As alluded to in my previous announcements for forthcoming events in the early part of this year, this will be the first organized event for 2013, plus it will be an event anyone can join in, there are no fees or tickets required. It purely depends on how you want to attend!
A selection of pubs has been drafted up based on their ‘character’ and mainly the range of libations and bottled beers. The focus will be on Cask Ales and where people are not fans of said beer, there will likely be a range of continental German, Belgian or other beers on offer.
This event was run last year with great success, around 15 people attended at some point throughout the proceedings and many pubs were taken in. There are some repeat visits scheduled in the crawl, due to their unerring dedication to providing quality beers to the cause.
The aim is to take in as many of the pubs as we can; it is usually good form to just take in half pints of the beers on offer or small bottles where possible. The event will kick off at 1-2pm in Peter Kavanagh’s Victorian pub on Egerton Street, just off Catherine Street. We will move things along after 45 minutes or so in each pub where possible, but maybe stay for a second if the range of beers requires! There is a list of 22 pubs on our schedule, but we definitely will not have time to take them all in.
I have prepared a map of the event, with the general location of the proposed pubs highlighted in yellow/red and numbered accordingly. The idea will be to make it to at least number 11-12 on the list, but there is scope for switching the route based on consensus on an ad-hoc basis. Various pubs and bars along the way will have food on offer, or at the very least some bar snacks – recommended for health purposes of course!
The link to the map to show the various establishments we intend visiting is here (feel free to download or print this):
The other pubs below the red line in the second column are merely suggestions of other pubs, which have a similar ethos for their beer to those we are visiting. Should people feel exceptionally thirsty, then they can incorporate a visit on the event should they so wish.
Here is a brief run down for the pubs we intend on visiting (at the very least 11 of these):
1. Peter Kavanagh’s Victorian Pub
Located on Egerton Street, the ‘Victorian pub’ was set in 1929 up like many typically northern pubs in that there are quite a few separate rooms in the pub to go and sit once you have retrieved your drinks. There is much character in the pub, with wood panelling and various murals, pictures and mosaics providing decoration. In terms of the drinks, there are a number of hand pumps and decent beers to get things started!
2. The Belvedere
A small gem of a pub which stocks at least 3 hand pulls at any one time, usually more (and most locally sourced from Liverpool Organic, Cains and other notable breweries), with quite a few continental lagers on offer too. The pub is set back off Faulkner Street in the Georgian Quarter of the city, just around the corner from Quarter and HOST. It has a lot of outdoor seating, making it excellent for warm days and stopping for a few decent pints. Hopefully it won’t be too busy when we arrive and there will be enough room inside the two rooms of the pub.
3. Ye Cracke
Taken from the Telegraph Newspaper: “A traditional and atmospheric pub on Liverpool’s Rice Street, Ye Cracke (the “Ye” is pronounced “The”) is most famous for its connection with John Lennon.
The young musician attended the nearby art school in the late Fifties, and spent plenty of time hanging out in the pub’s War Office, a snug at the rear of the building which originally earned its name from regulars discussing British military exploits there. Lennon drank here with his girlfriend Cynthia, later his first wife, and his best friend Stuart Sutcliffe, known as the Fifth Beatle, who died tragically young in 1962.”
The pub usually has a few hand pulled beers and occasionally ciders on offer and a few decent lagers, alas there is not much cause for excitement in terms of bottle delights from the continent. There should be a bit of room as the pub is relatively spacious, depending on the time we arrive!
4. The Fly in the Loaf
Remarkably, other pubs have laid claim to be Liverpool’s ‘flagship’ real ale and beer pub, but in my opinion is quite difficult to see past our fourth port of call on Hardman Street in terms of not only the range of beers on offer, but also the quality. The beers are looked after here, albeit they can be served a little on the cold side. There will be an opportunity to get some decent food in here, since they have started doing platters as well as offering the usual side orders that pubs serving food offer. The range of ciders, ales and continental beers is probably second to none in the city, perhaps only the Ship and Mitre can lay claim to more.
5. The Grapes
A second gem of a pub off the beaten track that is located on the corner of Knight Street and Roscoe Street. Stocking no less than 6 hand pulled ales at any point, with the capacity for 9, they usually stock Liverpool Organic, Peerless and other locally brewed delights amongst the limited bottled continental beers and draught wheat beer on offer. The quality is also excellent in this establishment, although the layout could potentially cause a bit of an issue if it is busy!
6. The Roscoe Head
A pub which was given a bit of a polish a few years ago, but has been consistently in the Good Pub Guide since the conception of the guide in 1974. There is limited room in this pub, but hopefully it will be quiet enough to grab a drink of one of the decent hand pulled ales they usually have on offer. It should be noted that during the Hope Street Feast, these guys usually augment things by holding a very small beer festival of their own out of some units opposite the pub complete with tables and chairs. The beer is usually of great quality, the occasional duff pint has been known, but they’ll change it no problem.
7. The Dispensary
A Cain’s pub located on Renshaw Street that stocks quite a few guest ales; albeit a relatively small establishment. The quality is always up to scratch due to diligent cellaring. This place was too busy to call in last year, but hopefully it’ll be either quiet or a sunny relatively warm day where we can occupy the tables outside! There are some fruit beers and other continental beers on offer as an alternative to the ales.
8. The Beer Inn
A new addition to the list from last year, this relatively new establishment has quickly joined the ranks of pubs offering a vast array of continental beers, with some unusual lagers present on draught to compliment the wide selection of bottles they have. There are also pumps for some hand pulled ales at one end of the bar and they sell Recorderlig on draught for cider drinkers.
They have been known to hold tastings on occasion in the Beer Inn, namely for the Brew Dog range of beers. There should be plenty of room for us here! Anyone fancy sharing some Tactical Nuclear Penguin?
9. The Shipping Forecast
Formerly the two adjacent Irish pubs on Slater Street, Guinan’s and McSorley’s, Shipping is now a mainstay of the Liverpool scene, the basement putting on live music and DJs of an evening. However, the food and beers on offer are excellent.
Guest ales usually number 2-3 from hand pulls, along with some good continental beers on draught from Spain, Belgium and the USA. There are a number of continental and uncommon bottled beers available from the bar and the burgers are possibly the best in Liverpool, good for those who want something to eat along the proceedings – Ruby’s Diner will cater to your hunger.
10. The Brooklyn Mixer
A newcomer to the city, having only opened in very late 2012, the bar stocks mostly US beers in the guise of Goose Island and Brooklyn Brewery wares. There are an array of decent beers on offer and there is a lot of space in this new bar to fit us all in!
11. The Bridewell
A former Jail and police constabulary on Campbell Square/Argyle Street, this pub played host to Charles Dickens and a host of other visitors down the years. Rumour has it that there are some supernatural presences in this atmospheric and unique pub. The Liverpool One Brewery was based out of here in a previous guise and it has had a few different managerial styles in the last few years, the first of which was set up by Paul McCartney’s manager circa 2004 as a bastion of real ale and fine dining. The pub is a little more low key, with Liverpool Organic, Marco Pierre White’s/JW Lees ‘Governor’ ale and Lancaster making up most of the selection. There are a few other beers and fine selection of spirits on offer. There is usually plenty of room and the pub is sadly quite quiet at the best of times, so we should be able to commandeer a cell when we arrive with a little luck!
12. Thomas Rigby’s
Based on Dale Street, this is a decently stocked and comfortable sister pub to the Lady of Mann and to The Fly in the Loaf, having O’Kells as a house beer amongst some other Liverpool Organic (again!), Titanic, Salopian and other great breweries offerings. There are many types of continental beer on offer, both on draught and in bottles. The selection is similar, if slightly more restricted than the Fly in the Loaf, but the quality of the cellaring is nearly as good. There is a courtyard to the rear of the pub, weather permitting, it might be easier getting seats out there, or even heading to the Lady of Mann at the back of the courtyard where they stock many decent continental beers, alas not the same hand pulled ales.
13. The Vernon Arms
Home to a very amusing painting of a typical kicking out time scene in the city in the back room, this pub, (also located on Dale Street) is usually reasonably priced and good for the quality and range of beer they have. They do usually have Johnnie Handsome and Reverend James on as usual ales and there are 6 hand pulls present. There are a few continental and fruit beers on offer at the bar too and there is also usually plenty of room. It can be very comfortable and relaxing when it is slightly quieter. Depending on how time is going and whether people want to eat or miss a few pubs, this could be the final pub before heading off for food or bed or another pub should your constitution feel up to it?
As stated above and as can be seen on the map, there are a few more pubs which are only there as suggestions should we room into capacity problems or anyone has particularly strong feelings about attending somewhere other than the scheduled establishments.
See you all on the 23rd in Kavanagh’s!