Thursday, 20 September 2012
Visited On 3 July 2012
Here's the photo ...
Another long walk – back up Weston Road from whence I started – and almost up to that roundabout at the end of Nantwich Road – brings me to the Brocklebank. This is a new build food pub and part of the Brewers Fayre chain. A significant part of its raison d’être is to do with there being a Premier Inn next door, but as it’s a short walk from the station, there is plenty of potential trade from outside.
It has a strong family orientation during the daytime and at weekends, and food is always on, with the usual range of dishes and platters. The business traveller can relax with a generously sized platter of various snacks and a pint for around a tenner. And immediately opposite anyone walking through the door is a pair of handpumps which this evening are mainly dispensing Marston’s Pedigree.
Well, I don’t mind if I do. And there are more brownie points as the barman offers to top it up before I even think of asking. It’s a very serviceable pint of Pedigree, too. OK, it’s probably FastCask, but they’re making an effort and it’s served cellar cool as well. A fair proportion of this evening’s punters seem to be just in for a drink and perhaps a gathering, which suggests it’s doing something right.
Once again I have to say it: if pubs that are food outlets first and ordinary boozers second can put a cask option on, anyone can, and without wanting to labour this particular point, having decent service and good beer at these places means IT’S NOT BLOODY ROCKET SCIENCE. While some older pubs struggle, the new boys seem to do fine.
Why that is has to do with several things: backing and commitment in the case of chain pubs, presentation, demographics, and those all present PubCos are all contributory factors. But pubs like this one suggest the idea that the whole industry is on the skids are simplistic at best.
You could do a lot worse than the Brocklebank. A pleasant surprise, and maintaining this evening’s 100% cask choice record. And now, as someone once said, for something completely different.