For some time the Rum Porter brewed by Boggart Hole Clough Brewery had been a popular choice at the Vernon Arms on Dale Street. Unfortunately the brewery ceased trading, so the beer is no longer available. To breach the gap a new house beer has been commissioned from the Stamps Brewery, Rhum Noir, 4.6%. This joins the pub’s first house beer on tap, Johnny Handsome brewed by Liverpool Organic.
Yates at Queens Square reopened after being refurbished. There are still four hand pumps here, two with national brands and two from breweries such as Titanic.
While visiting Hard Times & Misery I noticed that the Hope & Anchor on Maryland Street has not had any cask beer available recently, just craft keg and bottles. Hopefully the real ale will return with the students.
Frank's on Smithdown Road now has a third hand pump fitted and there are now usually two beers on tap. Marston's Wainwright has been joined by Liverpool Organic 24 Carat.
Not far away, the Willow Bank, has been refurbished and now has been painted and signed in the green colours of latest owner Greene King. Up to ten cask beers can be available at the busiest times. The brewery's own beers, including house beer Salix, and one from Castle Rock are regularly available. Guest beers tend to be from the more established breweries.
After the coach trip to Derby, I changed buses on Allerton Road, using the bus stop outside the Blackburne Eatery. There was just enough time to go inside to sup a glass of Rock the Boat Mussel Wreck. It was good to see real ale back on here after dispense problems have been sorted.
The Hare & Hounds in West Derby village has had six hand pulls installed. Currently Greene King IPA and Bombardier are available.
Liverpool now has another brew pub. Love & Rockets on Lark Lane have set up a small craft brewery on the premises producing keg beers. On my visit two beers were on tap, Carmen American IPA, 4.3%, and Satch, a 4.0% Export Pilsner. Two other brews are in their range, Gil Craft, 4.1%, and Doralis 4.3%.
The pub continues to sell cask beer, with Big Bog beers from Speke on the hand pumps on my last visit.
Perhaps sister pub, The Esperanza on Hope Street, which calls itself a brew pub, may also start brewing.
The Lord Warden on London Road has stopped selling Rock the Boat beers. Unfortunately sales never took off and some beer was being regularly poured away. Why can such a pub not be able to support real ale?
Two city centre pubs have closed for refurbishment. First is the Grapes Roscoe / Knight Streets, which is receiving its long planned improvements.
The second is the Yates's at Queens Square. The new image is as Yates, perhaps to further distance the modern eating pub from the earlier wine lodges. The pub is due to reopen mid-August.
Another pub being refurbished is the Horse & Jockey on Waddicar Lane in Melling. New publican here, Adam, has been in touch and informs us that real ale will be available when it reopens towards the end of August. Hopefully Adam’s deal with Enterprise Inns will allow him to offer some interesting beers.
A new outlet for real ale in Maghull is Bar du Fay, at 96 Liverpool Road South, which is on the 300 bus route from Liverpool to Southport. There is one beer engine that normally dispenses a beer from the Stamps Brewery. However, when correspondent Sean visited the beer was not on. Perhaps the beer is only available on busier days. People calling in here can afterwards catch the 300 bus up to Lydiate and visit the Scotch Piper.
I noticed that the Laburnum on Litherland Road Bootle is being offered for lease by Admiral Taverns. This pub has hand pumps and I seem to remember Deuchars IPA being sold here in the past, but there has been no real ale recently. Perhaps a new publican might try selling cask beer here again. The Jawbone along the road makes it work.
It is outside our area, but I decided to mention a new micro pub, as it is so easy to get to. The Beer Station at Freshfield is right next to the station. It is open each day, from 3.00pm on weekdays and midday at weekends.
There are three hand pumps, two of which dispense beers from the local Red Star Brewery. The other will normally be a beer from another local brewery.
There are also three keg taps that currently serve products from the Freedom Brewery, including their version of a Kolsch.
Real cider is planned, but meanwhile there are bottles from Rosies and Aspinalls.
A selection of wines and spirits mean there is something for all people to drink.