Saturday, 21 April 2012


A visit to the working men's club, not too long ago, meant little or no choice, if you were seeking out fine cask ales. How times have changed!
Many clubs now have a great choice of real ales. Three, four,  may be five, are now common, when you 'pop down t'club'. Not just your bog standard, bland tasting smoothies! Guest ales are now present, as demand by the club customer, for cask beers, continues a pace.
I spent an afternoon recently, with Tom Large, who is joint owner of Molly Rigby's in Padiham, Lancashire. It is a most friendly of clubs, and serves four cask ales.
Tom explained that his regulars are demanding more and more choice in cask ales.'They love the ever changing cask beers.Gone are the days when you just had the kegs.'
Thursday night is typical of demand. It is darts night at Molly's and Tom say's, 'All the players sup it and there's hardly owt left in the barrel some nights!'
We were discussing all this at a recent beer festival in Skipton, and Tom was saying he had eyed and tasted a few for his customers. He had been a recent convert to real ales, saying he loves all the different flavours and strengths. A view shared by his many club members.
You just know Tom is so passionate about his club and his customers. All he wanted to talk about was delivering choice,   and improving what was on offer at Molly Rigby's. He realised  times are changing and you have to respond quickly to what your customers are demanding. In this case, cask ales and long may it continue.
I loved Tom's company and indeed the club members who were at the festival. They were all eager to try the different ales and it was nice when they kept asking me about any recommendations. The next trip from the club is the Clitheroe Beer Festival next month. Molly's have their own minibus and the trip to Skipton was free! Just a two quid donation for the petrol, said Tom. Aye, like I said a guy who is passionate about his customers and the service he provides. And no doubt typical of many club owners throughout this fine land.