Real Ale Appreciation Group
|Summary||Monthly meetings, days and times to vary|
|Venue||Breweries, unique pubs and beer festivals|
|Contact||Lawrence Devaney - Telephone details are in the paper/email copy of the newsletter|
|firstname.lastname@example.org with 'Real Ale Appreciation' as the subject|
The primary aim of this group is to expand members knowledge of the brewing process through visits and talks; to investigate the spectacular growth in micro pubs/breweries; to experience the phenomenal range of beer products and to have the opportunity to socialise with like-minded members. Short to medium term our Group visits breweries, unique pubs, and beer festivals on a monthly basis that are accessible with local public transport. However, long term aspirations cover visits to further afield aided by commercial coach operators. This is an all-inclusive group and so any Bramhall U3A member will be very welcome to join.
November - Torrside Brewing Company, Newmills
Earlier in the month I gave members a ‘heads up’ on our November activity and promised more details to follow. This trip is slightly different as we will be participating in an ‘open’ brewery tap event where you will be able to sample Torrside Brewing Companies own beers and a few guest ones. The date for your diaries is the 10th November, I know that this date is earlier than normal and yes, it’s a Saturday (a special pass out might be needed) but it’s going to be worth it. A particularly favourite brewery of mine has organised an in house or more accurately an in-brewery tap that weekend. The Torrside Brewing company is run, managed and operated by three unique beer enthusiasts who have a fantastic track record of producing great beers. Although a little far out on the outskirts of New Mills a 199 bus from Manchester airport via Stockport and Hazel Grove or a train on the Buxton line will drop you off at New Mills Newtown station.
Getting there details: -
The 199 Skyline bus leaves Stockport bus station (stand F) at 37 minutes past each hour arriving at the stop adjacent to Chalkers Snooker club, Newtown on the A6 at 9 minutes past the hour. I suggest you catch the 13:37 which will pick up along the route.
At the present the trains are subject to industrial action on Saturdays as the line is operated by Northern Rail. However, if strike action is not in place trains leave Stockport for Buxton at 13:21 picking up at Davenport & Hazel Grove at 13:25 and 13:30 respectively arriving Newmills Newtown at 13:41. I will endeavour to keep you up to date on this.
Getting back: -
The 199s are more frequent in the early evenings with buses back to Stockport at 16:12, 16:42, 17:12 and 17:42. This journey takes about 38 minutes.
Trains, if running will leave Newmills Newtown at 16:19, 16:55,17:20.
Torrside produce many excellent and distinctive beers for cask but don’t forget their ‘Monster’ range in bottles which includes several variants in the Aged and Imperial class. Finally, it is November and, in a brewery, so if you are inclined to feel the cold wrap up warm. There is public access to the left of the snooker club (Down the side wall), over a bridge across the railway lines to Chapel Street.
Torrside Brewing web page is: - http://www.torrside.co.uk/
|27 Sep 2018||Project 53, Stockport|
|17 Aug 2018||Flute & Firkin, Cask Tavern, Poynton|
|25 Jul 2018||Mounting Stone, Bramhall|
Despite the malt Disley being the furthest destination in our brief beginnings it was well attended. The logistics did not appear to cause any problems with regular trains direct to Disley and 17 U3A members had a busy sociable afternoon enjoying the company and refreshments. Lauren the owner had laid on a few Christmas nibbles which went down very well and at least one hungry U3Aer pronounced his purchased pie to be excellent. As anticipated the establishment received high praise for its decor, ambiance, beers/ciders and a special mention was made about the fresh flowers in the ladies toilets. The meeting was a great success with several of us vowing to go back on a regular basis.
A very chatty group of 11 of us visited this new and unusual 'Brew Pub' to sample a few of the excellent and interesting beers and ciders on offer. The beer range went from very pale Pale Ale to a deep and Dark Oatmeal Stout produced in the pubs own mini brewery and very drinkable it was too. A few of us arrived early and enjoyed a pleasant lunch before the official meeting my own choice of a Pannini was well made with plenty of flavour.
Our visit was illuminated by a talk from Neil Bates the bar manager who detailed the background to the original concept of the 'Brew Pub', its position and the somewhat random process in deciding what to brew. The head brewer has a fantastic position as he can experiment without the stress of knowing that several thousand pints will go unsold if the brew is not successful. This has led to some amazing beers although Neil did admit they had produced one or two less popular brews.
As with the two previous outings the occasion proved to be a highly sociable one mixed with some interesting refreshments.
On Thursday the 28th September thirteen of us visited the Petersgate Tap in Stockport. In the upstairs lounge area, we listened to Alan Gent (co-owner) detailing the family discussions that led up to the decision to open a Micro Pub. Alan's talk illustrated just how serendipity does work as from limited if any previous professional experience the pub was born, designed, fitted out and opened. Exactly one year on to the day from opening the doors of the Petersgate Tap it is thriving and has built up a reputation for good beer at reasonable prices. Recognised by the campaigning beer group CAMRA whose Stockport and South Manchester branch awarded it the coveted 'Pub of the Month' for September. Alan described the trials and tribulations for pubs today; both traditional and the modern Micro Pubs, the service and product that he wants to provide for their customers and the special issues for a Micro Pub. i.e. limited stillage (storage) and just 6 hand pumps for cask ales but the Petersgate Tap still manages to have a range from the palest of cask pale ales to rich stouts and porters. Keg beer drinkers are not forgotten with quality beers and lagers also available. It wasn't just a one-way dialogue, members were happy to ask questions make their own observations and of course enjoy the excellent beer.
The first meeting was held at the Mounting Stone in Bramhall and proved to be a
successful start with the venue proving to be very positive and hospitable towards
us. A good range of Real Ale and Cider (Rhubarb I believe) was available and
Andrew the manager enhanced the visit by educating us on the process of receiving,
conditioning, keeping and tapping the beers. Illuminating his words with two key
technical bits of equipment, namely two wooden pegs! Feedback from those present
was positive with keen interest being shown about our next outing on the 28th
September. For further details contact the Group Coordinator
2018 Annual Report: View
We have been operating for just over 1 year and have continued with our strategy of visiting licenced premises one afternoon per month. Our destinations have included modern micro/traditional pubs and the occasional brewery. In the main we have attempted to keep our visits local or with easy public transport access. Although we endeavour to organise a speaker to illuminate and enhance our visits the membership appears to find the opportunity to socialise with each other whilst enjoying interesting beers to be their main objective. If I had to pick out a few events as highlights I would opt for our November 2017 visit to the Malt Disley in Disley where we had over 20 members join us. This would be closely followed by our visit to the Poynton Brewery in August this year where the head brewer gave us over an hour of his time explaining the brewing process. After which we all trooped around the corner to their Brewery Tap, The Flute and Firkin. I am looking forward to our next 12 months with some interesting visits already arranged and of course new members are always welcome.
Lawrence Devaney – Group Coordinator
This document last modified Thursday October 18, 2018
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