View Full Version : Isle of Man week long crawl

25-04-2010, 20:09
Ray and I decided to go to the Isle of Man for a week when the CAMRA AGM was on and booked our flight for Thursday 15th April, so we were caught up in the mayhem caused by the volcanic ash. We did get a couple of photos of the Dragonfly Wetherspoons in Terminal 2 as we spent a bit of time there both Thursday and Friday mornings as flights were cancelled and we waited for our pensioner passes to be valid. Rather than go home early and spend money on fares we were better off drinking Goose Island Honkers Ale.

Saturday. Decided if we were to get any holiday at all, we would catch a train to Liverpool on Saturday morning and catch the ferry. It was a great trip over, and then we went to The Falcon’s Nest, a Good Beer Guide entry in Port Erin. We dropped the cases and dashed back up to Douglas on the steam train to get to the bar at the AGM venue. We had Okells Spring Ram, Bushys Helmsman, Three B’s Doff Cocker and Three B’s Tacklers Tipple before heading back to Douglas to unpack. Managed Holdens Feeder Wench, Okells Dr Okells IPA and Greene King Tolly Cobbald Phoenix at the Falcon’s Nest.

Sunday. We decided to go to the AGM Sunday morning, as we had never been to one before. Due to where we were staying, we arrived late, but did get to hear a couple of hours of the motions etc before retiring to the bar again. Good to meet up and chat with folk we knew from various festivals while enjoying the beers. Had Okells Alt, Okells Eastern Spice, Acorn Clyde Puffer, Coach House Gunpowder Mild, Moorhouses Pendles Witches Brew, Rudgate Eric Bloodaxe, and Sadlers Mellow Yellow. We did not get a lot of new beers as some had run out before we got there, but we enjoyed the day. Finished up back in Port Erin at the Bay Hotel where we had 3 Bushy Beers, Taskellion, Manx Pride and Oyster Stout.

Monday. A group of us had a trip to Bushys Brewery booked for Monday 12 noon, and what a grand tour round it was. A cask of Manx Bitter was on the Bar, and we could just go and pull a pint of it every time we had an empty glass. We called in the Hop Garden and adjoining pub though not owned by Bushys and had Bushys Helmsman. Visiting the Good Beer Guide pubs was to make a start today, so we went on to the Railway Inn at Union Mills where we had Okells Mild and AGM. Ray and I left the others there to enjoy their darts and beer, while we caught a bus to Peel where we visited the Creek Inn for Okells Rory's Ale and Ringwood Boondoggle. We loved the White House in Peel with its many rooms but only had time for a quick Okells Alt before having to catch the bus. Finished the day with Bushys Helmsman in the Bay Hotel.

Tuesday. This was a meticulously planned day due to bus times, but went like clockwork. First to Kirk Michael to the Mitre for a couple of Okells. On to Ballaugh to the Raven for Okells Ravens Claw and Stonehouse Sign of Spring – the green beer. Next came the Sulby Glen Hotel at Sulby. Okells Dunlop Draught and Bushys Manx Bitter here. They have a smashing dispenser for the Guinness, cider and lager. On the smaller bar is a converted motorbike engine and the taps are fitted to it drawing the liquids through. There will be photos put on the site of this. On to Ramsey where we had Okells Mild and Red in the Swan, and Holt Fifth Sense in the Trafalgar. Some of the crowd from our Hotel joined us on the electric railway at Laxey and we all got off to visit the Liverpool Arms known as Halfway House near Onchan close to Douglas. This has been a Good Beer Guide pub and nothing wrong with the beer now. Another Ringwood Boondoggle here, then we headed back to the hotel.

Wednesday. We caught a bus to Laxey on Wednesday and I left Ray to go to the Queens while I walked down to the brewpub, the Shore at Old Laxey. Enjoyed sitting outside in the sun a few minutes till they opened at 12 noon, then enjoyed my Old Laxey Bosuns Bitter. A walk back uphill and I joined Ray in the Queens for Hydes Over a Barrel. We went back into Douglas to get round the pubs listed, and started on the front at the Queens. Okells Red and Alt here. We had the same by the Electric Railway in the Terminus Tavern, but what a difference in the quality of the ale. The Terminus was exceptionally good. We popped into Sir Norman’s on the front and got a shock with the prices. Half of Bushys Manx Bitter cost 1.80. I queried it and was told it was 3.50 a pint and 1.80 a half. Most expensive 3.8% beer I have ever bought!! Not a GBG pub and was very quiet. Caught a bus to visit the Cat with No Tail and had Okells Red and Rudgate Odins Raven here. Walked down to the Manor. This was full of football players but the heating was on full blast making it uncomfortable. Had Wychwood Hobgoblin. Back towards the centre for the Woodbourne. 8 pumps of Okells here and great atmosphere. Enjoyed Eastern Spice and Alt. The Prospect was next for Lees Brassed Off, and we finished near the bus stop with Okells Mild at the Albert.

Thursday. We went into Douglas for the Railway where we had Marstons A Dragons Tail. The Rovers Return was next for Prospect Blinding Light and Westerham Brambling Cross. Went back to Peel for another visit to the White House where we had Moorhouses Pride of Pendle and Bushys Ruby Mild while watching snooker. A trip to Castletown was next for the Sidings where we had Hydes Original and Bushys Castletown Bitter. We walked to the Castle (Gluepot) by the river and sat outside with Okells IPA and Bitter. A bus through to Port St Mary for the Albert and Bushys Old Bushy Tail followed, and I left Ray there while I walked round the bay to the Shore where I had the Old Bushy Tail again. Back to the Falcons Nest where we had Landlady’s Bitter with Hand Pulled on the pumpclip, and no real indication of the brewery. Will have to seek that one out.

Friday. A no beer day today as we went to the animal park north of Peel, but we did have Bushys Old Bushy Tail and Bushys Weiss Bier at the Bay Hotel with our final meal of the week.

Saturday. Home day today, but the Snaefell Mountain Railway opened, so I was determined to get up there. Ray was content to go to the port, so complete with case and bags I made my way up to the railway and no regrets as all the tram times worked out to get me up there and back in time for the ferry.

A wonderful holiday despite its worrying start, and I did 26 of the 27 Good Beer Guide pubs, only missing Creg-Ny-Baa at Onchan as we could not get there on public transport. Could have got a photo from the mountain bus that does not stop but thought of it as the bus passed it, so missed the opportunity. Will get all the photos and reviews done over the next week I expect as we have loads to do before going to Cornwall via Devises on Thursday. Not a great variety of beers but found all in good condition, and our favourite beer was the Okells Alt.

25-04-2010, 23:26
Just posted reviews and photos, but cannot find Queens Hotel, Cat With No Tail, Manor Hotel or Woodbourne in Douglas, or the Shore Hotel in Gansey Port St Mary.

Cannot enter them as the postcodes are not recognised as UK postcodes.

26-04-2010, 00:02
Excellent write up Gill and glad that the volcano didn't ruin everything.

Any pubs you want us to add just chuck into the That Doesn't go There forum and me and Dave will sneak them in. I will see if I can do the 5 mentioned in your post tomorrow (just hassle me if I forget).

26-04-2010, 17:38
Ok, should have those up now, Google who we use for the Postcode lookup have done something horrible to IOM on the lookups, hence it had stopped working, also the location matches are really inaccurate.

Manor Hotel (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/69285/)
Queens Hotel (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/69284/)
Cat With No Tail (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/69283/)
Woodbourne Hotel (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/69282/)
Shore Hotel (http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/pubs/69281/)

Thanks for those.

26-04-2010, 18:26
Thanks Conrad. I have finished the reviews and added the photos. It is truly a lovely island to do a crawl.

27-04-2010, 09:04
Rather than go home early and spend money on fares we were better off drinking Goose Island Honkers Ale.


Excellent stuff. I've never been to the IOM (I spotted it in the mist from the Mull of Galloway once but that is about it). A friend went a few years back and was so disappointed with the pubs and beers it put me off a bit (and I haven't been too keen on the Okells beers I have tried). I will now have to rethink things and get the brochures out. I'm glad you managed to beat the lava palava in the end.

27-04-2010, 10:48
Glad you got there in the end Gill. Enjoyed reading about your travels, but the usual thing of being full of admiration with a twinge of jealousy! :)

Andy Ven
18-03-2011, 22:29
I'm thinking of visiting the Isle of Man next year. A pub crawl by steam train between Douglas and Port Erin perhaps...