for an overpriced coffee. Better value in the Banker’s Draft .
This has the advantage of architecture to distinguish it from the crowd, but feels more traditionally “micro“, except for the dreaded “beer flights” that the first couple in were on.
The landlady was cheery and charming, as were the “ale tasters”, the setting characterful and with a good view to the other Guide entry over on the cobbles.
The beer (Bingley) was vigorously pulled through before serving, always a good sign. I’d have preferred a Theakston or Bass, of course, but that’s me.
I guess, inevitably, micros are taking over the world (or at least the Beer Guide) up here in low rent market towns with enough residual affection for cask to make them work. Surely Foulridge is next ?