A tour around Halton!
At a branch meeting in mid February at the Wellington in Hale Village, it had been decided, before our Annual General Meeting in April, a trip would take place around some of the branches key pubs. The objectives – to enjoy some of the fine real ales available in Halton, present two much merited certificates and to gain some additional beer scores towards inclusion in the Good Beer Guide.
So it was that on a Sunday afternoon the day started with 4 of us turning up at The Lion in Runcorn at 12:30pm and getting served fantastic quality beer that we all scored highly and was served with joviality from behind the bar. All 4 of us knew we were in for a special day and one we had all looked forward too. We travelled across to Widnes and met two more colleagues at the Church View and the group was complete.
The Church View had a much increased selection of real ales on tap from my last visit, and also a real draught cider on tap. Indeed it had the largest single range of reaI ales of the day. I had a pint of the Wells Bombadier Gold that was in fair condition, but some other beers available were in fine form.
The next call was to the Eight Towers and the formal presentation of Haltons Community Pub of the Year award to Eddie and Barbara Woodward. This award was given to reflect the strong commitment within the pub to its local community and the charitable fund raising from which Alder Hey amongst others have benefited. I found the Ringwood Boondoggle in excellent condition, and all the beers sampled were also in superb condition. Eddie showed the group around the beer cellar which was well laid out and very clean. We agreed that it was time we held another branch meeting here!
The last visit on the Widnes side was to the Grapes, an up and coming real ale pub where in a relaxing atmosphere, I enjoyed a superb pint of Conwy Infusion and a draft cider. The group feeling was very much how welcome it was to find a totally unspoilt pub where no garish attempts at modernisation have taken place. A good traditional pub with quality beers on draught!
We crossed the Mersey to Weston Village to visit the consistently good Prospect. Here Haltons “ Pub of the Year” certificate was presented to Jim and Michelle under whose stewardship the pub has gone from strength to strength and the beer quality (and food!) is consistently excellent. The Adnams Broadside (as always) was superb. We believe that the Pub Of The Year award is special – it cannot be bought and is voted on by CAMRAs Halton members to reflect the overall best pub for that year in the borough. The Prospect also received this award in 2012 and this is a testament to Jim and Michelles hard work and commitment to both real ale and a quality environment.
Finally the Widnes contingent left to return across the Mersey leaving 3 of us to make our way to the Norton in Halton Village. Here we had the last of our days beer that was again served to a high standard. The pub was very busy and this was great to see in today's somewhat troubled economy. But what can you expect from a classic and highly respected pub but quality beer - No wonder the punters were voting with their feet and visiting en masse!
It had been a magnificent day that we all enjoyed and we agreed that we should do it again. We could all think of additional pubs that deserved to be visited. Halton has some fantastic quality pubs and we should acknowledge them more. These pubs need our support and here's to 2015 and lets all appreciate and patronise Halton quality pubs.