Sunday, 8 July 2012

Pied Bull Beer Festival

[Update at end of post]

Here's a map to guide you from station to pub and back:

Just to prove that the Crewe Beer Blog does get out and about from time to time, here’s the first in a series of En Tour posts, where we visit pubs and beer events around the country. This festival began on April 19, as the Pied Bull Inn, a classic Chester pub and the Number One pick of the Chester Beer Project (by a short head from the equally excellent Cellar Bar) offered a huge selection of beers.

There was also food provided (the spicy sausages were particularly memorable) and a good time was had by all. The Pied Bull also brews its own beers, and had produced two of its own for the evening, one for the Chester Beer Appreciation Society (CBAS), and another for the Chester Beer Project (CBP). To round it all off, there was a Meet The Brewer event as well.

What to tell? The CBAS brew, Sauvin Black, was not universally appreciated, although I liked it. It was reminiscent of a number of continental dark beers, although perhaps there was a bit too much going on in there for one to want to quaff more than one or two at a time. The CBP Number 1 Acerbic Ale was much more straightforward, a real session ale and deservedly popular.

Amidst the crush – these events really are popular – I remember also sampling Marble Bitter from the brewery of the same name in Manchester, which was also very pleasant drinking. And, having brought news that I had made a start on reviewing all the pubs in Crewe, there was general agreement that this process should continue. I concurred with very little reluctance.

Here was clear evidence – as if anyone needs to have it provided – that cask beer can draw in the punters. There were some of the more nerdy persuasion present, as with anything that brings out the enthusiast in people, but many just wanted to have a different evening out and discover new beers. Fortunately, with so many craft and microbreweries opening up, that process looks well nigh inexhaustible.

Travel? This is straightforward from Crewe, as there is a good train service, and the journey takes no more than 25 minutes. I had to remember to start my walk back to the station in order to catch the last train of the evening, which leaves at a shade after 2300 hours. A word of warning here: these trains tend to depart on time, and that means they don’t wait for anyone who turns up late.

The Pied Bull is one of several pubs in Chester recommended by the CBP: you can see the top ten covered in two blog posts HERE and HERE. The Crewe Beer Blog reviews of locals actually in Crewe will resume after a short intermission. Honest.

[UPDATE 9 July 1850 hours: Andy at CBAS has been in touch to say that there is a successor ale to the Sauvin Black which may still be available at the Pied Bull. He describes it as "Reddish colour, better balanced with stack loads more hops with a lovely bitter finish". If only he'd let us know what it's called. If in the area, check at the bar. They're moderately agreeable people]

1 comment:

Luke PB said...

Twissup ale went down very well. If your in Chester this saturday it will almost certainly be on the bar if not...sat on a stillage waiting to come on, staff will happily do cellar runs for you and you may see it soon in a keg format at the Kash tap rooms by the station. Let me know if you are in the area thanks. Luke