Fylde coast raises toast to the best in beer

Ben Croston (left) and Dave Shaw of Fuzzy Duck Brewery at the Strawberry Gardens, Poulton Rd, Fleetwood
Ben Croston (left) and Dave Shaw of Fuzzy Duck Brewery at the Strawberry Gardens, Poulton Rd, Fleetwood
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The Fylde coast can raise a glass or two in celebration after many of its best known pubs featured in this year’s Good Beer Guide.

And the increasing importance of micro breweries is also hailed in the new book from beer buff the Campaign for Real Ale.

Blackpool has five ale establishments praised for their beers, Poulton, St Annes, Lytham and Fleetwood has three each while three local breweries get a mention.

Seven Wetherspoon pubs in the area have been acclaimed for the quality of their real ale – by local branch members of CAMRA.

The Auctioneer in Lytham Road and The Layton Rakes in Market Street, both in Blackpool, The Trawl Boat Inn in Wood Street, St Annes, The Railway Hotel in Station Road, Lytham, together with The Thomas Drummond in London Street, Fleetwood, The Poulton Elk in Hardhorn Road, Poulton and The Jolly Tars in Victoria Road West, Cleveleys, all get a listing in the beer bible for 2016.

Local branch members chose the pubs following regular visits to check on the quality of the real ales on offer.

They also took into account customer service, décor and overall atmosphere.

A CAMRA spokesman said: “The pubs deserve their place in the Good Beer Guide 2016.

“It is our belief that if a licensee serves an excellent pint of real ale, then everything else in the pub, including customer service, quality of food and atmosphere, are likely to be of an equally high standard.”

The Auctioneer manager, Bev Bawden, said: “I am delighted that the pub has been recognised for the quality of its real ales by CAMRA members.

“We offer our customers an excellent range of real ales at all times, including those from regional brewers and microbrewers, as well as hosting our own beer festivals.

“Staff at the pub work hard to ensure that the real ales on offer are kept in first-class condition at all times and the pub’s inclusion in the guide highlights this.”

Also mentioned for Blackpool are the Pump and Truncheon, and Blackpool Cricket Club.

The Steamer and Strawberry Gardens are Fleetwood’s other entries, while the White Bull Hotel in Great Eccleston, the Cartford Inn, Little Eccleston, The County Hotel,Lytham and The Taps, also Lytham, all earn high praise.

In Poulton, the Old Town Hall and the Thatched House are listed, while Fifteens in St Annes and the Victoria are also among the best in the country.

New research released to mark the launch of the Good Beer Guide 2016, shows 70 per cent of all pubs now serve real ale, compared to just a third when it was first published in 1975 a fact attributed to the rise of micro breweries such as The Chapel Street Brewery and Fuzzy Duck in Poulton and the Lytham Brewery.

Roger Protz, editor of the book, said: “Micropubs prove the old saying that ‘small is beautiful’. Many are based in disused buildings, they have low overheads and can offer beer at sharper prices than many traditional pubs.”