A.J. Walker


February 2022

A Birthday Walk in Chester

A Chester Circuit

This weekend I was supposed to be out for a few drinks in Chester for my mate's birthday, but he managed to catch Covid on Wednesday which put paid to that. But I thought I'd go anyway in the guise of scoping it out for next week. It was a nice sunny day and I got around a nice wee circuit.


Sunshine at The Architect beside Chester Racecourse

As usual the loop from the railway station starts with the Cellar (Harker's was too busy), and ended in the Deva Tap. In between the City Tavern, the Architect (there was no room in Beer Heroes), Bear & Billet, Cross Keys, Kings Head, and the Cavern of the Curious Gnome.

Bear & Billet

Cross Keys

Kings Head

Everywhere was lively and the beers were good. It appeared at one point that Chester had been taken over by Mobberley Brewhouse with their ales in quite a few of these hostelries. Out of the eight pubs I ended up with Mobberley Summit and Chinook over three successive pubs. Other than that I had a relatively pale day with: Lakes Brew 'Pale', Joules 'Slumbering Monk', Cross Bay 'Blonde', Neptune 'Triton', and Onset 'White Rat'.

Cavern of the Curious Gnome

Deva Tap

All in all it was a nice birthday do for my mate, even if he doesn't realise it. Still we're going to go to Chester again next week in a rescheduled celebration – so I'll get to do it again.

Cheers, people.

PS Deva Tap was pub No.
75 for the year.

A Weak Front Has Passed

A week ago I wrote my first blog under the RealeLiverpool banner to go alongside my rampant Twitter and Instagram accounts. I reported that in the first six weeks or so of the year I had gone to 64 different pubs – which was simultaneously shocking & impressive. A week later and it's my second blog, so where am I up to now? Firstly though what was the week of storms like beside blowy? Pretty good.

I visited several of my usual haunts, namely;
Keystone, Head of Steam, Dr Duncans, Fly in the Loaf, Angus, and the Bridewell. Oh and the Globe. The Keystone got a couple of visits including the Open Mic on Thursday evening. The Fly & Steam got visits for the football on Wednesday and Saturday respectively. These two pubs tend to be my go to destinations for football alongside a decent pint.

This kind of answers the question as to how many pubs I am up to now. Basically still 64. Yup, not a single new pub. Friday and Sunday were both spent at home sheltering from the awful weather. It has been awful, indeed it is the first time since the Met started naming storms that there have been three in the same week. I've lost a few fence panels at home, to go with an errant tile or two on the roof. I dare say some pubs are sending scouts out looking for garden furniture.

Liverpool aren't playing on the TV again during the week (though they are playing on Wednesday agains Leeds, Leeds). They'll next be on the TV on Sunday for their first final of the year (hoping there will be another (or two)) when they play against Chelski in the League Cup. The pubs will be bouncing on Sunday then.

I'll definitely be adding some new pubs to the 2022 roll call as a few mates and I are aiming to go to
Chester on Saturday to celebrate a friend's birthday. This time next week then I should be reporting 70 pubs then, in theory. Let's hope the weather improves a bit (a lot), as I am sick to the back teeth of the wind and rain.

Stay safe people. And visit your favourite hostelries – or wherever the wind blows you. They'll welcome the custom.

'How Many Pubs Are You Up To?'

On New Year's Day this year I left my mates all asleep at a friends house after a heavy session welcoming the new year and headed homeward via some afternoon pints in Liverpool city centre. I went to the Roscoe Head as my first pub before heading around three others (Head of Steam, Angus, and Doctor Duncan's) and all were exceedingly quiet. I decided that day that for January I should try and support the local pubs by getting around a 'few' of them. I didn't set a target. There was no great plan – or some would say purpose either.

And so it was that throughout the month I would post on Twitter what pub number I was up to and as the numbers went up I seemed to gather pace and soon surpassed thirty, which would have seemed a reasonable number when I first started. Then I got to forty and beyond, and I almost aimed for fifty. I could easily have got there on the last day of the month if I'd wanted to, but on the 31st I told myself I did not need to hit fifty and stayed at home and had a coffee in front of the TV. There had never been a goal after all. So as January came to an end I'd visited
48 pubs in and around Liverpool. Pretty good in some respects (I dare say some would beg to differ on multiple accounts).

Some people on Twitter or in person have been asking at random times, '
How many pubs are you up to?' Of course if they follow me on the real ale twitter account then clearly they have an interest in pubs and beer - if they don't they must be following me by accident.

Peter Ks400
Peter Kavanagh's

As we've passed two weeks into February I continue to keep track of first pub visits of the year and have gone to plenty more in-between Southport and Liverpool along the Northern Line – doing 'The Southport Run' – and across the water in West Kirkby, Hoylake and Birkenhead – as well as further areas within Liverpool.

Now I've never been a fan of 'tickers' – the guys & gals who log and write scores and notes on every beer they have. This trainspotter action seems a bit much to me. I mean they'd go into a pub and see their favourite beer and not buy it if they saw an inferior beer in there that would get them another tick. I am never going to be that person. If Jaipur is on cask then I know I'm getting one – and maybe a second. That said I've become a ticker of sorts by noting the numbers of pubs I've visited. I will however return to going to my favourite places in the main now I've broken the back of the numbers of ale houses in the city. The numbers will go up much slower now and in fits and starts as I go to other towns & cities.

I still don't have a goal. Maybe I'll develop one or two as the months of 2022 pass by.

Pubs, Pubs.

Anyway, '
How Many Pubs Are You Up To?' I hear you ask. Will you still need me, will you still feed me?: It's 64.