Jane Stuart – Writer

Writing about real life Up North: football, ale, food and mental health – with a good dash of humour.

Blackpool v Rochdale: Blackpool Breweries

I was recently interviewed by Swedish fanzine Are You Here For The Game – and was asked about the best locally-brewed beers. It immediately struck me that, although I’ve been merrily reviewing breweries and pubs for awaydays, I’ve not been looking closer to home. Dear reader, that stops now. I’m off on a tour of the breweries of the Fylde Coast…

Lytham Brewery

I am familiar with this brewery, which can be found in a retail unit in Lytham – and their beers much further afield. They have been around since 2007 and their core range is:

  • Lytham Blonde
  • Lytham Gold
  • Lytham Amber
  • Lytham Royal (ruby)
  • Lytham IPA
  • Lytham Stout

Lytham offers mobile beer services, which is one to bear in mind if we’re ever allowed to have events again.

Their beer can be found at Tap & Vent in Kirkham and Keg n Cask in St Annes. Hmm. I need to visit both of those places. With plenty of home games coming up, I’m sure I’ll get the opportunity…

Fuzzy Duck Brewery

Fuzzy Duck, established in 2006 and based in Poulton, are offering local delivery of the following bag-in-a-box (cask!) beers:

  • Golden Cascade
  • Mucky Duck (stout)
  • Plum Porter
  • Ein Prosit (gold)
  • Cunning Stunt (amber)

I’ve probably tried the Mucky Duck and Plum Porter before but it would be rude not to try them again and support this local brewery during lockdown. Watch this space…

Rock Solid Brewing Company

I confess I hadn’t heard of Rock Solid, who are based in Normoss (I don’t even know where that is).

Their beers recently checked in on Untappd are:

  • American Pale
  • Brexit Blonde
  • Pacifika (pale)
  • Amarillo Gold
  • Brauhaus 1810 (pilsner)
  • Lead And Gold (IPA)
  • West Coast Blonde

Their beer is available at local micropubs, which I clearly don’t frequent often enough – so I will be looking out for their ales on my travels going forward.

3 Piers Brewery

This brewery was born in 2017 and is situated in Poulton.

Their beers include:

  • Central Citra
  • Double Bastard (‘almost’ barley wine)
  • Golden Smiler
  • Old Cocker
  • West Coast Blonde

I have enjoyed their beer on my travels (I think at beer festivals) and outlets are listed as Black Bull, Brew Room, Fifteens, Hambleton Sports & Social Club, Knottend Working Mens Club and The Grapes. I haven’t tried most of those, so I will add them to my list to visit when we are allowed out again.

West Coast Rock Brewery

West Coast beers are brewed at Brew Room, home of the best range of beers on the Fylde Coast.

They are currently delivering the following beers locally:

  • Wonkey Donkey 5% IPA
  • Blackpool Blonde 4% Blonde Ale
  • Mango IPA – 5% Mango infused IPA
  • Golden Mile – 3.7% Golden session ale. hopped with Amarillo
  • Tangerine Dream – 5% Marmalade amber ale.
  • Oyston StOUT – 5% Classic stout
  • Blackpool Bitter – 3.8% Chestnut coloured ale with a slightly smoky finish

9 pint mini casks and bottled beers are available. Delivery is £2.50 or free for orders over £50.

If I’ve missed any, please do let me know. And please do support your local breweries, dear reader. Use them or lose them.

Now on to the match…

Blackpool v Rochdale

I had been observing Rochdale with amusement in recent weeks, as they seem to either score or concede four goals in every game. I was therefore confident that we would score tonight – and hopeful that we would win. But who knows with Blackpool these days? They have been so inconsistent, playing like world beaters some games, but so painful to watch in others. Tonight was to be a fine demonstration of both…

After the weather put paid to our last two home fixtures, the ground being solid underfoot all last week, it had warmed up dramatically by Tuesday, so this game was in no doubt. The pitch looked snooker table perfect, which made for a nice change from Ipswich and Wigan.

The main talking point tonight was the monstrosity on James Husband’s head. Last season we weren’t sure about him (after his ridiculous challenge at Southend led to a needless red card). Earlier this season, fans were calling for his head, following another two early dismissals. The second – against Charlton – was forgivable, I still maintain, as it stopped a certain goal, and we might have gone on to win that match (we didn’t, despite our opponents also going down to ten men, but we were poor on that particular day). In recent months, however, Jim has evolved into something of a hero, with some magnificent performances at the back, whilst also providing some lethal crosses at the other end. I’ve been a fan of his for some time now (indeed, since that latter sending off in October). Tonight, however, he was sporting a man bun. Tonight, Matthew, he was James Hus-bun. How was I supposed to take him seriously any more? I know we’re in lockdown and the barbers are closed and everything but I’m really not happy about this at all. I could barely concentrate on the match.

Other things happened, of course:

  • The Rochdale players looked like they had been run over, in their Plymouth-coloured shirts with tyre tracks down their length.
  • Kaikai was back to his wizarding best, scoring what turned out to be the only goal of the match.
  • Big Marv sported the world’s largest bandage on his head for part of the match. Any bigger and he could have been mistaken for The Invisible Man. I’m not saying the weight of it contributed to his subsequent hamstring injury, but we did lose him shortly thereafter. He will be a huge miss for Blackpool, as one of our most influential players.
  • Maxwell appeared to sustain a hand injury in the second half, but played on regardless. I imagine he’s the sort of player who would carry on playing even if his hand was hanging off by the tendons. I love him. And we simply cannot function without him, so that better be resolved asap. We’ve just completed Sunderland Til I Die (hugely recommended), which perfectly demonstrates what can happen if you don’t have a confident and dependable keeper. Larry’s in it for a bit (Pilley can’t have watched it) but don’t let that put you off. He doesn’t last very long.

Rochdale are a funny side. Their defence was shambolic. Their defensive wall resembled a human daisy chain and I have no idea what they were thinking. Their midfield was a mass of players running about after the ball like schoolchildren. They looked terrifying on the attack – and yet Maxwell was barely troubled. I guess that is testament to the strength of our defence (even sans Big Marv).

I’m getting into singing on our live watchalongs now, and I’m pleased to hear my Kenny Dougall chant earworm is starting to spread. If you haven’t heard it, it’s to the tune of The Magic Roundabout and it goes:

‘Ooh Kenny Dougall / Ooh Kenny Dougall / Ooh Kenny Dougall / Ooh Kenny Dougall.’

I put out an appeal for chants for Jerry Yates the other week after his wonderstrike, and came up with this, to the tune of Jermaine Stewart’s We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off:

‘You don’t have to take your clothes off / To have a good time, oh no / You can beat defenders all night / You’re Blackpool’s Number Nine.’

Next for the LCTV chant treatment has to be the Hus-bun man bun. Please do send me your chants and I will sing them live on air on Saturday.

That’s all for now, folks. Off to Portsmouth on Saturday, which will be an epic trip. If you have any tips for where to drink and what to do, let me know and I will see if I can incorporate them into my wacky weekender.

UTMP.


NB Pics above are taken from the websites referenced.


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