I’ve just heard that the Stockport CAMRA Pub of the Year is the Blue Bell, a Sam Smiths house in Levenshulme. This fills me with joy.
Elselwhere, micro pubs and brewery taps mop up the awards, and the bulk of the GBG attention, including yet another Micro Pub in Bramhall.
Bramhall is as posh as Stockport gets, apart from Mudgie Mansions. It must be posh; it’s mere minutes away from Wythenshawe.
I’d never been before, though I used to work with a lad from Bramhall who could only identify the Ladybrook as a proper pub. That one is a Greene King place selling Tetley, Wainwright, and Bombardier. Plus the usual seven guests no–one wants.
In Bramhall itself, apart from from GBG newbie the Mounting Stone, there’s just a food-led Lee’s pub and a keg café recently bullied into selling a lone local beer.
No doubt Bramhall Hall serves Old Tom on gravity, but I wasn’t paying the £5 to go in.
Bramhall Hall Park was full of dog walkers on the first Saturday of 2018. It’s a New Year tradition. Some folk made it all the way from the car park to the café.
I walked back into town through Carr Wood, diverting to make sure I saw some authentic Cheshire on the way. It’s good to see there’s still employment for the thatchers.
I’m no fan of flashy pubs, and the Mounting Stone is no flashy pub. Mind you, Bramhall central is an unflashy suburb, and that’s being kind.
Not an obvious place for a micro, Bramhall. But enough elderly gentlefolk ignoring Dryanuary to keep a micro open in January, a feat in itself.
Being Bramhall, a few miles from the airport, I got banter about airplane crashes. Why do folk think this is acceptable material for conversation. Stick to Mrs Brown’s Boys and Romelu Lukaku, lads.
But the beer was terrific. It could have been a Bollington pub, with a Bollington range and a Bollington glass, which is fine by me. The Best was a solid NBSS 3.5, pulled through to within an inch of its life.
Plenty of space upstairs, even more downstairs (where you could spy on the drinkers above). As is mandatory for a micropub, there is Jenga and Scrabble. I resist the lure of both.
I can’t see the gentlefolk in the Stone making much use of the games either, but then I can’t imagine where they’d drink if they didn’t have the Mounting Stone. Not every bit of South Manchester can have a Sam Smith’s to fall back on.