There you go, a literal title perfectly evidenced by the photo.  Don’t see that very often.

Hands up who can place Westhoughton on the map ?


Feels like a Wigan town, but it’s very Bolton (Francis Lee was born there), and there’s no way you’ll forget you’ve just left the South.

Holt pub, mobility scooter, red brick.  The full set.

Lack of people a concern

I was only here two years ago, for breakfast, but I still made sure the pretty cottage in Victoria Street hadn’t been converted into a micro pub.

Not yet
Ah !

And I took a peek in the indoor market for artisan sourdough, without success.

Cheaper than Borough

But it’s on the up, even if the only pedestrian traffic is older than me (and that’s old).

This is the mushroom chocolate on offer in the Provenance restaurant.  Take that, Hackney Wick.

Photo_: Trip Advisor


The Beer School was here in late 2016, so I should have done it then.

A trad beer shop

But then I wouldn’t have had the Cloudwater on cask that they’re proudly serving.


I was bit surprised to see it in a Lancashire market town, being brutally honest. But then Cloudwater have picked the outlets they trust to serve it and sell it.  When you charge premium prices you need to know that most pints of your beer will win the cask lottery, not just the thirds you flog near Piccadilly.

The barman was effusive in his enthusiasm, and the Brown Ale was certainly beautifully presented; a cool, rich NBSS 3.5+.

One for Mr Coldwell, and far more a craft bar in the style of Bridport or Sheffield than a Sidcup micro.


A micro pub decked out to look like a school” says WhatPub, putting BRAPA and me off immediately, but it’s not that naff.

High tables, though

Not the seating of my dreams, but the chat at the bar was great, and only interrupted when the Cloudwater Command Control turned up in their van to carry out a cask audit.

I’m sure they passed.




  1. I might have been tempted by the Northern Whisper Blighty first. I was very impressed with their take on an English Bitter, it’s Bitter but Better. I know you and many of your followers view your pints through rear facing brown tinted spectacles with traditional boring frames, but surely things must progress and that’s what Northern Whisper have done here. It’s the sort of beer you could drink all afternoon, but which is still interesting on the palate, sat in the pub by the fire with a group of friends – no need to sprint to the next pub.

    Yes of course I would have had the Cloudwater too.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No need to draw the line, many of the stouts brewed by these old time regional brewers you favour had lactose in them, the coffee flavours can be created through clever use of malts and what if they put brewed coffee in? I’ve heard many a Dinosaur wax lyrical over Titanic Plum Porter and that’s chock full of Plum concentrate. No need to draw a line, just widen the horizons – the earth is curved and turns, eventually you come round the other side.


      2. Dinosaur or not, I don’t like Titanic’s Plum Porter but I do like their Plum Porter Grand Reserve – but it wouldn’t do for us all to like the same beer.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. “the sort of beer you could drink all afternoon, but which is still interesting on the palate” – so a bit like Donnington BB ?


  2. I see I commented on your previous Westhoughton post. To clarify, this town has the best Spoons in the area (better than Leigh’s, Bolton’s and all the ones in Manchester).

    Was the guy in the CW van a tall white haired chap, please go on with details of the audit.

    Its odd but I’ve not visited Beer School for a few months, never recall them actually having CW on before but they will have “earned it” as it is a very good place, a more proper micro than all the distressed industrial nonsense that pops up everywhere now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Spoons was good on previous visits; of course it gets squeezed out of the Guide as soon as a beer bar comes along. I didn’t stay to admire the Cloudwater beards; the van was dropping off another cask. Barman was chatty but I didn’t ask whether they do cellar inspections with a checklist, assume it’s more of a taste test and personal interview.


      1. It is a confident micro such as Beer School that stores its casks outside (when its cold) and orders as required in the summer as they have no cold store and the beer in maintained via intercools and jackets (like a beer festival). Were the multiple representatives of CW or just the one?


      2. Ah, then I think it is just the dray man, how much testing he can do when he has to drive and meet delivery times is questionable. Having said that, time was when CW never actually delivered if you were local enough.

        Local CW outlets would be Firkin in Newton-Le-Willows other than the ones in Manchester (Brink, Smithfield, etc).

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I suspect you’re right; I think the “audit” is separate from deliveries. I’d be interested to see some beer scores (NBSS ) for Cloudwater since the relaunch, but I doubt Cloudwater drinkers care much about NBSS.

        The Firkin makes sense, had good beer there.


      4. You’ll probably have to refer to Untappd for CW scores, but that would be pointless as there is no real baseline to compare each score to. Likewise R(h)ate Beer. Though I’m sure you didn’t mean to imply that CW drinkers are a separate beast to any other type of drinker; craft, real, cask or otherwise.

        “On the wild plains of craft land we see a herd of Cloudwater drinkers, known to roam in packs like zombies, following tweets about locations for the next brand new release”

        Liked by 1 person

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