“I’ll text my dad but am sure he won’t come”
We had tried to go to watch Accrington Stanley during Christmastide last year. We had almost reached the ground when J texted – from the hospitality box at Blackburn Rovers that I had refused a place in – that the game had just been called off. 15 minutes before kickoff.
My dad isn’t a big football fan at the best of times. The memory of trudging home from East Lancashire in on a freezing December Saturday would surely put him off going back. Even on a marginally warmer August day.
“Count me in”
I had almost forgotten. Grants Bar. Of course he would want to go back.
Grants Bar is not a pub that I would ordinarily go in. All a bit modern and trendy looking when I am more of a sawdust on the floor kind of fella. But I am extraordinarily grateful to the Good Beer Guide for leading me there. It is stunning.
A pub and a microbrewery, the friendliest and most welcoming staff I have met anywhere in the country, and bar snacks that would have had my dad going back even if the beer was mediocre. Little wonder the three of us made our way, from Warrington, Luton, and Leeds, to drink there. The football match was a sideshow.
A couple of pre match pints, plenty of Bombay mix and salted cashews, bewilderment that three fellas would travel so far just for their beer (why bewilderment I do not know, it is amazing) and a invitation as we left that we simply couldn’t resist, “come back for another after the game”. So we did.
Stanley and Northampton drew 1-1 with Vale legend Marc Richards scoring a fine opener for Northampton. A decent game. But it could have been 6-5, end-to-end excitement it wouldn’t have changed a thing. It was still the pub we were all talking about for the next few days.
“Do you think I will be able to persuade your mum [non-drinker] to come for a day out in Accrington with me?” Poor Dad, I think he is in love!