Junes's Pub of the Month
Grove Alehouse — London Road in Hazel Grove

Thursday 27 June 2019

145 London Road, Hazel Grove SK7 4HH Map


The Stockport & South Manchester CAMRA Pub of the Month for June is the Grove Alehouse on London Road in Hazel Grove. Mike Gilroy explains why it won the award.

After running the Grove Alehouse for two and a half years, Kevin and Tina Clarke sold the micropub to Angie and Scott Jepson last year. After a short period of closure, a grand re-opening on 4 August saw the pub packed with family and friends of the new owners. It's not looked back since, with trade increasing substantially over the past months.

There are five regularly changing cask beers on handpump, with the aim of having a variety of ales from both local brewers and those further afield. In addition, you will usually find a mixture of beer styles too, with a dark beer, a mild and a session bitter included in the mix.

Cider and perry lovers are also well catered for with three real ciders and perries available from the fridge. Again, these are sourced locally, with Stockport's Madhatters and Dunham Massey's Dunham Press being popular choices, and also from around the country too. It's a matter of pride that no artificially sweet fruit ciders are sold.

Angie and Scott have also worked hard to make the pub more of a community focus with the monthly 'cheese Sundays' proving very popular in this respect. They lay on cheese and biscuits but also invite customers to bring their own, a move which seems to bring people together and get them talking.

At the back of the pub is an enclosed beer garden and this is being upgraded for the summer months with refreshed paintwork and plenty of flowering plants. No doubt this will be put to good use on the presentation night, Thursday 27 June, when a full house is expected to see Angie and Scott receive this well-deserved award.


The Pub of the Month award is sponsored by Stephensons, a local family firm that has been supplying the local pub and catering trade for over 140 years. Check out their web site by clicking on their logo.

Forthcoming outing — Chester

Saturday 22nd June 2019

Two travel routes are available to Chester and three for the return!Chester - Stockport live departures on a new page.
Option 1
Manchester Piccadilly
10:53 Chester via Warrington
Arrive Chester 11:54
Option 2
Manchester Piccadilly
10:41 Chester via Northwich
Stockport train station 10:52
Arrive Chester 12:10
The Deva Tap 12:15 - 12:45
Olde Cottage 12:45 - 13:15
Pied Bull 13:15 - 14:15 Food available, booking suggested
Cavern of the Curious Gnome 14:15 - 14:45
Brewhouse and Kitchen 14:45 - 15:15 Chester - Manchester live departures on a new page.
Mill Hotel 15:15 - 16:00
Cellar 16:00 - 16:30
Old Harkers Arms 16:30 - 17:15
Return via Crewe 17:35 & 17:55
Return via Warrington 17:51 To Manchester Piccadilly
Return via Northwich 18:01
Return via Warrington 18:52 To Manchester Piccadilly
Return via Crewe 18:55
Return via Northwich 19:00


The Deva Tap — 12:15 - 12:45

121 Brook Street, Chester, CH1 3DU

Popular venue close to the railway station, taken over by the team at Deva Craft Brewery in March 2017. The brewery was then sold in late 2017 and split from the pub business. The interior is fairly open plan but still has the feel of three separate rooms - a small area by the door, larger seating area in the middle and the bar at the far end. The exterior has a very unusual but stunning roof line and there is a small courtyard with picnic tables. On the bar you'll find up to five handpumps selling a range of local ales plus several keg taps and bottles. Food served daily.


Olde Cottage — 12:45 - 13:15

34 - 36 Brook Street, Chester, CH1 3DZ

Welcoming traditional community hostelry on a popular eating and drinking street close to the bus station and between the city centre and railway station. The pub benefits from a range of pub games with two dart boards, pool and bagatelle. There is a real fire in colder weather. Four hand pumps serve a rotating range of guest beers. These come from the Admiral list - one local beer per week allowed out of tie (not via SIBA). Currently offering both a CAMRA discount and a loyalty scheme. Chester & South Clwyd branch Pub of the Year 2016 CAMRA Champion Pub of Cheshire 2016 & 2018.


Pied Bull — 13:15 - 14:15

57 Northgate Street, Chester, CH1 2HQ

An oak-beamed city centre pub which is the oldest continuously licensed premises in Chester, also reputed to be haunted. Staff are knowledgeable, enthusiastic & friendly. Site of the only micro-brewery within the walls of Chester, producing a rapidly expanding range of house ales (including CAMRA award winning beer -Matador) to complement the varying guest ales. House ales also available as bottled take-outs. Regular beer festivals. Traditional, high quality pub meals containing locally sourced ingredients, available all day. New beer garden opened in July 2016 is a boon in warm weather.


Cavern of the Curious Gnome — 14:15 - 14:45

61 Bridge Street Row East, Chester, CH1 1NW

Located on one of Chester's unique shopping galleries called the Rows, this deceptively spacious venue comes in two very distinct halves. Downstairs is Paysan where the emphasis is on wine, coffee and cheese. Upstairs you'll ascend into the decidedly offbeat Cavern of the Curious Gnome. Here, a colourful large papier-mâché dwarf gazes down on a Belgium beer grotto. Red-and-white spotted toadstool seating immediately catches the eye but there's plenty more quirkiness to be found amongst the decor. On the beer front, besides the welcome four hand pumps serving changing local cask ales, Belgian beeroisseurs will be delighted by a diverse selection of lambics, gueuzes, Trappist ales and much more including, uniquely for the north-west, Duvel served on draught. (See the beer page on their website for the full run down.)


Brewhouse and Kitchen — 14:45 - 15:15

Love Street, Chester, CH1 1QY

The Forest House was built in c1759 as the town house of one Trafford Branston and is the central block of one of Chester's finest surviving Georgian buildings. Now part of the Brewhouse & Kitchen group who have a number of outlets countrywide. A brewery has been installed downstairs which will produce a range of house beers plus seasonal varieties. Many original features of the house have been retained. As well as a large bar at Mezzanine level with a cosy room off, there is a substantial long cellar with another bar splitting the two seating areas.


Mill Hotel — 15:15 - 16:00

Milton Street, Chester, CH1 3NF

This popular city centre hotel is a conversion from a corn mill originally built in 1830. A recent addition is a large conservatory on the street side of the building. 6 beers are regularly offered though there are handpumps for more at busier periods. Mill Premium, Castle Rock Harvest Pale and Weetwood Bitter are regulars. There is always 1 draught cider available. The popular Canalside restaurant is across the hotel lobby and in the bar itself meals are available whenever the bar is open. The main bar area has 3 large screen TVs showing sport at most times.


Cellar — 16:00 - 16:30

19 - 21 City Road, Chester, CH1 3AE

Welcoming and occasionally lively bar, furnished sparingly and with quirky non-matching pieces. Three TV screens show live sport at most times, though music nights are no more with this offering having transferred to their sister establishment The Cornerhouse nearby. 6 handpumps dispense cask beer from micros far and wide, with Marble Pint being the only regular. There are also 3 real ciders regularly available, plus up to 5 craft keg beers. Simple bar food is available Monday to Saturday. Below the main bar is the cellar which can be booked for private parties. Chester & South Clwyd branch Pub of the Year 2014 & 2015 (Cheshire area) Cider Pub of the Year 2017. Cask-AID every Monday sees £1 off the price of all real ales.


Old Harkers Arms — 16:30 - 17:15

1 Russel Street, Chester, CH3 5AL

Upmarket pub converted from the ground floor of former Victorian canalside warehouse. Timber flooring, traditional wooden furniture and cast iron pillars provide an insight to its former use. Blackboards list the real ales with tasting notes, usually nine are available with a selection of bitters, stouts, milds or porters. Many are from local breweries. Ciders and perrys listed separately and served from the cellar and was branch cider pub of the year 2018. Food served all day, booking advised for the busy weekend period. Outside seating with views of the canal.

Credit: Chester and South Clwyd CAMRA for the pub info.

 

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Pub of the Year 2019

Bakers Vault, Stockport

Market Place, Stockport SK1 1ES Map


The Stockport & South Manchester CAMRA Pub of the Year for 2019 is the Bakers Vaults in the Market Place, Stockport.

Bakers Vault

In recent years the voting for the Stockport & South Manchester Pub of the Year has been nail-bitingly close and this time was no exception, with just two votes separating the top two pubs for the 2019 award.

The winner is chosen from the Pubs Bakers Vault of the Month for the previous year and the 2018 crop was not only very diverse but also included numerous excellent pubs. Discussion was intense but there can only be one winner and this year the top spot was taken by the Bakers Vaults in Stockport Market Place.

The Bakers has been something of a local institution for many years and for a long time had a reputation as a venue for live music. Just under five years ago Robinsons gave it a major makeover, and in July 2014 it reopened with a fresh new look to make it brighter and more welcoming.

Bakers Vault

It's run by Luke Morgan and his team who work tirelessly to provide a friendly, welcoming pub. As a result the Bakers is frequently bustling with drinkers - no doubt attracted by no fewer than 10 cask ales on handpump.

Bakers Vault

A delighted Luke told Opening Times: "It's an absolute honour to receive the Stockport & South Manchester Pub of the Year 2019. Myself and my team always strive to provide the best quality drinking experience we can, with a cheeky smile and a bit of banter in our friendly little pub. I'd like to thank everyone for supporting us over the last five years. You're all amazing".

Five of the beers are from the Robinsons range and five are guests (although Titanic Brewery's Plum Porter seems to be a permanent resident). Weston's Old Rosie cider is also available. In addition is a range of gins - a nod to the pub's history as a gin palace dating back to 1775. A number of chalkboards detail part of the history.

Bakers Vault

Food comprises a small but well put together menu of gourmet hotdogs and burgers and some delicious fried sides. In keeping with the pub's long-time reputation as a music venue, local and regional bands are showcased every Sunday from 3-6pm, playing anything from jazz and blues to folk-rock and country.

The award was due to be presented on Thursday 21 February so look out for a photo or two in the next issue. The pub is open from 12 noon every day.

Runner-up Pub of the Year 2019

Þe Olde Vic, Edgeley

1 Chatham Street, Edgeley, Stockport SK3 9ED Map


The Stockport & South Manchester CAMRA Runner-Up Pub of the Year for 2019 is Ye Olde Vic on Chatham Street in Edgeley.

Ye Olde Vic

The runner-up is Ye Olde Vic on Chatham Street in Edgeley. This pub is something of a survivor, having faced demolition threats in the 1960s, a period of closure in the early 1980s and some years of neglect under its previous owner.

Ye Olde Vic

For many years though it's been run by Steve Brannan and Johanne Quinn and during their reign the pub has won many CAMRA awards and what seems to be a permanent place in the national Good Beer Guide.

Ye Olde Vic

When the previous owner put the Olde Vic up for sale Steve and Jo couldn't afford to buy it; but fortunately a consortium of locals banded together to acquire the pub and save it for the future. Since then it has seen considerable investment and the exterior looks smarter than it's done for many years.

Internally little has changed. The pumpclips on the ceiling are a history lesson on forgotten beers and breweries. On the bar you'll find six ever-changing guest beers alongside one or two traditional ciders. The Vic opens at 5pm every day.

NOTE: The spelling Þe Olde Vic of the pubs name harks back to the original Old English where there was a 'special' character called thorn which was used for what we now use 'th', thus "the" was spelled "þe". More information on thorn here. In fact according to this website http://mentalfloss.com/article/31904/12-letters-didnt-make-alphabet there are another eleven 'lost' letters!

Cider Pub of the Year 2019

St Petersgate, Stockport

19a St Petersgate, Stockport SK1 1EB Map

Petersgate Tap

It's two in a row for the Petersgate Tap, which is once again the Stockport & South Manchester CAMRA Cider Pub of the Year.

Petersgate Tap Petersgate Tap

Set over two floors, the Tap opened in September 2016 since when it has settled in to become a firm favourite with local beer and cider enthusiasts. Father and son team Alan and Chris Gent are passionate about their beers and ciders. Dark (and usually rather strong) beers are something of a speciality while the cider and perry offer has gone from strength to strength.

The pub now offers no fewer than eight traditional ciders and perries - some from local producers such as Dunham Press (Dunham Massey) and SiDa (Macclesfield) while others are from further afield. You can have your cider at either fridge or cellar temperature, too.

Petersgate Tap

Last time the pub went on to win the regional title too and co-owner Alan Gent is both delighted with the award and looking forward to the county contest this time, as well.

He told Opening Times: "After winning last year's regional title, we've continued to develop our cider offer with cooled and cellar temperature cider and perry for sale. Petersgate Tap We're pleased the branch has supported us once again in winning the title and we're ready for another tilt at the regional."

The award is due to be presented on Saturday 27 April, from 2pm. The Petersgate Tap is at 19a St Petersgate, Stockport. It is closed on Mondays and opens from 4pm Tuesday, 2pm Wednesday, 12 noon Thursday to Saturday and 1pm on Sunday.

Club of the Year 2019

Moor Club, Heaton Moor

35 Heaton Moor Road, Heaton Moor, Stockport SK4 4PB Map

The Stockport & South Manchester Club of the Year 2019 is the Moor Club on Heaton Moor Road.

A previous Club of the Year winner, in 2016, this well-appointed members' club has two lounge areas at the front, and beyond these a members-only bar and snooker room with three full-size tables - the club takes part in two snooker leagues. The Manchester Backgammon Club meets here every week, too.

Holt's Bitter is the permanent cask ale and this is usually joined by two changing guest beers, often from the Marston's range.

Stagger diary - Work in progress

Many staggers have been updated and there are a few new ones. Thus some links below are still pointing to older accounts BUT ALL ITINERIES ARE CORRECT {just the accompanying text which is amiss!}

Month

Stagger

Date

Start Point
7:30 unless stated

Mid Point
8:30 unless stated

2018

January

Gatley and Cheadle west

19th

Prince of Wales
Gatley Green, SK8 4NF

White Hart
90 High Street, SK8 1PX

February

West Didsbury east

16th

Woodstock Arms
139 Barlow Moor Road, M20 2DY

Wine and Wallop
97 Lapwing Lane, M20 6UR

March

Heaton Moor

16th

Elizabethan
33 Heaton Moor Road, SK4 4PB

Plough on the Moor
82 Heaton Moor Road, SK4 4NZ

April

Cheadle Hulme centre

20th

Kenilworth
Cheadle Road, SK8 5DX

Church Inn
90 Ravenoak Road, SK8 7EG

May

Stockport North and Portwood

18th

Midway
263 Newbridge Lane, SK1 2NX

Railway
1 Avenue Street, SK1 2BZ

June

Withington

22nd

Orion @ 8pm
8 Burton Road, M20 3ED

Victoria
438 Wilmslow Road, M20 3BW

July

Cale Green and Higher Hillgate

20th

Blossoms
2 Buxton Road, SK2 6NU

Wheatsheaf
205-209 Higher Hillgate, SK1 3RB

August

Levenshulme

17th

Klondyke Club
Burnage Range

Station Hop
815 Stockport Road, M19 3BS

September

Heaton Norris east

21st

Carousel
156 Reddish Road, SK5 7HR

Silver Jubilee
21 Hamilton Square, SK4 1JG

October

Gorton, Hyde Road

19th

Plough
927 Hyde Road, M18 7FB

Royal Oak
114 Cross Lane, M18 8NZ

November

Didsbury south

16th

Didsbury
852 Wilmslow Road, M20 2SG

Crown
770 Wilmslow Road, M20 2DR

December

Stockport Hillgate

21st

Blossoms
2 Buxton Road, SK2 6NU

Sun and Castle
54 Middle Hillgate, SK1 3EH


2019

January

Offerton

18th

Puss in Boots
147 Nangreave Road, SK2 6DG

Finger Post
434 Hempshaw Lane, SK1 4QA

February

Hazel Grove south

22nd

Rising Sun
2 Buxton Road, SK7 6AD

Horse & Jockey
201 London Road, SK7 4HJ

March

Ladybarn and Fallowfield

22nd

Ladybarn Social Club
13 Green Street, M14 6TL

Friendship
353 Wilmslow Road, M14 6XS

April

Cheadle east

19th

Cheshire Line Tavern
Manchester Road, SK8 2NZ

Royal Oak
22 Stockport Road, SK8 2AA

May

Didsbury north

17th

Botanist
1d School Lane, M20 6RD

Station
682 Wilmslow Road, M20 2DN

June

Cheadle Hulme north

21st

P5
47 Station Road, SK8 7AA

Kings Tap
11-13 Station Road, SK8 5AF

July

Chorlton-on-Medlock and University

19th

Ford Madox Brown
Wilmslow Road, M14 5FT

Grafton Arms
27 Grafton Street, M13 9WU

August

Bramhall

16th

Three Bears
Jackson's Lane, SK7 5JH

Shady Oak
Redford Drive, SK7 3PG

September

Stockport Market Place

20th

Bakers Vaults
Market Place, SK1 1ES

Remedy Bar & Brewhouse
10-11 Market Place, SK1 1EW

October

Hazel Grove north

18th

Three Tunnes
194 London Road, SK7 4DQ

Grove Alehouse
145 London Road, SK7 4HH

November

West Didsbury, Burton Road

22nd

George Charles
246 Burton Road, M20 2LW

Folk Café Bar
169-171 Burton Road, M20 2LN

December

Stockport Hillgate

21st

Blossoms
2 Buxton Road, SK2 6NU

Sun and Castle
54 Middle Hillgate, SK1 3EH


2020

January

Edgeley and Shaw Heath

17th

Alexandra
195 Northgate Road, SK3 9NJ

Royal Oak
124 Castle Street, SK3 9AL

February

Northenden

21st

Farmers Arms
26 Longley Lane, M22 4JR

Lounge About
424 Palatine Road, M22 4JT

March

Moss Nook and Heald Green

20th

Tatton Arms
Trenchard Drive, M22 5LZ

Heald Green
Finney Lane, SK8 3QH

April

Great Moor and Heaviley

17th

George & Dragon
14 London Road, SK7 4AH

Travellers Call
351 Buxton Road, SK2 7NL

May

Reddish and Heaton Chapel

22nd

Fir Tree
257 Gorton Road, SK5 6LL

Union
93 Broadstone Road, SK5 7AS

June

Burnage

19th

Farmers Arms
254 Burnage Lane, M19 1EN

Beer Shop
13 Kingsleigh Road, SK4 3QF

July

Stockport south and Underbanks

17th

Nelson Tavern
98 Wellington Road South, SK1 3UH

Petersgate Tap
19a St Petersgate, SK1 1EB

August

East Didsbury and Heaton Mersey

21st

Gateway
882 Wilmslow Road, M20 5PG

Dog & Partridge
687-693 Didsbury Road, SK4 3AG

September

Gatley and Cheadle west

18th

Prince of Wales
Gatley Green, SK8 4NF

White Hart
90 High Street, SK8 1PX

October

West Didsbury east

16th

Woodstock Arms
139 Barlow Moor Road, M20 2DY

Wine and Wallop
97 Lapwing Lane, M20 6UR

November

Heaton Moor

20th

Elizabethan
33 Heaton Moor Road, SK4 4PB

Plough on the Moor
82 Heaton Moor Road, SK4 4NZ

December

Stockport Hillgate

18th

Blossoms
2 Buxton Road, SK2 6NU

Sun and Castle
54 Middle Hillgate, SK1 3EH