Sunday, 16 January 2011

Pub Trip - Old Dungeon Ghyll & Wainright's

Accompanied by Mrs Birkonian we spent Saturday night at an upmarket 'Resort Hotel' in the Langdale Valley in what tourist boards call the Lake District. The definition of a resort Hotel is that your room is not in the same building as the facilities i.e. you get wet when it rains. It rains a lot in the Lake District.

We arrived early which gave us time to carry on past the hotel and rectify a glaring omission on my beer c.v. Yes, I'd never been to the Old Dungeon Ghyll. Well I wasn't disappointed. The Hiker's Bar was probably little changed apart from the vinyl covering the stone floor and the Mars Bars in a cabinet behind the bar.

A rare wet day at The Old Dungeon Ghyll
A few (fool)hardy walkers were trying to dry out in front of the welcoming ancient range. We settled down on one of the stone-partitioned benches where I could enjoy the best pint of Yates' Bitter I've had for a few years followed by a stronger malty offering from Yates', Best Cellar.

The Hiker's Bar at the Old Dungeon Ghyll
In the evening, following the pleasant discovery of Marston's EPA in the hotel bar, although slightly deflated by its lukewarm temperature, we braved the monsoon for the 5 minute walk to the GBG listed Wainwright's in Chapel Stile.

Wainwright's, Chapel Stile. Still raining.
Under the same ownership as our hotel the GBG doesn't do it full justice. 3 beers from the marston's stable plus 3 from smaller northern breweries undersells its range of Marston's Pedigree, Jennings Cumberland Ale & Snecklifter, Ulverston Fra Diavolo, Kirkby Lonsdale Monumemtal, Hawkshead Lakeland Gold and Loweswater Gold. I had time for those last three and enjoyed their different takes on blonde hoppy beers.

The famous Britannia Inn at Elterwater is a short walk away so there is plenty of good beer to recommend a trip to the Langdale Valley.

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