7th February 2020
Another day, another county falls to the retiredmartin surge, a surge which is this week being foiled by Storm Darren or whatever it’s called.
You left me waving goodbye to Stafford Paul as I caught the 13:24 from Congleton to Stoke, expertly timing my dash to a 2pm opener (at worst) to complete #StaffsGBG20.
I emerged, blinking into the car park backing on to the A52, an area resplendent with abandoned Bass cans (they still abandon Greenalls cans in Cheshire).
And began the Hartshill Mile (aka the Draught Bass way) so beautifully described by LifeAfterFootball.
You might think that the discussions on the influential Beer & Pubs Forum are mainly about “cob v bap” or “what’s a Proper Pub, then“. In reality it’s me being a prat and chiding Sexagenarians (there’s nothing sexy about it) for not wanting to walk obscene distances between pubs like BRAPA and I do on our days out.
In fairness, you wouldn’t choose to walk the two miles along the busy A52 from Stoke to Newcastle-under-Lyme in snow or hail, though I’ve done just that before.
Pause halfway to admire the Holy Trinity,
I’d done my homework on the Artisan;
1) The Beer Guide says it it opens at 1pm, but we never believe that, do we Si ?
2) WhatPub also says 1pm, which makes sense given the other opening times.
Note there’s no social media or website listed to check.
3) The actual sign on the actual door (well done) says 1pm.
4) Google Maps says 2pm, oddly, but that’s OK, it’s now 2.02.
4) And finally Trip Advisor, which as we know is TOTALLY reliable, reassures me it’s Open Now.
It patently isn’t, you know.
Never mind, eh, it’s all a game, there are many dimensions, “time” is an abstract construct and I’m out walking in Stoke while you sit at a computer so I mustn’t grumble.
But I do. I could’ve spent more time with Paul in Congleton.
I contemplate the Bass next door,
but exercise discipline and cross the border (you can almost hear the celestial fanfare) into Newcastle-under-Lyme (NuL to its mates, of whom there are many).
Just a flat white and a phone recharge in Caffe Nero, always a bad idea after beer, folks.
And then back to the Artisan, which has just opened.
It’s very quirky and rambling, a bit like Roots in Kimberley which caused me grief before coming up trumps last year.
Lovely place, eclectic music,
and a rich Arbor Stout (NBSS 3) to finish.
As I must stress, an excellent pub, micro or whatever. But…
“Are the hours on the door right ?” I ask, in innocence.
“Where do I find the correct hours ?”
But I don’t use Facebook, and there’s no Facebook link on WhatPub. Everchanging opening hours are the enemy of the #PubMan.