A funny thing happened on way to the Forum

Forum in Winckley Street
Forum in Winckley Street
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Last minute change of plans reveals city-centre bar with a nice line in food and some great beer

Note to pubs who make a habit of tweeting, Facebooking or otherwise circulating snaps of delicious looking burgers et al which are available only at limited times: Please accompany each image with a list of said times.

Overnight expect a vast reduction in the number of crushed looking individuals you send tottering into the urban sprawl wracking their brains over where to lay hold of a meal broadly similar to that they have been hotly anticipating for most of a daily grind.

A grisly old jam this, and one in which yours truly got stuck Preston city centre-side this week.

Happily, salvation was close at hand. Unhappily, for regular readers of this column (there are at least three and I can prove that in a court of law if required to do so), my saviour came in the form of a chic bar where the question ‘Got any cask pumps on?’ will most likely be answered ‘No mate, these are Converse’.

All the same, pleasant to report that if the spick, span and snazzy Forum in Winckley Street does not yet run to real ale, there are at least two taps aimed squarely at the generic lager averse.

First to fill my hand was a pint of 13 Guns, a craft keg IPA out of Thwaites that packed a wallop to savour.

Copper-hued and hoppy with a smooth malty toffee body and lip-smacking bitter finish, this 5.5% ale vanished quick and easy, far in advance of my tea materialising.

Thus it fell to a Brooklyn Brewery craft lager to lubricate the passage of solid nourishment, and excellent that was too.

Ice cool, none too fizzy, the liquid equivalent of chewing on a thick crust of fresh good bread, deeply satisfying and the perfect partner for a pawful of juicy meat.

The food, that is. The aforementioned burgers et al? Sensational. Not cheap, but best I’ve tasted in this parish since The Real McCoy went under.