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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Front Row gets Crafty entry in top beer guide

The owner of the first pub in Biddulph to be awarded an entry into the “Good Beer Guide” has described the honour as a “glowing compliment to the staff”.

Since opening in 2021, the Crafty Flanker micropub, on Biddulph High Street, gained a reputation for selling fine quality real ales; a fact which was not missed by local members of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra).

The group, which saw the launch of its 2024 Good Beer Guide last week, compiles a list of the very best pubs in all four countries of the UK and members vote based on their consistent beer quality, history, food, gardens, accommodation, family and disabled facilities plus local transport links.

Camra members were asked to vote for pubs throughout the whole of the Moorlands area, to fill the very limited number of places allowed. The Crafty Flanker was recognized by locals as being one of the newer “rising stars” in the Moorlands.

The owner of Front Row Brewery and The Crafty Flanker, Congleton man Nick Calvert, said: “Being awarded an entry in the ‘Good Beer Guide’ makes all the hard work of starting from scratch, by converting an empty shop unit during covid, seem worthwhile.

“It is also a glowing compliment for all of our staff and Front Row beers. We look forward to many more years of doing the same.”

The chair of Staffordshire Moorlands Camra, Steve Barton, said: “The annual publication of the ‘Good Beer Guide’ is our way of showing off to the world what a vibrant and constantly evolving real ale and pub scene we are lucky enough to have right here in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

“Many thanks go out to all our active members who vote for pubs that they think sell the very best cask ale, so that we always have an up-to-date snapshot of where the best beer is to be had.

“We proudly stick to a ‘one member one vote’ system to ensure true independence, even myself as chair has the same one vote as all other lay members.”

He added: “I have enjoyed visiting the Crafty Flanker on several occasions since it opened in 2021 and have been impressed with the quality of cask ale served on each visit.

“It is always good to see a new entry in the Good Beer Guide, and my heartfelt congratulations go out to Nick and all of the team at Front Row and The Crafty Flanker”.

Other entries in the wider Moorlands area are Bakers Arms and Bird in Hand, both in Cheadle; Black Lion, Cheddleton; Auctioneers Arms Caverswall; Black Lion in Butterton, while the great pub town of Leek has no less than five entries – The Fountain, Roebuck, Blue Mugge, Benks and Cobblers.

Now in its 51st year of publication, the “Good Beer Guide” is the “original and best” truly independent guide to good beer and good pubs. It contains entries for around 4,500 of the UK’s best in both urban and rural locations.

This must-read guide for all beer and pub lovers also contains listings of all the UK’s independent brewers, plus interesting features by internationally renowned experts in the fields of beer production and styles, and the uncertain future faced by the Great British institution of the pub.

The 2024 guide has a foreword written by Bruce Dickinson, who has worked with local brewer Robinson’s and is the iconic lead singer of Iron Maiden, who talks about his lifelong passion for all things beer and pub related, that he says has been lucky enough to enjoy while touring with the band, both at home and overseas. Indeed, the front cover of the book bears the Iron Maiden badge.

(Photo: Camra).

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