BARRY FREEMAN pays a visit to the Railway in Leyland
The Railway at Leyland has changed a great deal since yours truly first crossed its threshhold, but like most decent pubs that undergo such a journey it has somehow managed to remain largely the same.
Long known as a bit of a music pub, with good cask ale and fair food, the only obvious change is in the scale of the operation.
Early last year the Railway Suite sprouted out the left flank of the premises, creating a hefty function room/entertainment space and, hopefully, creating a lifeline for a relaxed friendly pub in these parlous times.
As ever, of course, the only entertainment of interest to this correspondent was the kind they pump up from the cellar and serve in nice big glasses.
Dropping in on a scorching afternoon with the pub’s spacious, decked beer yard my preferred destination it seemed wise to set out with a thirst-quencher, and Lancaster Blonde fitted the bill.
A stunning golden jar, tangy earthy aromas flood the beak as one tips to lips, and a good pint of the stuff – as this was – packs as lip-smacking a bitter punch as any popular cask I know of.
Never going to set the world on fire, but a well-kept version is reliably the ticket when we get sun.
Followed this with a genuine favourite, Black Sheep Best, a brew I have met and socialised with from the Masham brewery itself to pubs nationwide.
Get it right and you have the Dales in liquid form. Sadly, this was just a little short of that. Not off, I hasten to add, just a bit flat.
An expert would probably take one sip and tell you which cellar step they banged the cask on immediately prior to hooking it up, but I am no expert.
A phrase any CAMRA enthusiast out there who suffers this column on a regular basis would no doubt happily see tattooed on my forehead.