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.
27th March 2020 - Hope Inn, Stockport
First off, I would like to give a big welcome to our new members who looked to be having a great time during our trip to the Chiverton Tap last month. We could even be introducing a third new member in March.
It’s been two years since we visited the Hope Inn on the A6 (Wellington Rd North), a pub with traditional décor and a cosy bar. This pub produces much of its own beer on the premises but still maintains 2 to 3 beer pumps for guest ales giving the cask ale drinker plenty of choice. We all enjoyed ourselves last time and I will see if we can arrange that overdue trip downstairs to view the brewery and I will ask for a stock of pork pies to be on hand.
From recent outings it looks as though Friday proves to be a popular day so for the time being, I will look at the 4th Friday of each month for our meetings. An early start looks to benefit us with a choice of where to park ourselves to ensure we can congregate as a group so I also plan 1pm starts, don’t worry if you cannot get there for 1pm you have plenty of time to join us later on.
It’s easy to get to, 118 Wellington Road North SK4 2LL (right hand side heading for Manchester), less than a mile from Stockport station’s exit and half a mile from Stockport bus terminus. If you want to take a bus to drop you off less than a minutes’ walk to the pub its equidistant from the 192’s stops for Belmont Bridge and Belmont Way. Belmont Way being the second stop after the one facing Debenhams.
If you would like more information see the pubs web site: -
Looking forward to meeting up with everyone, see you there on Friday 27th March at 1pm.
|28 Feb 2020||Chiverton Tap, Cheadle Hulme|
|27 Sep 2019||The Magnet, Stockport|
|23 Aug 2019||Woodford Cricket Club Beer Festival|
|21 Aug 2019||The Wellington, Stockport|
|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 Tuesday March 03, 2020
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