One other highlight of my latest Manchester trip was a brief reaquaintance with Holts, staying within sight of their brewery in Cheetham and visting what is probably their flagship pub in the Shambles area. When I first visited Manchester, for pubs rather than music, Holts seemed to me to symbolise the city even more than Boddies. … Continue reading HOLTS


I can’t say IndyManBeerCon was on my bucket list, but being up in the city anyway I could put it off no longer.  I loved it, but probably not for the usual reasons. I’d have gone just for the food (startlingly spicy pizza), music and architecture, which made it pretty similar to the End of the Road festival… Continue reading INDY MAN


I’m a big fan of Essex.  It rarely gets mentioned as a holiday destination, other than in an ironic way (Southend) or as a cheaper North Norfolk for Guardian readers (Burnham-on-Crouch).  But the coastal towns are fantastic, the marshy areas near Heybridge great for walking, the pubs consistently good and authentically pubby. Most people struggle… Continue reading UNDISCOVERED ESTUARY ESSEX