The Hereford Hophead our resident Talking Bull Good Pub Guide Guru, aka Ian Mann, looks ahead to the weekend trip to Chorley in the North-West seeking out the best ales and pubs he can find.
CHORLEY, Saturday, 18th August.
As a football club Chorley is probably best known for dumping Wolves out of the F.A. Cup many years ago. Oh, how we laughed, Simon Wright probably still chortles about Chorley to this day.
What I didn’t appreciate about Chorley, the town, is just what a beer Mecca the place is, it’s been dubbed the ‘micro pub capital of England’ and offers a wide range of beers rarely seen in Herefordshire, other than at Beer on the Wye of course.
Local knowledge comes from Ruth Walkden’s brother in law Dave who recommends the Malt ‘n’ Hops at 50-52 Friday Street, PR6 0AH which is handy for both the bus and rail stations and is an ale house boasting nine handpumps dispensing a range of changing beers, many of them sourced from Lancashire and Yorkshire with Rat, Elland, Ossett, Lancaster and Blackedge breweries frequently represented. Sounds like a must.
Dave also recommends the tiny micro pub the Bob Inn at 24 Market Place, PR7 1DA which is actually housed in a market stall. Outside seats are provided in the market area during the summer and the pub serves three changing beers on handpump plus two real ciders. No food is served but drinkers are welcome to bring their own. This place sounds a real curiosity and well worth a visit.
Another micro is the Toastie Tavern at 111 Market Street, PR7 2SQ which serves four ales and two ciders and has upstairs and downstairs bars, a bit like the Lord Hop in Nuneaton. Dave also mentions that the pub has a food offering, although he’s not specific.
A more comprehensive food menu is available at another of Dave’s recommendations, the Prince of Wales at 14 New Market Street, PR7 1DB, which has recently been refurbished and looks rather pleasant. It sounds like basic pub grub, for which reviews are generally favourable. Not in the GBG though so I have no specific beer information.
Other Chorley pubs include the Crown Inn at 46-48 Chapel Street which serves a house beer brewed by the Fuzzy Duck brewery of Poulton-le Fylde plus three changing guests, mainly sourced from small local breweries such as Cross Bay, Lancaster and Reedley Hallows. There are two real ciders too, but no food. The pub is owned the same people as the Toastie Tavern and sounds well worth a visit.
The Potters Arms at 42 Brooke Street, PR7 3BY was formerly called the Oddfellows but is now named after the current owners. It’s a small, multi-roomed pub that serves two regular beers, Black Sheep Bitter and the intriguingly named Three B’s Doff Cocker plus one guest. Essentially a drinker’s pub its sole food offering appears to be chip butties. When in Lancashire…
Shepherd’s Hall Ale House at 67 Chapel Street, PR7 1BS is another micro pub, Chorley’s first. Opened in 2014 this former florist’s shop features fittings from other closed pubs in the town. The pub serves five real ales on handpump, sourced from around the country but usually involving a couple of local offerings. Three real ciders are available too. Food is restricted to pies and pickled eggs, which sounds just fine to me. In a town in which the drinker is rather spoilt for choice this is another place that sounds essential.
And if all that’s not enough for you there’s a Wetherspoons, the Sir Henry Tate, situated next to Booth’s supermarket on New Market Street.
Anybody for a weekender in Chorley?