The paucity of pubs along Penwortham’s main drag has long been a source of mystification in this quarter.
Here, seemingly, a relatively healthy stretch of commercial endeavour – shops, takeaways, restaurants, sundry businesses – and, for so long as I can recall, just the one pub.
Still, on current showing it is a blessing for those resident thereabouts that it is a very good one.
Fresh from a six-figure refurb The Fleece was a bustling happy hostelry on the sunny Sunday afternoon I passed through, with a brace of family parties up one end and a dedicated crowd of ale researchers getting to the bottom of pint pots.
Keen to join this worthwhile pursuit I ordered a Fleeced by Preston’s very own Hart Brewery from the sizable cask offer and commenced to study its contents with great interest.
A golden bitter with a creamy head and pleasantly tart finish, this kept me gainfully employed all the way up to the arrival of lunch – a decent enough roast at £6.99, from a menu of simple but appetising (going purely off my sneaky hungry squints at other customers’ plates) pub grub.
At 3.9% maybe a bit dynamic to qualify as a session ale, but close and, compared to what followed, akin to mother’s milk.
Blakemere Brewery’s Cosmic IPA landed in my mouth like an explosion of flowers, tropical fruit and citrus; pungent, dry, with a lipsmacking bitter finish.
Landed in my napper, meanwhile, like a 6.0%A-bomb, rendering me slightly giddy until spuds, gravy and yorkie pud added some welcome ballast.
Polished off with a cigarette in the large pleasant beer garden, the perfect end to a good lunch.
Definitely worth a visit.
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