That’s supposed to rhyme, by the way.
Finally in Altrincham, and just to prove we do visit pubs that aren’t in the Beer Guide, we visited Sam Smiths’ Malt Shovels.
Mainly because it gave us an excuse to admire the Alty treasure that is the “Informed Solutions of Manchester” HQ.
And the equally wonderful duo of the Orange Tree and Market Tavern.
Now the Malt Shovels isn’t in the Beer Guide, but then it just serves the one cask beer. As Paul Bailey notes here, family owned pubs with one or two hand pumps in the GBG are the rarity nowadays.
I’ll never criticise the local CAMRA volunteers who visit their pubs week in, week out, and pick them for the Guide on the basis of beer quality.
But if in Alty, you must come here.
If only to hear the sort of
sweary banter you won’t hear in an any of the Beer Guide entries. I’d always assume the Shovels was a United stronghold, but there were more City fans discussing Bendy Mendy, David James and the derby.
As Mrs RM noted, a bit too loudly, “men moaning like middle-aged women about a pig’s bladder”.
Don’t get me wrong, an Alty Sam Smiths isn’t a Salford Sam Smiths, But it’s still a bastion of male drinking. And they still say “And yer own“.
I wonder what Mrs RM makes of Sam Smiths.
Like the Malt Shovels, many of them are gorgeous,
the regulars and staff are polite and cheery, with a strict “No Swearing” policy,
and the beer is cool (and cheap).
To be honest, the OBB had that slightly sour taste you sometimes get with Sam’s, and Mrs RM’s “India Ale” was, as always, the better beer. So maybe local CAMRA are spot-on.
Unlike micro pubs, here you can go and hide in a side room if you take offence at someone being rude about Jeremy Corbyn or whatever. But Mrs RM was enjoying the (unrepeatable) conversations at the bar even more than I was.
Despite some concerns about his managerial style, I’m a great admirer of Humphrey’s pubs.
You won’t get finer entertainment for less than a fiver in Alty, that’s for certain.