13th February 2023.

I see a number of folk on CAMRA Discourse moaning about pubs in Burton-upon-Trent not being open till 4pm or gone last week, despite the Winter Beer Festival being one.

I’m afraid that’s the way of the world folks, 4pm openers are the norm, and you’re lucky if your chosen micro opens at all before Thursday.

With our gig at 7:30, an attempt to complete the Mancunian GBG entries that Monday was always bound to fail, so I settled on a lone tick at Rustic in Altrincham,

and then attempted to sell it as an exciting trip to a 23 year old who’s spending a day a month in Leigh.

Look at the exhilarating contrast between old and new architecture“.

and there, James, a tremendous example of a revamped department store“.

No, well, Spoons it is then.

Actually, just a coffee, and a chance for me to tell James for the third time about that time I fell asleep on the tram between the Manchester Beer Festival and Alty as it went backwards and forwards before I woke up at the Unicorn.

I had a vague idea of doing an ambitious walk around the green bits of Altrincham, but actually Dunham Massey is a fair way out,

and the town itself is a fairly built up dorm town. So let’s get the new GBG tick out of the way,

a rectangular bar with Vocation on keg,

and Vocation on cask (and Brightside).

It was happy hour, to the unbridled delight of two blokes arriving on the dot of 5pm, and that’s the best thing I can say about it.

The Cure on the jukebox, typically Cheshire tasting NBSS 3 beer, nothing of note.

In fact, after a big build up where I’d explained how this was a boom town due to the revitalising effect of the indoor market, Alty fell a bit flat.

Mainly because it was Monday, so the market was closed and the foodies had stayed away.

It’s still not a bad town, the market square is gorgeous, and I’m sure James would have appreciated the Malt Shovels but I can’t be bothered going in a Sam Smiths with their mobile phone ban, and the advert for Stockport (10 minutes away !) was taunting me. Proximity to Stocky is surely Alty’s biggest selling point.

We got off the tram just past Old Trafford at Cornbrook, on the basis I had no idea what Cornbrook was. In essence, a vast complex of high rise flats just east of Castlefield, with a motley collection of pubs;

There’s something lovely about walking alongside Manchester’s canals at dusk; I recommend it.

And I particularly recommend the loos at Brunning & Price’s Wharf, though of course you won’t be able to afford a pint there (and to be honest it was packed).

Come back in 2 years time and that boat will be a floating micro, I betcha.

Anyway, gorgeous evening, weird gig at the Ritz, where James was the youngest and I the oldest gig goer for Weyes Blood. But that’s the way we like it.


  1. I pray that my children will indulge me like poor James when they’re older. Ond a daytrip to Bristol this week without a responsible adult (their mother) my 9-year-old wouldn’t let me even have a half in a cafe* in case I missed our station stop on our way home. I just hope she doesn’t read this blog and sees your tram story.

    *Mud Dock Cafe, which has Bristol Beer Factory and Wiper and True beers on tap, despite WhatPub claiming they only sell bottles. Tut tut.


      1. I didn’t make it to the bar as it was table service for food, but certain beers on the menu we’re sold as pints and halves, and Untappd seems to confirm they’re on draft, so I’m fairly sure I’m not talking nonsense! Obviously there are plenty of better beer destinations nearby (I’m stupidly not a regular visitor to the city) but the food was decent, it’s a nice venue and had lovely staff.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve managed the same in the King William in Bristol. It has lots of nooks and crannies where you can lurk with your phone. Mad that you have to do that though.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t hold your breath, assuming it even exists, we’re hanging on to the “levelling up” money, here in the south! 😊


  2. Anyone more cynical than me might suggest that those moaning about pubs not being open till 4pm would only ever use a pub before 4pm as a substitute for a beer festival that they couldn’t get in to. A bit like those ‘once a year’ pub goers who moan about not getting a seat on New Year’s Eve.


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