If you’ve ever wondered why this blog has the title it does then please observe the screen shot below.
I’ve been “working on” a historical blog about Atherton for over 5 years (yes, 4 edits, you should see the paper work and photos) and as such doing this piece is a stop-gap of sorts.
So I’m not going to go on about the town’s history or the name, though you pronounce it “a-THER-tun” not like the cricketer.
In reading this piece please excuse my use of the apostrophe, possessive, lack thereof, or otherwise as basically I don’t care, you know what I mean.
Entering Atherton from its various directions you will first encounter…
- The Atherton Arms (Holt’s)
- The Mason Arms (Heineken)
- The Talbot (Marston’s – known as the Jockey after Shameless)
- The Letters Inn (Random)
- The Lion Inn (Random – known as the Little Lion)
An additional brewery tied pub is The Royal (Hydes).
Then it gets murky as we then have regular CAMRA award winner, The Jolly Nailor.
This was Thwaites, then (and currently) Allgates.
Not that Allgates exists as such any more, that is now subdivisions of Two Left Feet Brewing and Wigan Brewhouse.
There is also another perennial CAMRA award-winning pub in the shape of The Pendle Witch, owned by Moorhouse’s
In the past year Atherton has seen 4 individual alcohol based establishments open.
The Taphouse (micropub – cask, keg, gin) and across the road, set up by the same bloke, The Sin Bin (sports bar – keg).
There is also The Cazbah (gin, keg, real cider) and The Lamp (gin, keg).
The point about this piece is why I find it all very murky and annoying now, not that I wish to detract from any establishments named in this piece, that all have their merits and I will always frequent most of them as and when I can.
So, The Lamp has the same keg supply as the Taphouse (not unsurprising as breweries and suppliers will install lines for free/discounted, if you carry certain products).
The Jolly Nailor, which like all other Allgates pubs always has had Wainwrights on (Thwaites/Marston’s), seems to be getting no Wigan Brewhouse beers on recently. In fact the cask range; barring we are approaching Halloween so it seems mandatory every cask outlet has to have Hobgoblin on (Hobgoblin Gold, for a small change), seems to be similar to that of the Taphouse.
Not only that but new keg lines are now installed on the bar carrying the DE14 Flight Suit (Marston’s) amongst others with Lancaster Bomber Ale (Thwaites) also a mainstay.
Switch over to the Pendle Witch and you have 10 cask lines. 5 are standard Moorhouses brews (but not Witches Brew recently, which is most annoying, perhaps they don’t have the right syrup in stock for it at the moment), 5 are guest, which used to man a wide range of breweries (at least at the weekend) were represented but now now one is always a cider, 2 are Moorhouses specials (one being always fucking Stray Dog) and oh…its another Marston’s beer.
Add to that a keg line now carrying 13 Guns by Thwaites Crafty Dan and then the addition of this…
As if the other 5 lagers they carry just isn’t enough.
Don’t get me wrong I love the Pendle Witch (and the Nailor) they are comfy, proper pubs with bench seating, gamblers and patrons from all walks of life.
Barring the last on that list the same can’t be said for The Lamp and The Cazbah, which are all brick, industrial metal and other repetitive crap that I really am getting sick of seeing in new alcohol-led ventures but that is a rant I’ll save for another post.
So quite what is happening with the beer selection in some of Atherton’s pubs I don’t know. I obviously care enough to write this piece, it is probably written slightly out of worry, as I always do when pubs become seemingly change tack with regards choice of beer.
I know choice isn’t everything but both these pubs, though they have both seen owner changes over recent years, seem as popular as they were back when I started this blog and way before that. They seemed to always be turning over their beer and always had a fine range of cask. It is just a bit sad when you can walk between a few non-tied establishments and be confronted with the same bar.
It is a good thing they provide things additional to that, that still make them worth visiting.
Thanks for reading.