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I called into Wetherspoon’s Calvert’s Court in Stockport for lunch today. It remains a dismal, dark, box-shaped place, although the Wetherspoon Ploughman’s at £4.49 touches all the bases of that particular dish and is good value for money. My only complaint is that the slice of pork pie, while very tasty, is too big in relation to the cheese. But, on the bar was the superlative, hop-laden, 5.9% ABV Thornbridge Jaipur IPA, at a mere £1.80 a pint, the price of all their guest beers. With the 50p CAMRA discount coupon, it was an incredible £1.30. In many other places you would pay over £3 for that. Now, that is only 39p per unit. Who said minimum pricing wouldn’t affect the off-trade?

In my experience, the beer quality in the Calvert’s Court can be variable, but the Jaipur was in very good nick today – as was the similarly hoppy but lower-strength Oakham JHB. It’s still like drinking in a works canteen, though – as I’ve often said before, the general feel of Spoons’ pubs would be immensely improved by the introduction of extensive bench-type seating.