Saturday, 28 November 2015

Not one for discerning beer quaffers.

For this weeks beery report, I felt I was on a mission of intrigue. Nothing underhand or conniving you understand. It was just I was lured by another opening of a bar in a local town centre.

Craft Cafe Bar in Burnley opened its doors on the 21st November. Some of you will remember this Thwaites owned establishment, as, the Red Lion. A quite prominent and imposing structure on the corner of St James Street and Manchester Road.

It was more recently known as Decadence. Unfortunately, it became another pub business casualty - and the building had stood empty for almost three years.

To be honest, I didn't know what to expect, as I walked through its half glazed double doors. First impressions was that it hadn't changed much since its "Decadence" days.

There was still the impressive, marble topped, horseshoe-shaped bar.
In addition to its elevated dining area, adjacent to the entrance. And a second raised, more relaxed area, in the right hand corner, of this spacious, open-plan establishment. 
This included a couple of comfy settees.

However, the tables hadn't arrived - and I had to plonk my drink on the floor. 😢

The two tone grey and pearl decor gave the bar a bright and welcoming environment. However, the serviette's, knives and forks placed on all the tables, left you in no doubt that this new venture is food-led. Food is served seven days a week. Breakfast's commence at 9.30am. With their tasty looking main menu, being available until 6.30pm.

And so to the bar. Where I met barman,Michael. A most helpful and ebullient young man. However, in all fairness, what he had to offer was a disappointment. Just two cask ales and three keg lines, one of which was a cider - and only one bottled beer brand in the chiller!

I plumped initially for the Thwaites 13 Guns on keg, at £3.60 a pint. It was a robust, quite flavoursome drop. However, unlike the superb cask version, this wasn't as hoppy - and a tad too malty - it's quite common in keg beers.

The Thwaites Bird Dock, at £3.40, was a belter. Another "Crafty Dan" microbrewery masterpiece. A rich stout, with a smooth liquorice flavour. Unfortunately, this was tempered with a below par Marstons, Revisionist 'Craft Lager'(£3.40).Devoid of flavour and body, to be honest.

The Wainwright(£3.40) was average at best. In good condition but, a shadow of its former citrus laden self, since brewing migrated to Marstons in Wolverhampton, no argument.

I wish Craft Cafe Bar every success. However, in my humble opinion, for the discerning beer quaffers amongst us. I cannot see it competing with the other fine drinking establishments, within close proximity.

Sent from my iPad