The first thing we noticed on entering the Angel was how busy it was. It was absolutely heaving, not bad for a midweek, tucked away boozer. Obviously the rave reviews have got diners flocking there. However, we weren’t there for grub, but the bread of life, beer. Once Eddie had sorted out the rather lackadaisical barmaid, we let our taste buds do the walking. Dunham Massey Cheshire IPA (4.7%) was being advertised as a new beer, so it had to be tried. A light copper coloured brew, it delivered crisp malt biscuitness, and a short dry finish. Not bad, but perhaps not as good as some of their other beers.
A real puzzler was the next beer we tried-Dunham Massey Light Mild (3.8%). This was very similar in colour to the IPA, but that’s where the similarity ended. This was clean tasting-a testament to how quickly DM have reached a level of quality a lot of other micros can only dream of-hello Leyden. However, this Mild was TOO mild. It lacked any character whatsoever. Why you would want to brew it, and who would choose to drink it, I don’t know.
From the Angel it was only a short walk to the Marble Arch. Again, this was busy-some suspicious Camra types were spotted, but we managed to squeeze in the back room. First thing we spotted was that the Marble beers had new pumpclips. Not better, in my opinion, than the old ones, just different. Another case of change for change’s sake at the Marble? The Blogger Godfather (AKA Tandleman) would have no doubt taken a nice little photo to illustrate the point, but as he’s away enjoying some bruhwurst, you’ll have to take my word for it. More bizarrely, was the rebadging of “Janine’s One” as “Pint.” Luckily it still tasted as good as ever. Also sampled and enjoyed was Elland Sinner Boy (4.5%), which was a well hopped golden beer, with a long dry finish.
From the Marble to the Smithfield, where we settled in for the rest of the night. More surprises here, as it seems, at last, that the old girl is getting a facelift. New wallpaper for a start. Whatever next, toilet paper in the loo? Anyway Durham White Whopper (3.7%) packed a nice citrus punch and Little Valley Hebden Wheat (4.5%) was also rather tasty. Then it was a dash for the tram, accompanied by heavy rain. Sadly the rain followed us back to Bury, making our journey home a very wet one.