Wednesday 25th July 2012
The Shore Hotel is unique on the island as it is the only brewpub. It's in the small harbour village of Old Laxey, which was the original settlement in Laxey and started as a fishing port. Now the small harbour is haven for yachts and the old village is overshadowed by its larger neighbour, confusingly called just Laxey, about a mile (1.6km) away.
The pub is very comfortable and is noted for its food as well as the beer. There is beer garden in a lovely setting overlooking the River Laxey. Inside it is there are many interesting pictures of a local maritime and historical nature.
What caught my eye were the cycling shirts displayed. It turns out they are from Mark Cavendish who, over the previous two months, was in the news a lot for his achievements in the Tour de France and Olympic Games. It turns out that he is a local boy.
There is a building behind the pub and this is the home of the Old Laxey Brewing Company. It has a five barrel plant. This is the brewer's barrel measure and equates to around 21 firkins (9 gallons) of beer.
There is just one beer, Old Laxey Bosun Bitter (3.8%), and it is brewed for the pub. Only very occasionally is it seen in other pubs on the island as a guest bitter. We liked this beer as it was a perfectly ordinary pint of bitter, well-balanced and flavoursome with no taste extremes. The brewery obtains their malt from Bushey's Brewery. The brewery was installed in 1996 and regular brewing commenced in March 1997.
Myself and companion drinker Russell visited on a sunny day and rather than walk from Laxey MER station (and back again uphill), we decided to get off at South Cape station. Partially running because of the down grade, it only took a few minutes to the pub but it was a different matter on the return as it is severely uphill.
The return would take a fit person about ten minutes but allow at least fifteen. That said it is a much quicker route, taking only half the time, than it does from Laxey village. See the photographs of the station and a tram stopped there which unusually, is towing a goods wagon.
The Shore Hotel, Old Laxey Hill, Old Laxey IM4 7DA
Open: Daily 12:00-24:00
The MER runs in summer so, in winter the only route is bus 3 or 3A which runs to Laxey village, a mile away.