It is Sunday afternoon and in a few hours time, I'll be embarking on a trip to Barcelona - how bizarre is that, barely even thought about it. Therefore, best catch up on recent BRAPA ticks whilst I can remember them, well to be honest, yesterday's memories of Chester are a bit hazy already!
417 - Albion, Greengates - very very local after a bus journey from Leeds on Tuesday afternoon after a day's gardening with work! Great quality ale and cracking little pub, not unfriendly but think they were a bit surprised to see a stranger at that time. Had an Albion ale which tasted like West Yorkshire in a glass, and probably is designed with the pub in mind. Recommended.
(I then had drama as, being an early finish from work, neither Idle pub was open yet but a friendly landlady outside her pub the Alexander invited me in for a sample of their ales as long as i didn't disturb the bingo, a lifesaver!)
418 - Brewery Tap, Idle - Disappointing, not really any better than the Alexander and my Kelham Island Pale Rider tasted like farts and the range was limited to two. A dog kept trying to eat me(!), apparently this is a great gig venue that attracts good bands and that's exactly how it felt on my visit!
419 - Symposium, Idle - Very good, one of the few remaining MTT ticks and my Bohemian Rhatsody was superb. Okay, so a bit like a bar so lacked the Albion's charm but friendly and comfy in it's own right with great ale range like most MTT's.
420 - Pied Bull, Chester - The first and possibly best of the day. Own brewery on sight and my IPA was stunning. Tales of ghosts, lovely beamed Tudor-style place. A bit like YOSI in York, you could see the touristy element as it was very central, but can't really knock it otherwise.
421 - Old Harkers Arms, Chester - Probably hit it at wrong time (Saturday lunch), was very geared to diners and a very female friendly crowd. Beer was good, but not amazing. Still felt fairly at home in circs and a very unthreatening atmos you couldn't help but find!
422 - Cellar, Chester - Current Chester CAMRA pub of year, and from ale range and quality (I had an amazing smoked porter) plus very good staff and a folder showed me pub has a lot on and free bacon sarnies sometimes! Again, aimed at younger crowd. Could I have actually got into cellar was the unanswered issue here, had i managed it, it could have been pub of the day.
423 - Lodge Bar, Hoole - Hotel bar very close to Chester train station compared with most Chester pubs, it wasn't as limited beer range as some hotel bars, but it did lack a bit of proper pub charm (obviously you might say), staff seemed nice til I spent too long in loos drying off and think I lost my hat here too!
424 - Olde Cottage Inn, Chester - This was more like the old unspoilt pub I'd been missing since Pied Bull, didn't appreciate as much as I should have done because i was so drenched. Friendly though with characterful locals and situated better than any for the station. May have been a good 'last pub' option.
425 - Cross Keys, Chester - Joule's beers so a nice ale range experience for me. I was knackered by now and probably should have had a Slumbering Monk as I kept drifting off - think I left some ale too. No-one seemed to notice and i'd probably come back here if I had time to kill in Chester as I didn't appreciate this lovely Victorian pub as much as possible.
426 - Brewery Tap, Chester - Recommended by my friend JW2 and could see why as it was a unique amazing building and the Spitting Feathers beer I had was wonderful and luckily I'd sobered myself up enough to enjoy it, and talked to lots of friendly locals gearing up for a big Saturday night out!
427 - Bear n Billet, Chester - Too packed to fully appreciate but again a good positive atmosphere with a nice upstairs area too even if everyone was watching the Chumps league final. Not surprised so many locals had decided to start their nights out there.
So there you have it, almost at the 430 mark, thinking Guiseley for the next WY midweek night where I have two to tick off so will see if I can incorporate a third in with them, but let's focus on getting back from Barca unscathed first and maybe some real ale there if I am lucky? Here's to hoping!