al_yrpal wrote:Sweep it occurs to me that those Midlands Spoons you enjoyed on your canalside trip may have been serving Banks's beers. They used to be one of our software customers and I visited the Banks brewery often. Inside they had a training pub where new Landlords learned the basics. The beer in that pub was to die for which in my experience you dont find in Bank's pubs where people are so often quaffing that excuse for proper beer.. Lager. The fast turnover in any pub offers a better chance of enjoying a decent pint. With their massive success ensuring rapid turnover its all part of Tim's Spoons's magic formula I guess?
I fear you will give me a reputation al - I didn't stop at any pubs in the midlands - it was the middle of the night then and nothing was stirring - though I think from looking at the spoons highlighted on my offline OSMand I drift very close to a few, particularly in Stafford. I stopped at one pub only, the one in Bury, north of Manchester. Have very rarely drunk anything from Banks and when I have, from memory, been severely underwhelmed. As you say/imply, a good chance of getting some excellent beer in a spoons - as has been stated upthread, some folk seem to have a serious case of selective memory about the beer drinking experience of old. An awful lot of terrible fizz was served up to people.
Thanks to folks for the other tips - new areas of the country to explore - by bike.
edit - was in the spoons in Rochdale yesterday though not on a bike- interesting old picture palace. No bike parking nearby - council remodelling the town centre and the square on which the spoons sits but despite the space no bike parking provision. You could sit outside the back (free access) and fasten your bike to the pub railings in view, though it's not a terribly nice spot and you would miss the pub's interesting interior. Spoons in my experience won't usually send food to outside tables either. By the by the pub had a very fine selection of beers on offer - one of the barmen was looking forward to developing his "product knowledge" at the end of his shift.
edit edit - some of the seats in this pub, as with a fair few recent spoons refits, have power sockets and USB sockets at the table. Very convenient indeed for touring cyclists of course.
I really must get round to contacting spoons and suggesting that they highlight sheffield stands and power/usb points in their pub listings.