Another few MM ticks. (Mild Magic 2012 is of course Stockport and Manchester CAMRA’s annual effort to promote mild, and here’s the map.)
Oddest in Chorlton were on a Titanic kick when I visited, rather to my surprise; when I asked for a sticker the barman offered me one of these. I never really know where I am with Oddest – they know their beer, but I always feel as if I really ought to be (a) in a group and (b) ordering food. I had a half of Phoenix Monkeytown Mild: a nice beer, in good nick. (The Maiden Voyage was good, too.)
Also in Chorlton, the Beech regularly serves a very nice pint of Timothy Taylor’s Golden Best – a rare example these days of a light mild making its way as a session beer. When I was in nobody knew about the stickers, which is a first this time round; the landlord wasn’t in, though, which is a partial excuse. Round the corner, the Horse and Jockey had no mild on when I called, but the landlady offered me a sticker with my Black Widow (their own cask stout, and very nice too).
When it comes to the fourth Chorlton pub, the Sedge Lynn, my notes fail me, which isn’t that surprising as they aren’t actually written down. It was mild. It was dark. It was in good nick. The pub itself… well, it serves a good range of cask ales, in good condition and at low prices, and the service is friendly and prompt. (It’s a Spoons, IOW.) It’s not so good on the other things you might want from a pub, but what it does do well isn’t nothing.
Sand Bar in the university area usually has Black Cat on, but I’m pretty sure it was there that I had Bank Top Dark Mild, which was terrific. I’ve been a bit grudging about that brewery in the past, but this was a very nice beer indeed with a real depth of flavour. Nice one, Sand Bar. Unless I had it somewhere else, in which case, never mind.
Update: another day, I ‘did’ Didsbury, starting in Rusholme. The Ford Madox Brown was serving Acorn Darkness; the same brewery’s alternative mild Lightness was ‘Coming Soon’. Shame – Darkness was good, but a light mild would have been a nice change. The next JDW’s I went into was the Milson Rhodes in Didsbury: Conwy Mulberry Dark. Mmm, Conwy. And what crawl would be complete without yet another half of Hyde’s 1863, this time at the Fletcher Moss. This was a real case of “nice pub, shame about the beer” – the FM looks like a really excellent pub, from the architecture to the decor to the regular clientele (any pub with a permanent charity book sale is a pub that’s doing something right). But I don’t think I’ll ever get a taste for 1863.
Next: Sale, Altrincham and the town centre.