Our November tour was to Stalybridge. We arranged to meet at Piccadilly at midday with the intention of catching the 12:17 to Stalybridge. However, Transpennine had other ideas and we arrived on the concourse to find that our train had been cancelled and the next available being the ‘12:47. So to save wasting time the group decamped to the Piccadilly Tap for a ‘quick half’, after all why not? On returning to the station concourse we found another regular Tippler waiting for us so five became six.
Eventually we caught the 12:47 although that was 8 minutes late and off we went. First port of call, obviously, was the Stalybridge Buffet Bar for food & refreshment where at least two of us sampled one of the new cask ales from Cloudwater, the Brown Ale, and very good it was. On leaving the station we discovered that the weather had turned very inclement i.e. it was pouring with rain, so as quickly as we were able, we made our way down Market Street to the White House on Water Street.
This is an interesting Hydes house in the fact that as well as a good range of Hydes beers there were three other guests, Bradfield Brewery Famers Blonde & Belgian Blue along with Ahopcalypse. All the beers sampled were in fine form and were much enjoyed by our group. We also spent some quality time with the pub dog, Rosie, who was very friendly. Back out into the rain and off down Water Street to the Wharf Tavern, our next stop. Unfortunately, as our timings were awry due to the cancelled train, the pub was closed and we had missed the 12 – 2pm lunchtime opening session. So onward, still in the pouring rain, to the Society Rooms, a Wetherspoons establishment, which as is fairly usual for a Spoons, had a reasonable selection of cask ales available and all of the ones tried by our group were in pretty good condition. We also had a very genial conversation with the Manager who had picked up on social media that our group was on tour.
Our final port of call was Bridge Beers. This is where the organisers navigation and map reading skills went out of the window. We walked for fully 10 minutes, still in the rain, to locate this very fine little bar only to discover, as we reached the door that we were in fact less than 50 yards from our previous hostelry! I guess you’d have to call Bridge Beers a micro bar as the arrival of the six of us along with about eight existing customers just about filled the place. All the beers are stillaged on a purpose-built wooden stillage behind the bar and served by gravity. The stillage has room for eight firkins and on our visit three were available. The beers we tried were in such good form that several of us delayed our departure in order to sample yet another one.
So, finally, it was back to the station to catch yet another delayed train to Piccadilly. All in all, apart from the train delays and the inclement weather we had a very good outing and sampled some very good beer.
For anyone interested, we are holding a Tuesday Tipples in December on the 18th when we will be sampling the delights of Wigan. Full timings and itinerary can be found on the Trafford & Hulme website in the diary section.