One Saturday in February, members and workers from last year’s Kingston beer festival made the journey to Stoke on Trent to make the presentation of the Beer of the Festival award. As voted for by the festival’s customers, this was Titanic Brewery’s Chocolate Vanilla Porter. Most members made the trip by train to Stoke then by various methods made their way to the brewery in Burslem. Once there we all enjoyed the beers while listening to Malcolm who gave us the history of the brewery and their current developments. We also enjoyed our portions of what is known locally as ‘Lobby’, the universal stew with anything lobbed into it.
On leaving the brewery the party headed into the centre of Burslem to sample some of the local hostelries, which included two GBG pubs and a micropub conveniently situated around St John’s Square. First however we called at the Bulls Head, a good traditional locals pub owned by Titanic, which gave us the chance to try some of Titanic’s other ales. I went for the Crimson Sunset at £3.40, and, of course, it was good.
Just a few steps along the square was the Duke William, an attractive Tudor style corner building which has a regionally important historic Interior. It has retained its original island bar, with various bar areas all around. There were six ales available. I went for the Wincle Brewers Dog at £3, and it was very good. Some of the crew did try Jonnies, the micropub, but I heard it did get rather cosy with Port Vale playing at home.
We got the bus back to Stoke station and on the platform we found a Titanic bar. So with twenty minutes to spare, it was time for a half of Plum Porter to finish off the day.