Posts tagged “Palmers Brewery

Lush Places: a love letter to our local

OUR PUB re-opens next week and we’re getting very excited.

Oh how we’ve missed it. A couple of months ago, when it seemed all hope was lost, Lush Places penned its very own community poem, each person contributing one or two lines and egged on by that Wondermentalist, the performance poet Matt Harvey, as part of an Artsreach show.

If, like me, you’re a lover of brevity, this poem is no haiku or limerick. But it’s well worth a read to the end. We’ve passed this love letter to our local to Palmers Brewery who say they have never seen anything quite like it.

So here goes…

An ode to the White Lion

In the bar the lion sleeps tonight

They say the White Lion roams on Lewesdon Hill

Bridport by Night: An alternative tourism video by Stephen Banks

So, it has been over a week since I uploaded my ‘labour of love’, Bridport by Night, to YouTube. The video really took off in the first four days, accumulating some 8,000 views in that period alone. Hits from technology site Gizmodo and Anglotopia helped it along its way, but the majority of views were picked up by an organic sharing frenzy on Facebook and Twitter.

Throughout last week, I had people who I didn’t know from the local area following me on Twitter and adding me on Facebook. Many of them commented expressing their praise for the video. To date, the video on YouTube has had about 75 comments (and the same number of replies by me), 206 likes and 2 dislikes – a comment reading “Two dislikes for this video? The pair of you: YOU ARE DEAD INSIDE” made me chuckle.

Interest has died down at the moment. A few people have quietly complained about how much I was mouthing off about it, so I haven’t been sharing it around so much. But the other night, ITV West Country Tonight came to West Bay and filmed me for a piece they are running. And this Saturday, the film is being shown at the Bridport Arts Centre as part of a Spirit of Bridport event.

My target number of views for the video is 12,977 (which is Wikipedia‘s listed population for Bridport). It should soon surpass that. I already have plans to make a second, improved version of the video. Difficult second album?

One man; 63 breweries

Brian Wood sat on the back of his DAF 1900 truck with sacks of malt at Palmers Brewery in Bridport, Dorset.

Brian Wood at Palmers Brewery in Bridport. His lorry has done more than 1.5 million miles. Above Brian's head is the trapdoor that leads though into Palmers' malt loft.

THIRTY years ago one of the unsung heroes of British brewing began criss-crossing the country with sacks of malt.

Brian Wood started carrying malt for Hugh Baird and Sons at Station Maltings in Witham in Essex in the Autumn of 1981. When Baird’s got taken over in the mid-1990s, he set up on his own.

I’ve met him a couple of times at Palmers Brewery in Bridport, where he’s been delivering malt since the early 1980s.

He’s a fine man, as I hope comes through in the video that I made about him for the Palmers Brewery YouTube channel.

Here, also, is a link to a story written about Brian Wood and Palmers.

What that story doesn’t contain is a list of all the UK breweries that Brian has been to.

It’s an evocative litany, so here it is. Fifty-nine different brewers, 63 separate breweries, some of them now shut for many years. Morrells’ Lion Brewery, for example, was converted into ‘luxury apartments’. Julia Hanson’s in Dudley was knocked down to make way for a Netto supermarket, turned this summer into an Asda.

  • Whitbread (Sheffield, Cheltenham, Salford)
  • Boddingtons (Manchester)
  • Joseph Holt (Manchester)
  • JW Lees (Manchester)
  • Timothy Taylor (Keighley)
  • Samuel Smith (Tadcaster)
  • Bass (Burton)
  • McMullens (Hertford)
  • Julia Hanson (Dudley)
  • Banks (Wolverhampton)
  • Hardy Hanson (Kimberley)
  • Brains (Cardiff)
  • Buckleys (Llanelli)
  • Felinfoel (Dyfed)
  • Wadworth (Devizes)
  • Hall & Woodhouse (Blandford)
  • Palmers Brewery (Bridport)
  • Otter Brewery (Blackdown Hills)
  • Butcombe (Blagdon)
  • Smiles (Bristol)
  • Hook Norton (Oxon)
  • Morrells (Oxford)
  • Fullers (Chiswick )
  • Tring (Hertford)
  • Adnams (Southwold)
  • Tolly’s (Ipswich)
  • Harveys (Lewes)
  • Hepworths (Horsham)
  • King & Barnes (Horsham)
  • Hull Brewery
  • Batemans (Wainfleet)
  • Robinsons (Stockport))
  • Thwaites (Blackburn)
  • Jennings (Cockermouth)
  • Moorhouse (Burnley)
  • Higsons (Liverpool)
  • Burtonwood Brewery
  • Everards (Leicester and Burton on Trent)
  • Marstons (Burton on Trent)
  • Ind Coope (Burton on Trent)
  • Castlemaine (Wrexham)
  • Oldham Brewery
  • Hart Brewery (Preston)
  • Mitchells (Lancaster)
  • Vaux (Sunderland & Sheffield)
  • Federation (Newcastle)
  • Courage (Bristol & Reading)
  • Crouch Brewery (Essex)
  • Gales (Horndean)
  • Devenish (Redruth)
  • St Austell (Cornwall)
  • Halls (Oxford)
  • Tisbury Brewery (Wiltshire)
  • Ringwood Brewery (Hampshire)
  • Shepherd Neame (Faversham)
  • Trough Brewery (Idle)
  • Brakspears (Henley on Thames)
  • Pilgrim (Reigate)
  • Mendip Brewery (Somerset)

Imagine going to the Trough Brewery at Idle for the first time! And seeing this, when you got there.

Nowadays Brian delivers mostly to Palmers in Dorset, Arkell’s in Swindon, Felinfoel near Llanelli, Harveys in Lewes, Elgood’s in Wisbech, Wadworth in Devizes and Fuller’s in Chiswick.

Good reason, I’d say, to favour those seven brewers.

CAMRA West Dorset pub guide published

Front cover of CAMRA West Dorset pub guide

CAMRA hopes its West Dorset pub guide will encourage people to visit more pubs and help keep them in business. The cover shows The Boot in Weymouth, The Anchor at Seatown, The Anchor in Burton Bradstock, The Rose & Crown in Longburton, The Royal Oak in Dorchester, Shave Cross Inn in the Marshwood Vale, and The Three Horseshoes in Burton Bradstock.

YOU KNOW the scenario – you’ve arrived in a place you don’t know well and you need to find a fine pint of real ale – and a good lunch.

Here to help you around West Dorset is the new Campaign for Real Ale guide, listing all 273 pubs in the area roughly bounded by Lyme Regis, Sherborne and Lulworth.

Within the packed 64 pages are descriptions of all the pubs, their location, telephone numbers, facilities, opening hours and - most importantly- the real ales they serve.

The centre pages open out to a map of the west of the county, showing towns and villages where real ales are served, while other pages display maps of the principal towns. You won’t get lost with this guide!

One of my favourite West Dorset pubs is the very popular and traditional George Hotel in Bridport’s South Street, described in the guide as an “unspoiled oak-panelled pub at the centre of the town, attracting a mixed clientele. Can get very busy at weekends. Less than a mile from the brewery.” It serves all of Palmers’ outstanding real ales.

In Lyme Regis, the Royal Standard has a good atmosphere, another Palmers house. “Comfortable low-ceilinged 400 year old pub with beachside garden. The interior incorporates stained glass panels, depicting historic events in Lyme. Popular pub meals.”

Country pubs feature throughout, such as the wonderful Shave Cross Inn, described as a “rural thatched pub with small flagstone bar, separate restaurant and second bar in the skittle alley/function room. Caribbean flavoured food. Thatchers cider in summer.” One real ale is from the Dorset Brewing Co. [DBC] at its new Crossways home.

Near the Somerset frontier is the Squirrel Inn at Laymore, on the Beaminster to Chard road, one of those isolated pubs you would never know about, but for guides like this. ”Unexpected red brick single bar pub in the middle of nowhere, with good local trade.  Reincarnation of an earlier stone-built pub. Well prepared pub food – popular steak night on Wednesdays.  August beer festival and ‘Ashen Faggot’ festival in January. Garden has play area.” Those like me who like Otter Bitter should find it at The Squirrel and also a Branscombe Vale beer, with occasional guests from Yeovil and Cottage Breweries.

In many cases, pubs will serve a predictable range of real ales- often from local breweries- but sometimes from faraway places. The new updated guide gives an indication of what brands are served at which pubs- although of course that is always likely to change. You will need the West Dorset CAMRA Pub Guide as an essential companion to any future pub outings.

Buy Pub Guide by post

Buy the updated 2011 West Dorset Pub Guide by post from West Dorset CAMRA at 32 Mellstock Avenue, Dorchester DT1 2BQ.

Send a cheque for £5 [including post and packing] made payable to West Dorset CAMRA.

CAMRA members pay only £4; quote your CAMRA membership number to qualify.

Dorset stockists

Alternatively, buy a copy over the bar for only £3.99 from the following outlets:

Bridport – Palmers Wine Store and selected pubs;

Dorchester – The Blue Raddle, 9 Church Street;

Lyme Regis – Tourist Information Centre, Town Mill Brewery and selected pubs;

Portland – Royal Portland Arms, Fortuneswell;

Weymouth – Bradburys, St Edmund Street; Londis, Westham Road and the Railway Station news kiosk.

Michel Hooper-Immins belongs to the British Guild of Beer Writers, whose members share “a love of beer and a desire to see its virtues communicated more effectively.” He is a leading member of CAMRA’s Wessex Region, and his name can often be found in The Good Pub Guide.

The editor of this website also works for Watershed PR, one of whose clients is Palmers Brewery. Please note, however, that Michel Hooper-Immins is an experienced journalist who writes about all pubs and brewers in Dorset as he sees fit.

The CAMRA guide is noticed here because it is a very useful book, worth knowing about and buying. And pubs across West Dorset always do need customers!

Just this month The Bottle Inn  at Marshwood closed, though it may reopen near Easter.