Now, I’m not saying that I was determined to spend £26.40 on beer and food in Congleton because that’s what my rail ticket cost, but I was definitely looking for something to take home.

I even picked up the local paper, before leaving it on Platform 2 in Stockport.

Three more pub revisits to report on, though for the life of me I couldn’t remember Barley Hops, but then I have visited 373 modern shop conversion bars in the last year alone, half of them in Knutsford.

The downside is the seating (let’s overlook that ceiling);

the upside was a superb Torrside “I Am Not Spartacus“,

and an eclectic soundtrack that went from “Rock the Boat” by Forrest to this classic cover of Eminem’s “My Name Is”.

I had to dodge several attractive looking pubs selling Bass, Joules and Beartown to get to my next craft bar.

I can’t remember being that impressed by the Young Pretender 6 years ago, just another of those polite modern bars for polite pashminas.

But that’s why occasionally doing these revisits is worthwhile.

Light and airy, excellent Marble Stout, an acid house version of “Mad World”, and a group of ladies moving from flat whites (“Oh no I’ve had TOO much coffee !”) to lime cordial. I hope Tom Irvin doesn’t ask how much the lime cordial cost.

“It’s pleasant” I noted. There’s not enough “pleasantness” in 2022.

I finished in Beartown’s Tap, seemingly back in the Guide for the first time since Twitter was invented and pleasantness outlawed.

A lovely mixed crowd, not especially beery, which suits me fine.

You don’t see much Beartown anywhere these days, and I hadn’t a clue what to order (though obviously the strongest one is the rule, but the ABVs are too small to read).

Which one goes quickest ?” I asked.

The Literate” he says, quick as a shot. “Done“.

Actually, the Skinful“. “That one, then

It was great, NBSS 3.5+ stuff, and Mudgie would have enjoyed “We Built This City”, if not the Stereophonics. If the Old Codgers come here, we can play Hook “A” Bear.

And that was Congleton. Lovely people, excellent beer, a lot of dogs.

I fell asleep on the train home, waking up on “Welcome to Sheffield“.

Time to steal Greg Swindells table in Brew Dog,

where this time I got that pizza I’d been denied the night before.

And whatever was in that glass was a very bad idea.


  1. There’s a reason you can’t remember BarleyHops (sic), it only moved to the High St last summer. It used to be on the corner at the top of Swan Bank opposite the Lion & Swan, it was a bottle shop that came to realise that the money was in doing draught. It’s one of the original Cheshire micros, it opened in 2013 when half of Knutsford was still brunette…

    I’ve always liked the Pretender (except the toilets and out the back), it helps that it’s a lot bigger than the average shop conversion so it has “corners” to it. But I still think of it as Dean’s, where I got my first bike…

    Literate would be my choice out of those, although normally you’d expect Cheshire to be drinking Kodiak, it’s very much on the pale side of the Boddies/Midland-dark divide. But the correct question is “Where’s the cask Wojtek?”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Never studied the habits of the early Catholic Church then? I thought of you when it mentioned you have to “don a medieval outfit”, which seems to be your norm.
        If necessary, you’d also be able to provide your own jester at relatively short notice.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s