Visited on: Sunday 27th January 2019
The Crafty Pint is yet another micropub in one of the market towns that surround the city of Manchester. Greater Manchester is one of the most fertile hunting grounds for the species.
Stalybridge sits on the River Tame near to the point where it turns from flowing west off the Pennines to go south on its journey to meet the Mersey at Stockport. This is where it changes from having a fast flowing journey down a steep sided valley to a meandering course across its natural flood plain.
Amongst beer drinkers Stalybridge’s most well known pub is the Station Buffet rooms. On this day myself and Linda arrived by train and it would have been rude not to venture into that pub for a starter.
After that we didn’t get very far, as we went into the Q Inn, a pub just under the railway bridge on the way in to town. Why? Well this pub is recorded as having the shortest name of any traditional pub in the United Kingdom. It had three Hyde’s beers and was fine.
By some bizarre coincidence Stalybridge is also the home of the pub with the longest name. The Old Thirteenth Cheshire Astley Volunteer Rifleman Corps Inn was in another part of town. It had this name since the mid-1800s, yet, sadly it closed in 2016.
When we visited the Q Inn there was a boarded up pub opposite. Since then it has been purchased and reopened on 15th July 2019. The new owners approached the people who ran the Rifleman to see if they could use the name. This was agreed and the pubs with the longest and shortest names now face each other in the same town! You couldn’t make it up.
After that we wondered into the town centre where we found the subject of this piece, the Crafty Pint. It is to be found in Melbourne Street, a main thoroughfare in the town. It’s to be found next to the bridge over the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and alongside it are steps down to the tow path.
Inside we found a medium sized room with an L-shaped bar in the right corner. It is made of light coloured wood with a varnished dark wood top. The light wood that forms the bar continues as panelling around the walls. The top two thirds of the walls are painted red. There are many illustrations of dogs, who are apparently welcome although children must be kept on a lead.
Up two steps and there is another small room with a corner shelf holding a number of boxed games, There are also some nice paintings of foxes, continuing the canine theme. Throughout both rooms there are loose varnished dark wood tables and chairs.
There are four hand pumps and there was a cask beer on each. These were: Wily Fox (Wigan, Greater another golden ale; Tiny Rebel (Newport, South Wales) Juicy (4.8%), a strong golden ale and finally; Beartown (Congleton, Cheshire) Créme Bearlee (4.8%), a vanilla stout.
There is a selection of gins, wines and bottle beer. Also packaged snacks are offered. We enjoyed our visit here and commend it to all future visitors.
Crafty Pint, 41 Melbourne Street, Stalybridge SK15 2JJ. Tel: 07512_753554
Hours: Monday-Tuesday: Closed; Wednesday-Friday: 16.00-23.00;
Saturday: 12.00-23.00; Sunday: 12.00-18.00
Probably the best way to get here is to go via Stalybridge station because you can also visit the Buffet Bar.
From the station entrance turn right and go under the railway bridge. Pass the Q Inn on the right.
This is Market Street. Keep walking, passing the Bus Station on the left. Turn right into Melbourne Street.
Cross over the River Tame. Keep going and cross the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. The pub is on the right.
If you arrive by bus at the Bus Station, locate Market Street and follow the directions shown above.