I’ve been to this pub a few times before, but it’s in the Good Beer Guide and I haven’t posted about it, so I thought I’d better come and have a fresh look. It’s JD Wetherspoon operated, so I was expecting a decent choice of real ales.
It’s an intriguing pub name, it’s named after the Blackler’s department store that opened here in 1908, owned by Richard John Blackler. The building was badly damaged during the Second World War, so the current pub is of a later date, but incorporates a little of the original that could be salvaged. One other claim to fame for the site is that George Harrison worked at Blacker’s as an apprentice electrician.
And the pub didn’t disappoint, there are some interesting selections along here, including one of my perennial favourites, the Mauldon’s Cherry Porter, which I don’t see often enough. I’m not entirely sure that I’d call the Banks & Taylor SOD as a porter in the way the pub has, but, any which way, it’s another decent option. Incidentally, I’m not sure what price the pub was trying to display for the Mauldon’s, I assume £2.49 rather than £2.99.
The downside was that the service in the pub wasn’t what I’d call ideal. I did hear another customer complain they’d been waiting twenty minutes, which I’m sure they thought was accurate, but it wasn’t. It was around seven minutes and I only know that as they arrived after me. The manager was flapping around serving customers randomly along the long bar, seemingly confused that people were telling her that she was serving out of turn.
But, I was in no rush, so I waited by the Mauldon’s Cherry Porter, and I would have asked for a sample of Banks & Taylor SOD, but the staff looked so harassed that I thought I’d better not add to their burden. I never did quite work out how four bar staff could take so long to serve the grand total of around ten customers, but life’s too short to worry about that. Although, admittedly, not so short that I won’t write about it the day after.
The beer was marvellous, the Cherry Porter had a depth of flavour, was light, had lingering flavours and it was at the appropriate temperature. Clean flavours, which is, to be fair, more than could be said for the state of the pub. But, for the price, it’d be hard to complain and the pub’s place in the Good Beer Guide seems entirely reasonable.