A wonderful stroll in the western end of the Peak District had us wondering why choice is so important these days, particularly when it comes to beer.
Starting at Tegg’s Nose we looked towards Macclesfield and South Manchester and headed up through the woods towards Shutlingsloe. Up and down the Cheshire Matterhorn we were now ready for a pint.
Descending we arrive at Wildboarclough to search out the Crag Inn. Three hand pumps and only one in use. Kodiak Gold from Beartown in Congleton it has to be. Bit golden and over-hoppy but why should beggars for a pint be choosers.
We ponder why we feel a bit disappointed with the lack of choice given that all we wanted was a beer, any beer, halfway down the hillside. We slap ourselves about for being ungrateful and tuck in to a Mycocks’ meat pie and chips washed down with another pint of cellar cool perfection.
A bloke wanders in and asks for Peroni from under the tea towel. There was another lager, but clearly not enough choice.
Soon after a mum and son ask about food..are there any specials as well as the menu, err no. OK, I’d like the chicken salad but with tuna, goes the conversation. Everyone wants choices. The days of a single beer with cheese and onion on Mother’s Pride (and be grateful for it) are over.
We chat with the friendly owner who admits that a pub this remote has to be something of a hobby. It can’t offer a wide range of cask and a long menu. It’s not worth opening on a weekday evening. They’re now bottling water from their borehole to add a further income stream (sorry). It’ll be available with milk deliveries soon.
It’s too comfortable but we force ourselves onwards. Up the hill and then to Three Shires Head before more uphills to the closed Cat & Fiddle pub and on to the busy tea shop further down the road.
Robinsons are looking to lease the Cat & Fiddle but admit its pub days are numbered. Bizzarely they seem to think a tea room might work here. Prospective tenant thinks…remote location with a large tea shop less than half a mile away. Oh yes, a tea shop in a former pub is a brilliant idea. I could attract the punters with more choices than the one down the road.
Do we really feel any better from the offer of ever-expanding choices. Endless TV channels and nothing you fancy watching? Will our demands for beer and food choices lead to the same problem?