Saturday, 22 December 2012

Not so black Friday

Yesterday was widely described as “black Friday” – the day of the year on which most pressure is placed on emergency services from drunken revelry. Fortunately none of this resulted from the latest occurrence of Stockport & South Manchester CAMRA’s annual Hillgate Stagger. Sadly, the number of pubs serving cask beer is now depleted to eight, but on the other hand this gives more chance to linger in each one.

There was a good turnout, all the pubs (apart, perhaps, from the Sun & Castle) seemed to be doing a healthy trade and there wasn’t a bad pint to be had. The Fairway, reborn from Robinson’s closed Flying Dutchman, seemed to be doing very well. There were some heroic drunks to be seen, especially in the first couple of pubs where presumably they had been at it all day. We were even favoured with an appearance by @CarpeZytha. And the world was duly set to rights over some stunning Old Tom in the final pub, the Blossoms.

This pub crawl may not offer the world’s widest or most exotic choice of beers, but as a way of experiencing authentic English pub life it is hard to beat. And nobody suggested that I looked like Ronnie Barker! For me, almost certainly the best pub night of a generally crappy year.


  1. Yes, it was a good night and as you say a chance to check out a good collection of proper pubs (with not an imperial stout, double IPA or "craft keg" in sight - which just goes to show how some people have been seduced by what is happening in the "craft" bubble and forget that for the vast majority of pub goers it is completely off the radar and likely to remain so).

  2. Eight pubs are still quite a few to get through of an evening, especially if you are going to have a pint in each!

    Such crawls are fun though, as long as someone is in charge to "round up the troops" at each pub and move then on to the next one, before they become too comfortable!

  3. To be honest, I don't think anyone has a pint in each pub, although some have, er, more than a pint in the Blossoms at the end.

    And it's fairly self-regulating, so doesn't need any rounding up.

  4. Shhh, I have to keep some pretence of a secret identity as there are still people that get wound up by a contrarian opinion and talk of beards and pong and ice cold lout.

    For my first and last pub visit of the year found it less unpleasant than I expected. For an evening involving pubs. Noisy and rowdy with a fair few piss heads and drunks but that was just you and Clarkey. All the other bearded folk were quite nice and some were even normal. I was stunned at the level of binge drinking that was occurring. Literally no one stuck to a 3 unit a night limit and I suspect some drank up to their weekly allowance in that one night. I of course as you noticed drank 3 units in the form of halves of mild then went on fizzy water.

    I am shocked to my very core in regard to the binge drinking and am further disappointed your CAMRA branch has events planned for “dry January”, showing no support for responsible drinking.

    I shall check out other branches to see whether this is typical before forming an opinion. Merry Xmas.


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