This is the nomination for the Poachers Inn, Bollington for branch Pub of the Year (POTY) 2014.
The two regular ales are Weetwoods “Old Dog Bitter” abv 4.5%, and Storm “ Beauforts Ale” abv 3.8%. There are three guest hand pumps, one is held mainly for a Happy Valley ale, as Dave Hughes uses the Poachers as a Brewery Tap. The other two are sourced by Rob on a weekly basis to give a varied and eclectic choice. For non-real ale fans there are excellent lagers provided, Becks and Peroni,and also for some of the old timers there is a Boddingtons bitter. A very good choice of wines are available for the diners, as well as an excellent shelf of malt whiskies. As the landlady is known to like an occasional bottle of strong foreign beer, they have a foreign beer board consisting off about forty beers.
This pub is what everyone would want for a local, it is a family owned and run Free Trade Pub. Helen and Rob Ellwood have owned the pub for many years, and have honed their skills to respond to their customer’s wants. Both are very knowledgeable on the beers that they serve, although it is Rob who chooses the variety of guest ales. The bar staff are also very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful.
The pub is an old stone building that has been tastefully converted from five terraced cottages. It has a great feel when you walk through the front door, to be greeted by a lounge area with comfortable armchairs and settees, and in winter a roaring log fire. Next is a small area under the Stags Head known locally as the Bull Pit, where long standing customers and family congregate to chat or dine. The rest of the pub is screened into various areas for seating/eating or chatting. The whole pub gives off a warm and friendly ambience for families or for walking groups from the nearby Gritstone Trail. Even for strangers walking in off the street, they can be sure of a convivial chat with staff or customers in a friendly atmosphere. The pub is situated at the top end of the village, just below Blaze Hill, as mentioned before this is very convenient as a watering hole for walkers.
The pub is also renowned as a provider of good priced meals, lunchtimes except Mondays there is a special two course lunch, reasonably priced at £6 per head. In the evenings there is an imaginative a la carte menu, this is not nouveau cuisine style, but good honest pub grub locally sourced by Helen and her kitchen staff. Although the pub is not open for food on a Monday night, the pub will provide the plates and cutlery for customers to eat their own take away meals. The meals have been proved very popular, and often large family gatherings for special occasions are catered for. Also on a Wednesday night there is a pie and a pint special, which is very handy for the single guys. The little garden at the rear is a sun trap in the summer, and has a small stream running at the bottom. For the smokers there is a porch, with shelter from the elements.
The pub is very community minded, having a golf team, cycling and jamming sessions for anybody who wishes to participate. It is a good venue for local groups such as “Married in Vegas”, there is a monthly quiz, which last year raised £5,000 for local charities such as Help 4 Heroes, Alder Hey, Guide Dogs and Ronald McDonald House. The pub is joint organisers and supporters of the Bollington Beer Festival. The pub also organises trips from the pub to Beer and Food Festivals, Race meetings and Greyhounds etc. Helen and Rob also work closely with Savio House next door. They have also been the main sponsors of Pott Shrigley Cricket Club for the last three years.
Finding out more
Please check out WhatPub for more information on the pub as well as how to find it.