Friday, 3 February 2012

A beery odyssey

Congratulations to local CAMRA member Mark McConachie who has recently completed an epic journey around all 300-odd pubs owned by Stockport family brewer Robinson’s. Their estate stretches as far as Anglesey, the southern Peak District and North Lancashire, so the pubs are by no means all on his doorstep.

Some might regard him as a glutton for punishment, but to my mind (and I’m sure Mark’s as well) Robinson’s beers are very enjoyable when well kept. In the past few years Robinson’s have acquired a number of new pubs sold off by pub companies, so he might have thought they were moving the target as he approached it.

No doubt he will have visited a fair number of pubs over the years that have subsequently closed. Significantly, he says:
“Twenty years ago pubs were a bit different. There were a few squalid ones but they all seem to have upped their game now. But you see fewer people in them and quite a lot have closed.”
Interestingly, the 1977 Good Beer Guide says that Robinson’s had 318 tied houses (317 serving real ale), so to a large extent new acquisitions have made up for closures.


  1. Did he have to drink Robinson's beer in every one? Poor man!

  2. Good evening Curmudgeon:

    These are some drinks in the States named after some politicians and one for an entire political party.

    There are a series of politically incorrect drinks named for Marion Barry, Ted Kennedy, Barney Frank and the Republican Party at The Political Commentator. This is the link:

  3. @Birkonian - if he didn't like it, I don't think he would have done it.

  4. Martin, Cambridge3 February 2012 at 23:09

    Good on you Mark - glad to see local CAMRA branch so actively supporting the regional rather than just the micros.

    Must have done 250+ myself, and the Robbies estate has a good number of characterful pubs even now, especially compared with Greene King or Marstons, for example.

    Unicorn can be a fantastic beer; had a great pint served flat in local GBG Greene King pub this week.

  5. Congrats to Mark. He always likes a good pub challange. And Robbies have an interesting estate with everything from the pictureesque to the "lively clientele" type.

  6. Without too much difficulty, I managed to come up with a list of over 150 Robinson's pubs I had visited over the years, including a few that have closed and a couple such as Bell's of Peover that I have only visited before Robinson's acquired them.

    I suspect that, apart from Donnington, that's a higher proportion of tied houses than any other brewery.

  7. I do not believe he is a CAMRA member. It is a fake. For a start he lacks a beard and lagerboy t-shirt. He looks like a regular member of society. I demand proof. Ask him to guest blog.

    I have been in 4 Robbinsons pubs in my life, 3 of which were shitholes. Making for a 75% shithole ratio. As his sample is larger ask him to blog and tell us his ratio.


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