Padiham .. it’s a beer oasis

The Alma pub in Padiham
The Alma pub in Padiham

This month I felt the need to ascend to my soapbox, to explain to one or two blinkered and out-of-touch, beery brethren, who appear to think one of our local towns, is a real ale “desert” – and lacking in cask ale pubs.

Now, I can fully understand real ale drinkers stating the likes of Nelson, and indeed, Blackburn, are now unfortunately in that category.

However, for them, in this instance, to think Padiham as deemed to be real ale unfriendly, was quite ludicrous in the extreme – and I felt the need to explain the current beery situation in the town as a matter of urgency.

It all evolved when I got chatting to a group of “real ale drinkers” discussing the lack of cask conditioned ale, in some local towns. It was the usual topics of pubs closing and ale being too expensive in tied boozers.

Then, one said: “Padiham used to have quite a few pubs – but most are closed now – it’s what I would call a real ale ‘desert’.”

And there they all were, nodding in agreement!

So, after I had picked myself off the floor, and plonked my rear-end, back on the stool. I proceeded to inform this “gaggle” of ale quaffers, what their perceived “beery desert” really had to offer.

I explained to them that Padiham still had some fine real ale establishments, and gave them a tour of recommended pubs to visit – and why they should patronise them.

I kicked off with the Flying Dutchman. Just the two Thwaites cask ales – but they always have a couple of their excellent monthly ales on. The last two visits, Fallen Nun and Benny and Hop had been on offer – enough said.

After a strong ’un in the Dutch, you proceed to Molly Rigby’s for the usual fine range of beverages. Four cask ales to enjoy, in a friendly, relaxed environment. Prospect and Bank Top ales are regularly on the bar – as well as Reedley Hallows. Spoilt for choice with that triumvirate – happy days!

A short jolly jaunt leads you to the Free Gardeners Arms. Usually a couple of decent ales to slurp. Local brewers are supported here too.

Another hop,skip and a slight stagger, and it’s destination, Alma Inn. A traditional, old-fashioned drinking den. Adnams and Black Sheep are regular tipples to tempt your taste buds.

Finally, a 50-yard stroll leads you to one of the best ale houses in the locality.

The Hare and Hounds has a regular selection of six cask ales. Friendly abuse and leg-pulling are guaranteed as is a great selection of local ales. Worsthorne, Reedley Hallows, Bank Top and Prospect, make it beer utopia at t’Hare. Camra Good Beer Guide 2015, perhaps?

So, Padiham, a real ale “desert”? Gentlemen, had you taken leave of your senses? Yes, you probably had.