I’m back home from End of the Road, came home early and missed Jarvis Cocker (not) singing about being in a big field
in near Wiltshire.
And the new Beer Guide’s arrived, embargoed until publication day on the 12th.
That gives me a whole ten days for cross-ticking (see : BRAPA) and to get up-to-date with posts.
Where else to start than Great Harwood, the nervous younger cousin of Accrington.
Here is Great Harwood in 2011.
I presume Public Domain means I can’t be sued by the relatives of the folk in the photo.
And here’s Great Harwood in 2019.
I fancied some authentic Hyndburn cuisine, so I typed restaurant into Google Maps.
Entirely takeaways. No Goosnargh duck in a gastropub, no pizza in Spoons, not even a Sunday lunch Indian buffet.
And all the takeaways were closed. As for the Palatine Café…
While I waited for the micropub to open (obvs) I couldn’t resist the call of the Vic.
The Victoria is one of those Heritage pubs that has fallen down the GBG pecking order in the last decade, a bit like the New Beehive.
WhatPub claims it has many beers, i.e. far too many. You don’t visit for the cask.
I had a can of coke, got stared at by the gent in the Public as I left the Gents (possibly), and admired a pub thriving on local custom.
Harder to judge a micro at opening time, of course.
The 1B Tap is the exact opposite of the Vic, offering a Gin Palace, candles on the table, light jazz (is there hard jazz ?), and that real ale choice that guarantees GBG selection.
I could have been in Ainsdale, or Knowle, or Wilmslow.
At the bar, the Landlord looks at me expectantly, waiting for me to tell him what I want.
Four handpumps with beers I’ve never heard of. How are you supposed to choose ?
Then I remember Fernandes aren’t bad (are they ?), and have their beer, which isn’t called Bitter or Mild or even Amber.
It’s really good beer, NBSS 3+ first out the pumps. But the experience is as soulless as Paul Weller’s version of “What’s Going On” and I feel a bit left out of the conversation at the bar. Reader, I NEVER stand at the bar.
Anyway, deserving GBG entry, credit to the town, brings much needed choice etc etc etc