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.

Gt Harwood

Here is Great Harwood in 2011.

By Not attributed – Postcard ‘Valentine’s Series’ 50543 JK. Posted Feb 19th 1911. Scanned by JP Brettle,, Public Domain,

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.

Spot the micro
Busy town square
Genuine northern cobbles

I fancied some authentic Hyndburn cuisine, so I typed restaurant into Google Maps.

Gt Harwood 2

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…

Chippy Bob’s R.I.P.

While I waited for the micropub to open (obvs) I couldn’t resist the call of the Vic.

A legend

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.

Handsome frontage to the 1B Tap

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.

Pretend fire
Gin comes (back) to Great Harwood

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



  1. Have you been to Bear Claw micro brewery yet in Tweedmouth. Ricky the brewer opens for a tap night on the 1st Wednesday in the month 12-11pm. Worthy of the investment of time and money. Over the river in Berwick is the Cerfew micro pub, also worthy.


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