Okay, so the train journey couldn't beat last week's sobbing cello student. The highlight was quite upsetting really. You should be aware that 1st August is "Yorkshire Day", and two lads were telling anti-Yorkshire jokes which all involved inbreeding and slow minds, and when they departed at Huddersfield, I was even more confused. Probably changing for their Ashton-under-Lyne slum.
After the obligatory change at the always delightful Manc Piccadilly, I was soon enough in Cheadle Hulme and the pub was so close to the railway station, the station should really be remaned Chiverton Parkway. It looked a bit like the "Open All Hours" shop from the outside with bike propped outside, but that would've been funny cos as we know, Micropubs are never open all hours and like to mix things up timewise as part of their often painfully forced quirky nature. This was different.
|(Probably not) open all hours|
|I know you're "in it!" I wouldn't be here otherwise.|
Yes, to call this "just another micropub" would be an insult. First impressions were a bit awkward as the obligatory "after-work bar blockers" were out in force, and a tall bald guy in a Man City shirt declared "we only need one more signing to be complete, ho ho" before telling me "get yerself in there lad!" as though I was being overly hesitant, but I was actually contemplating how many hundred players Hull City still needed. I ordered my beer based on my usual scientific technique, I could (a) read the beer name and (b) the pump clip was bright. After all, beer all comes out the same colour in the end doesn't it? Finding out later it was a "honey tea" beer should've been awful, but was really enjoyable. Next problem, where was the loo? Total mystery, but in the most irritating micropub-esque move they could manage, the beers blackboard doubled as the toilet door. A hipster strode up, and glanced at my piss-stream in that knowing way - "craft piss is superior". I'd opened the vortex anyway and a steady stream (excuse the pun) of pub-folk descended on the loo after this, as though I was first person to discover where they were hid. Special word for the barman / owner, he had a really impressive stoic stillness about him like he 'really' owned it, reminding me of a veteran midfielder who signs for a league two club and bosses the play despite hardly moving. As I glanced at the obligatory board games and decor, special mention for being the first BRAPA pub to include Everitt family word game fave, Lexicon. An emotional moment. Just time to move tables and listen in to see if the locals were weird. Yep. A woman looked dramatically at her watch and then told her table about the tip of northern Denmark. Okay then. And as I took my glass back to say it was a really good pint, the owner bloke stopped to chat to me on BRAPA and where I'd come from. He even said we strive to be "more than a micropub", funny cos my exact words in Twitter 5 mins ago. Such a nice moment, such an impressive pub. Visit if you haven't. Or even if you have.
|A beer I could see (Tatton usually bore me, so even more surprised it was great)|
|Newspapers on coathangers - 2nd most micropubby manoeuvre|
|My original seat, view towards Lexicon and co. Ignore wrong glassware.|
So that was simple and excellent on the verge of the punk festival, which was what I needed. And back in York by half nine.
As per what I wrote at the top, here are the other "first pubs of the month".
July - Bhurtpore, Aston (w/Tom)
June - Arkwright Arms, Sutton cum Duckmanton (w/Dad)
May - Laurieston Bar, Glasgow
April - White Horse, Hedgerley
March - Appleton Thorn Village Hall, Appleton Thorn
Feb - Five Bells, Wickham (w/Tim Thomas)
Jan - Fountain Inn, Tipton (w/El West Brom, plus Dad and Tom - remixed master b-side versions).
So as you can see, if you know most or all of the above, I wasn't lying. But I've probably jinxed it now. Expect an Micro Ember Spoons collab owned by Brewdog and the Sam Smith's Overlord on the 1st September teeming with twilds, twogs, logs and cyclists, plus gastro kitchens, cold winds coming through open pub doors and P.I.S.S. barmaids presiding over jam jars and beers which are "coming soon". Bah humbug.