I took a trip to Staveley Beer Hall yesterday courtesy of a cheap advance ticket from Virgin Trains. Inevitably, Virgin ensured that we missed our connection at Oxenholme so we decided that the extra expense of a taxi was a better option than losing two hours drinking time. The compensation form is on its way.
Arriving in Staveley was like walking through the back of the wardrobe into Narnia. Wirral was cold and damp, as it still was when I got home, but south Lakeland was carpeted in snow which did not relent all day with the eerie quietness that the snow brings.
The Beer Hall was as welcoming as usual with a god smattering of customers considering the weather. We went through the card, including the new Dry Stone Stout and lingering at the wonderful NZPA. Just as well it ran out because it is dangerously drinkable for 6%. The Mushroom soup and a large cheese board sustained us through the day.
We interrupted our visit to make the short trudge down to the Eagle & Child. Sitting in front of he real fire watching the snow come down is a great pleasure but the Coniston Bluebird was second rate compared with the Hawkshead range. This beer is a poor shadow of its former self in my opinion.
So it was back to the Beer Hall for more Windermere Pale Ale and Cumbrian Five Hop. The bottle shop has shifted its emphasis away from Belgium slightly and now stocks some excellent English beers. I noticed Magic Rock, Summer Wine, Thornbridge, Dark Star and even Kernel represented. But NZPA is now available in bottle so that was my choice. Another excellent day at this superb brewery.