Don’t worry, that’s not my IndyMan snap.
You left me on Crewe High Street on Wednesday evening (see how quickly I fall behind on this blog), marvelling at the Beer Dock’s craft.
Still time to call it quits, get the Chinese takeaway, and watch repeats of Reith lectures back at the Travelodge. When you’ve paid £3 for 24 hours WiFi you need to use it.
But it was only 18:29.
“Surely you’re going to the Hop Pole ?” said Pub Curmudgeon.
“Surely you’re going to the Hop Pole ?” said Stafford’s Paul Mudge.
No, I headed for Hops. Somewhere near the church, I think.
It’s a decade since I was last in here, a suitable gap to allow reappraisal, I told myself.
Better than ever, I thought. What I’d remembered as a Belgian beer bar felt very community free house, much in the style of the Cambridge Blue.
It was bustling and buzzy, with family groups upstairs with their well-behaved parents.
My faculties were waning. I read the WhatPub blurb about Orval ambassadorship.
“Do you have Orval ?”
“Yes we do “
“I’ll have the Tom’s then please”
Golly, it was lovely.
Now I headed back to the comfort of Travelodge and noodles via the A532.
Well, how could you walk past the Borough Arms at dusk ?
Only if you were saving it till last, with the lure of Tom’s Taphouse winking at me at the end of the alley.
Yes, I know I’m not normally a fan of industrial estate units with big screens listing keg beers with long names.
But Tom’s have made an effort, as in those Halesowen places, to make it homely, even nicking The Scream from the Louvre to brighten the place up.
And the lady, possibly not Tom, was fantastically friendly.
“Would you like to see the brewery ?”
Perhaps my “Nooooo” was a little overdone.
Their fig stout was rich, silky and vinous. (I nicked that off Duncan’s blog).
A more attentive blogger would have recorded the music and told you whether any of this was KeyKeg. I am not that blogger. Instead I recorded the loos.
Inevitably, I couldn’t walk past the Borough.
They had some fantastic cask ale on, they really did. So why did I go for this ?
I think you know why.