Thursday, 13 February 2014

The first craft beer chain?

Collecting my daughter from Lime Street station on Monday night I parked my car and used the side entrance. In doing so, I passed a pub that I'd forgotten about - The Head of Steam. Once packed to the gunnels it had just a couple of hardy souls watching Sky footy.


Was this part of the first chain of craft beer pubs?  The Liverpool pub had five beers, each with a different range of beers. Beers from around the world were available and I remember buying the new, O'Hanlons produced Thomas Hardy's Ale from the Huddersfield outlet in 1984.

The earliest memory of a pub that would now be classed as 'craft' was a rural one. The Mason's Arms, Cartmel Fell, hidden above Lake Windermere had a world beer list on each table. It stocked over 150 Belgian Beers in the mid 80's and was the first place that I drank beers from the excellent Dutch 't IJ brewery.

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