CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2020, dubbed the beer drinker’s bible, is out and pubs across Saddleworth are well represented in its 1,060 pages.
Indeed, the forward is written by former Saddleworth resident, Dr Brian Cox, who wistfully recalls days quaffing JW Lees bitter.
Earlier this year, the Campaign for Real Ale said 378 pubs closed between July and December 2018 while another report suggested nearly 1,000 disappeared in 2018.
Against such a depressing backdrop, Saddleworth has arguably fared better than many areas in recent years.
There’s no Rose and Crown in Delph, Woolpack in Dobcross, Black Horse serving in Denshaw or Cloggers in Uppermill.
But there remains plenty of choice for Saddleworthians to whet their collective whistles including those listed in CAMRA’S Good Beer Guide 2020.
Royal Oak (Th’ Heights):
Dating back to 1767, this cosy pub overlooking Tame Valley, now celebrates its 28th consecutive year in the guide.
Serving house beer from Coach House, supplemented by a Millstone beer and two other changing ales.
Dobcross Band Social Club:
The local CAMRA branch Club of the Year 2018 is a free house with fine moorland views. Serves Millstone Tiger Rut, two changing ales and often Bradfield (JW Lees).
A venue for August’s popular Rushcart Festival, this family-run pub serves food and a variety of real ales; most notably: Greene King Abbot, Millstone Tiger Rut and Timothy Taylor’s Landlord.
Donkeystone Brewing Co:
This 10-barrel brewery offers brewery tours and ale samplings of 10 or more of their hand-crafted beers including Donkeystone HoppinSesh, Bad Ass Blonde and Bray.
King William IV:
This Rushcart festival venue, better known as the King Bill, serves six real ales and pub food. The King Bill’s favoured ales include: Black Sheep best bitter and Millstone Tiger Rut. Children, dogs and walkers welcomed.
Friendly, family-owned freehouse pub offers a fine selection of cask ales including; Lemon Dream, Tiger Rut, Phoenix Arizona and Mansfield,
There is a varied menu of good value, home-made food including daily specials on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. And there is always a treat or two for the dogs.
White Hart Inn:
Commanding impressive views of the surrounding hills, the inn, dating back to 1788, showcases a restaurant, an award-winning kitchen, function rooms, guest accommodation and beer garden. Serving three regular beers including JW Lees Bitter and Tim Taylor.
This former bookshop turned stylish bar has a stainless steel bar, high wooden tables, exposed brickwork and a mural of an old Saddleworth snow scene. Bees adorn the ceiling. In addition to the cask ales there are eight keg fonts with Track, Cloudwater and Thornbridge.
Cross Keys Inn:
This Grade ll listed, 18th-century, Inn overlooking St. Chad’s Church and Saddleworth offers home-cooked food with daily specials and ales such as JW Lees Dark, Manchester Pale Ale, Founder’s.
Also listed are the Church Inn, Fleece and Rising Sun in Mossley.