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|
|email@example.com 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.
21st Aug - The Wellington, Stockport
For August I think we should give the Wellington a try. The owner/landlord has provided a traditional style public house by converting two old retail units although you would not know from just looking at the results. He is also enthusiastic about real ale and initially has sensibly limited this to 3 beer pumps with Wainwright as the regular beer. At the time of writing this he offers 2 changing beers but is considering adding a further 2 pumps for the real ale seekers. The interior has been thoughtfully and comfortably decorated. At present food is not available so I would suggest that we meet at 2pm on Wednesday 21st August. It’s easy to find, 59-61 Wellington Rd South (i.e. A6). The Wellington is possible one of the easiest pubs for us to travel to, if you arrive by train it’s across the A6 from the station exit past the swimming pool. Arriving by bus the pub is equidistant between the northbound and southbound bus stops on the A6.
Weekend 23rd Aug - Woodford Cricket Club Beer Festival
August Bank Holiday weekend Woodford Cricket Club are holding their traditional Beer Festival. It opens on the evening of the 23rd August but on Saturday and Sunday afternoon visitors can also enjoy the cricket viewed from the pavilion about 20 paces from a choice of 16 cask ales. Catching the right 42B bus will drop you off outside the club otherwise it’s a short walk from the 42B bus stop on Chester Rd. Address is Moor Lane, Woodford. SK7 1PW.
27th Sep, - The Magnet, Stockport
Our September meeting will coincide with the Stockport Beer Week Event, actually a 10/11- day celebration of beer in the Town. Some great one-off activities and week-long ones are being organised by the local pubs supported by CAMRA and the Council. Many of the one- off events will be ticketed and, in the evening, but the event that looks right up our street will be based at the Magnet, also situated on the A6. The Magnet well known as a beer destination for lovers of real ale is planning to offer beers that have a history of success as Champion Beers of Britain or at other notable beer Festivals. As the Magnet is a pub that only opens from 4pm for most of the week we will meet on Friday the 27 th September at 2pm. We have visited before and it’s easy to find on Wellington Rd North, number 51. A short walk from the bus stop on the A6 or about 10minutes walking from the station.
|20 Jun 2019||Rising Sun, Manchester|
|25 Apr 2019||Grove Ale House, Hazel Grove|
|10 Nov 2018||Torrside Brewing Company, Newmills|
|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
2019 Annual Report: View
We have been operating for just over 2 years 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. This year we have reduced the number of speakers
invited to our meetings as the members prefer to pursue their own topics and discuss the beers
available in relation to their own tastes and experiences. Highlights of the year would definitely
include our Christmas event where we combined with Wilmslow U3A Real Ale Group to enjoy a quiz,
tutored beer tasting and a buffet at the Petersgate Tap in Stockport. Other notable visits would
include September where we combined with the “Stockport Beer Week” to enjoy a number of
award-winning ales at the Magnet on Wellington Rd North and the newly opened Archive Bar in
Cheadle Hulme in July. Although we have approximately 15 members who would be considered as
our core, we generally average around 8 at the monthly meetings which provides a good
atmosphere where nobody is excluded. However, 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 Friday August 16, 2019
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