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Credits for news: Sue Daniels, Andre Fu, Mel & Sonia James-Henry
Copy date for the next Newsletter – 27th February
The deadline for nominations for this year's Pub of the Year (POTY) competition has now passed.
The number of votes cast, through various means, is UP from last year.
In no particular order, this year’s shortlist consists of:
1) DISPENSARY, Renshaw Street (City Centre)
2) LIME KILN, Fleet Street (City Centre)
3) FRANK HORNBY, Eastway, Maghull (Suburb)
4) THE GRAPES, Knight Street (City Centre)
5) CASK, Queens Drive, Stoneycroft (Suburb)
The judges have been appointed and informed. As the POTY co-ordinator, it is I who appoints the judges and only I know who they all are. There are more judges than ever before and, for the second year running, some of them are non-committee members to both maintain transparency and to give some local members a flavour of how the competition is administered.
They have until mid-March to visit EACH pub at least TWICE and score each visit and then send their findings into me. They will be using NATIONAL scoring criteria as approved by CAMRA HQ.
The branch POTY will be the one with the highest, overall aggregate score and will be announced officially at the MARCH Get-together on March 22nd and then posted on social media followed by the branch website.
The Baltic Fleet has commissioned six new beers from local brewers for the Six Nations Rugby tournament. Big Bog, Neptune, Liverpool Organic, Baltic Fleet, Heavy Industry and Facers are each supplying a beer. Launch evening is 2nd February, with beers available throughout the tournament.
The Abbey on Hanover Street has not been selling any real ale for much of January. This is due to a change of ownership of the pub. Hopefully the new owners will sort the beer situation out soon.
A new bar is planned for Lime Street. The Sanctuary Bar is due to open in March, next to the Design 4 Life tattoo parlour at 70 Lime Street. Cask and craft beers are promised.
The White Star pub on the concourse of Lime Street station has closed, probably as this part of the station is due to be redeveloped in time.
The Hope & Anchor on Maryland Street has stopped selling cask beers. It appears that the many students that frequent this pub have not been attracted to the real ale, very disappointing.
Nearby, Hard Times & Misery is not opening on Tuesdays for the time being.
During January the Refinery, opposite the Philharmonic Pub, has been serving beers from the Windmill Brewery in Standish. Sister pub, the Hub, has also stocked these beers, along with Martland Mill beers from Wigan.
Recently the cask beers at the Clove Hitch have been supplied by the Neptune Brewery. Half the keg taps now serve beers from the Black Lodge Brewery.
Mackenzies, Rodney Street/Hardman Street has re-introduced the £2.00 a pint offer on real ale. This was suspended over the Christmas/New Year period. The offer is valid all day Monday to Thursday ONLY.
It has been reported that there are plans for the off licence next to the tyre garage on Aigburth Road, opposite the Toby Carvery, to become a Belgium style bar.
Work continues on the new micro-pub on Liverpool Road North, Waterloo, which was mentioned last month. It is to be called The Four Ashes. The bar has been installed and the furniture has arrived.
The George, Crosby Village, now sells real ale at £1.95 on a Tuesday all day. It now offers a real cider on hand pump along with up to three beers, one of which is usually a locale.
Look out for a new pub on Liverpool Road South opening later this month or early March. The Mocha Cafe is to be rebranded as the Maghull Cask Cafe. It will remain as a cafe through the day, changing into a pub at 4.00pm on Thursdays Fridays and Saturdays, with a midday opening on Sundays. Four or Five beers are planned.
The Punchbowl, on Lunt Road, now offers a discount to CAMRA members on production of a valid card. Members will get 20p off a pint and 10p a half.
The pub is accessible by the Merseytravel 133 service that runs hourly between Waterloo and Kirby Civic Centre up until around 5.00pm Monday to Saturday, with no Sunday service.
New beers are,
Bourbier - (6%) has been brewed to celebrate the 1st anniversary of the brewery moving to Speke from North Wales. It is described as a French-style beer brewed with Pilsner malt and French Strisselspalt hops - 6 0%. A very light premium beer with a delicate hop aroma.
Jack 'o' Lantern – is to be brewed sometime during February. The recipe is still under development but is envisaged to be a 3.8% copper-coloured beer but this could change. It will be the final beer of a series of three and complements Hinkypunk and Willow the Wisp.
A new 2.5bbl plant has been fitted at the Black Lodge Brewery on Kitchen Street. Paul reports that cask beer could be produced in the future to add to the key keg beers currently brewed.
The brewery is producing a keg beer for Leaf on Bold Street and their Manchester outlet. Exotic Garden IPA uses tea leaves supplied by the outlet.
There are to be two new beers available in February, both of which will be available at the Liverpool Beer Festival.
Undercurrent, a 4.7% stout.
Big Sur, described as a 4.5% west coast pale ale
Les reports he is supplying keg conditioned key kegs to the Everyman Theatre. Olympus Mons is available in the upstairs Street Cafe and downstairs in the Bistro, Fugu is on tap alongside Abyss that has replaced the Guinness. The handpumps in the Bistro are also to be revived.
Finally congratulations are in order for Les, as Neptune Brewery has been awarded Merseyside Best New Brewer on Ratebeer.com for 2016.
Here is a list of branch events and other real ale events known to the branch.
I am surprised more people are not sending in details of events for the diary, surely there are more!
Thursday 2nd February – Launch of Six Beers for the Six Nations at the Baltic Fleet from 6.30pm.
Sunday 5th February – First Sunday meet up at the North Western Lime Street, 1.00pm.
Wednesday 15th to Saturday 18th February – Liverpool Beer Festival, Crypt Hall, see above.
Thursday 16th to Tuesday 21st February – Ship & Mitre, Dale Street, pub festival
Tuesday 28th February – Committee meeting, Cross Keys, Earle Street, at 7.30pm.
Sunday 5th March – First Sunday meet up at Mackenzie's Bar, Rodney Street, 1.00pm.
Saturday 11th March – Coach trip to Leicester.
Wednesday 15th March – Branch Get Together.
Thursday 16th March – Day Out in Preston. Meet in the Wetherspoon Court Leet pub Ormskirk, for breakfast at 10.55am, or at Ormskirk railway station in time for the 11.54am train.