Back once again to the Cheshire pain.

I’m fussy about beer glasses.  To me, all glasses should look like this;


Preferably with Bass still in them.  Tekus are acceptable for the evil craft keg.

The ultimate atrocity isn’t even the handled jug, it’s those ridiculous Adnams glasses that have been ruining Richard Coldwell’s holiday recently.

They’re even worse than the really thin containers  I get with halves these days, like the one at the Badger in Church Minsworth, a painful bus journey from Nantwich.


The best thing about the Badger was its promise of an 11.30am start.  Obviously I don’t believe GBG opening times anymore, so admired the church and timbers for a few minutes. It was a bit like Prestbury without the posh shops and footballers (unless the Crewe Alex rightback lives here, I’ve no idea what a League 2 clogger earns these days).




Just then I spotted one of those phalanxes of OAP ramblers emerging from the pub car park, headed for Aston juxta Mondrum, I guessed.  They were dressed for the Alps.

Guessing the group must have negotiated parking in return for a fiver’s worth of business later, I popped my head round the door.


Yes, it’s a boutique restaurant that makes Brunning & Price look like a Toby carvery. My mum would love it.

There was no-one about, so I explored the rooms for a bit.

Can I help you

May I have a drink

Oh. Oh. ”   I have that effect on people.

Anyway, here’s the four localish beers that get you in the Beer Guide in rural Cheshire these days.


This was a dull drop of Tatton in a tiny glass that crushed any life out of a beer that may have left the brewery in good shape.  NBSS 2, at best.  Of course, no-one who visits will have heard of any of those beers before, or ask for any of them again once they realise that real ale really is supposed to be that warm.


I never quite made myself comfortable in the Chesterfields (I wasn’t sitting at the dining tables), even when they put on the R.E.M. (’91, not ’85 vintage).

Had this been a pint in a Wetherspoons, I’d have taken it back and swapped it for a Doom Bar.  As it was, rather than scare the lady again, I left what you can see below.  There’s enough beer there to buy a 2 up, 2 down on Gresty Road.


Nantwich did get better.




  1. Ugh, that was a painful visit methinks.

    “I’m fussy about beer glasses. To me, all glasses should look like this;”

    I agree that was an awful glass; but I disagree that all glasses should look the they have Bass in them. In that respect I concur with those crafty Belgians – the glass should reflect the beer. I have numerous glasses (and would probably buy more but for the evil eye and icy stare I’d get when I returned home with them). 🙂

    It does make a small bit of difference, although to be honest it’s hard to tell most times. Still, I liken it to any harmless hobby. My favourite go-to glass right now has my name on it (only because I managed to order it from Russell Brewery – who happen to brew my favourite ESB at the moment). 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

      1. “The Brugs Beertje was shut 😞”

        Look upon it as a reason to go back. 🙂

        Didn’t get there myself, partly due to my dear old mum who is not big on sipping beers in bars. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Years ago the badger was wet led with minimal food service
    A great local at the time full of character
    Shame it appears to have gone boutique
    As we all know it’s hard for country pubs the Badger was closed for many years, the new owners are doing well as a dining pub but it’s not one I would frequent when home in Cheshire
    Not surprised the beer was mediocre

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not their target audience, though if I’d been with Mrs RM we’d no doubt have had a good lunch there, but I’d still have whined about the thin glass knocking condition out of the beer.


  3. Stonehouse and Weetwood are decent breweries, but I always find Tatton beers dull. And yes, the typical Cheshire dining pub has an excessively large selection of local beers few have ever heard of. I can’t help thinking that Wainwright would sell better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t see enough of them to have a view on which breweries are inherently good or interesting, but Stonehouse in more basic pubs has impressed.

      Wainwright or Landlord would have brand recognition. Can’t think anyone goes to these dining pubs for the beer, even if they drink it.


      1. Who needs brand recognition though? And folk who want Wainwright can go to one of the hundreds of Marston pubs – although if you stick to GBG pubs you’re probably unaware of quite how many of those there are….

        As mentioned below, the economics of Landlord are … challenging (as to a lesser extent are the logistics, it’s a bit of a cellar-hog).

        Weetwood are thoroughly dull, they’re the Marstons of Cheshire, but people seem to like that.
        I’ve had some decent beer from Stonehouse but don’t know them well enough to comment on consistency.
        I’d say Tatton are as good as anyone at doing what they do – modernish trad – and things like their Ruck & Maul porter are great. But anything tradish needs proper keeping and whilst I’ve never had any really duff pints of it if you’ve only had it in dining pubs then you might differ. It doesn’t help that it’s on the expensive side (whilst nothing like as expensive as Landlord) which tends to keep it out of the more basic-but-high-throughput pubs. I’d put Cheshire Brewhouse in the same category, good beer that tends to end up in dining pubs and not kept terribly well.

        Interesting that aside from the Badger Best (presumably white label Tatton Best), they have Titanic Iceberg as their other core beer (albeit not that day) – again there’s worse beers to have on as a regular.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We live in a Marstons/Greene King World, particularly the dining pubs in the Midlands an North West. I sense that the sort of gentlefolk who go to the Badger for tea are looking or a beer they know, and (like me) couldn’t have a clue about any differential merits of those four beers !


      3. With respect Martin & pubcurmudgeon, I’m bemused by your position that pubs should base their offerings on name recognition and national brands. There is a large and growing interest in local products all around the country, and beer is a big part of that. I am absolutely explicit that being local is no excuse for being lower standard, and in my humble and exceedingly biased opinion, our beers are at least as good as any that you have referred to, and often better. For the record, the Badger sells a significant quantity of our cask, and they are doing it because there is demand for it and appreciation of its qualities, and not because they are doing us a favour.


    2. Dull? We brew a wide variety of styles. While some are deliberately broad appeal, I challenge you to find a tastier traditional 3.7% pint than Tatton Ale; if you want something different at 3.7%, Lazy Haze is brewed with Cheshire honey and a tea infusion – one of the best honey beers in the country. Stronger? VIPA is a proper IPA celebrating English hops; Red Hot Poker will spice your Christmas up; and if you need a post-prandial sipper, Gyle 666 Russian Imperial Stout (12% abv) will tantalise your taste buds. Apologies for what may come across as marketing blurb on a blog reply, but I’m trying not to be dull.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gregg, I’m generally of the view that beers leave a brewery in good shape and get converted into dull/glorious beer by publicans.

        Which couple of stockists of your beer would you recommend to sample your beers at their best ? In my experience, Cheshire gastropubs just don’t sell enough to keep it at it’s best.


      2. Martin, Thanks – Can’t reply to your enquiry in-line so here it is : “Which couple of stockists of your beer would you recommend…”

        . Pi Bars (Chorlton, Altrincham, Mossley Hill)
        . Church Inn, Mobberley (Ale-allujah is Tatton Best – don’t blame me!)
        . Salty Dog, Northwich

        These (should) always have some Tatton on, selling in volume so should be fresh.

        Of course, the brewery is the best place – next open evening is Fri 2nd February 2018, 10+ cask beers + keg + cider + experimentals + bottles.


  4. I’ve heard of Weetwood, but can’t say I recognise any of the other breweries. The glass, looks like a “specimen” glass, btw. The sort of glass which makes you wish you’d ordered a pint; although from your comments – perhaps not!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You might be interested (or not) in current debate on CAMRA Discourse forum; one suggestion seemingly that Beer Guide should promote pubs that sell a wide variety of local beers, over pubs serving national beers well. I give up. #Quality

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s great to promote local beers but quality must be a factor in selection and too wide a choice especially in a dining pub leads to poorly kept beers

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beer shouldn’t be served in those sort of utilitarian, wider variation of hi-ball glasses, neither!

    I quite like the Tatton branding ‘Indian Summer’, if it doesn’t all sell by September then you can keep it going well into October simply by adding ‘Indian” – Brilliant marketing!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Actually goes goes to show how bad we are at marketing – we explicitly target late summer (brewed in July and August), and are rigorous on Best Before dates, so I really hope you don’t see IS in pubs after mid-October! Mind you, we did have a rather good late summer this year, so maybe we should take credit for that.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Westwood beers for me are invariably bland and uninteresting. Stonehouse can be good but is inconsistent, my local has stopped selling Station Bitter. I find the stronger Tatton beers quite good; they do seem to have a good relationship with B&P, but their catchment (being from Knutsford) means that they are most often seen in the dining pubs bemoaned by leading bloggers.
    Landlord is horrendously expensive at wholesale level; I have had customer requests for it but price would be prohibitive.


  8. I have been drinking beer in pubs since i was 16 and still do not have the faintest idea what they are called,i here names like nomic,rose or is that tulip and the likes,as for wider glasses if one was four foot wide the beer would taste really good.
    I prefer to drink out of pint glasses that have a small bulge about a quarter way down from the top,no idea what they are called and not really bothered,i just like drinking beer.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for that,Martin,
    I have had a busy week,i went to see the Aussie Floyd on Wednesday in Nottingham and went to the Nottingham beer festival on Friday with my good wife,both were really good.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You heard right,Martin.
        They were top notch,i have loads of Pink Floyd albums and what they did was perfect note for note,they did all of Dark Side of the Moon,a couple from Wish You Were Here, all of Sheep and Dogs from the Animals album and Echoes plus a few more over the whole range of years,earliest was Arnold Lane and the latest from Comfortably Numb.
        Light show was great and it was a sell out.
        If you are into Pink Floyd,Martin,they are well worth watching.

        We tried our hardest to drink it dry,but failed,all but one beer tried was really nice,it was a great beer festival,a shame that it is moving again to the Forest Recreation ground in Hyson Green next year.

        Liked by 1 person

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