I’d decided to take the bus from Lancaster to Heysham for my ferry, so it was important, nay IMPERATIVE I didn’t go to another pub before boarding the bus. Any of you over the age of 30 will know the significance of buses and bladders.

So I just walked through town, did the tourist shot,

noted that the terrifying Cornerhouse had no cask (or I’d have been sorely tempted), and went to stand at the bus stop for 20 minutes. You know, the one opposite The Bobbin.

Well, who can resist a pub called The Bobbin ? The blog title potential is Premier League (and I don’t mean Man Utd levels).

I had no recollection of it from 20 years ago, but knew it wasn’t one of Lancaster’s Guide entries called “Cornerworks” or “Polly & Peter” or “Norovirus Nook” or whatever.

Just classic town boozer with weird features, a sort of student bar (think : Manchester’s Salisbury) for adults, with a touch of Wigan’s Anvil thrown in.

“What should I have ?” I ask the barperson, staring at a bank of pumps (top) with names that aren’t “Bitter” or “Mild” or “Bass”.

That one’s very malty, she says, pointing at the Cunning Stunt.

That’ll do” I say. It’s great when someone doesn’t say “Depends do you like“.

She does say “Do you have a CAMRA card ?”.

I’d like to deny them, or apologise for being a life member, but I slip up and flash the gold card.

I’ve no idea what difference that makes, possibly it’s logged on a computer in St Albans or something.

Anyway, the Cunning Stunt, handwritten label and all, IS malty, and cool and doing well on a Monday (3.5).

It’s a great pub, loads of locals having a laugh, playing pool, feeding a jukebox (I presume) that lurches from Lionel (Richie) to Led (Zeppelin).

Cheery folk, too, directing me away from the Ladies to the Gents, where classic tiling awaits.

I stay to the end of the Zep deep cut, which gives me 30 seconds to dash for the bus. Don’t follow my lead, kids.


      1. She must. And it has gotten so easy for staff to just say “hops” that you don’t get much variation in what staff will tell you. I’ve been pondering my impressions from our recent visit to the UK. Some things, small sample size, that struck me:
        1 The regional and national brewers do bitters better than craft brewers. Harveys, St Austell and Gadds for example. I had some really bad bitters from smaller brewers.
        2 The English have an IPA style that really tastes great. Proper Job is an example. Not overly hopped and really well balanced. I’d love to see more of these in the US.
        3 The pale ales I had were really mediocre. Incredibly thin beers.
        4 Shepherd Neame was better than I remembered. Spitfire and Master Brew. I hated the Whitstable Bay.
        5 English pubs are terrific. You really can’t say enough good things about them.
        6 I heard this was a beer blog.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. I normally ban beer talk on here but those are incredibly sensible and insightful observations, Dave.

        Just to be clear it wasn’t me who asked for the tasting notes !

        Where did you see Proper Job ? Saw loads in Devon and Cornwall, but also my last West Wales pub. It’s lovely if served cool.

        Regarding Shepherd Neame, I certainly found their beers good in Faversham. One of my Top 5 pints was Spitfire in an East London Spoons years ago.

        And yes, pubs are great. Nearly all of them.


      3. Your 3 – I think a lot of modern UK brewers see the pale ale as an opportunity to showcase the hops, so they use a disappearing or recalcitrant malt. Hence Martin’s server at the Bobbin differentiating the beer by referencing the malt. Top bit of customer service.

        Your 5 – You are correct, of course.

        Your 6 – I’m not sure it’s a beer blog, but if you like to think so I’m not going to argue.


      4. I saw Proper Job in Ramsgate, but I can’t remember exactly which pub. The spoons there had serveral IPAs in the same style which I also thought really good.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I genuinely don’t know if malt is an ingredient in beer. And do all beers have hops ? Never asked. It’s 99% water isn’t it, and something called “alcohol”. I went to a couple of brewery tours and that’s all I remember.

        Liked by 1 person

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