Wednesday 30th March 2016
I suppose if it wasn’t for its upstairs drinking area you could regard Stamps as a micropub. On the ground level it is very small. However it doesn’t come from the micropub era as it was founded in 1996. For many years it was a bastion for cask beer on Merseyside and is well-known outside of its immediate hinterland. Also like a micropub it is situated in former retail premises in the centre of Crosby.
The name comes about because it is a former Post Office. I had previously visited Stamps Too opposite Waterloo station on Merseyrail prior to visiting the Waterloo Beer festival. However this, the “head office” was a first-time visit. On entering you see the elliptical bar counter directly in front, past the curving staircase leading to the upper level.
I was with wife Linda and we settled at a table located to the right of the way in. This afforded a panoramic view through the windows of the three-way junction in the middle of Crosby.
Looking around the room I could see that there was an eclectic mix of furniture. There were a few round wooden typical pub tables along with some padded plastic seats. There is a lot more room upstairs.
The wall on the right side was exposed brickwork and I noticed the floor was wooden in the entrance door area that changed to black and white tiles chessboard style in front of the bar counter. There were many pump clips of beers missed displayed behind the bar.
There is no doubt that this pub is the centre of the community here so it is no surprise that it won CAMRA Liverpool’s Best Community Pub 2010.
To be honest I am surprised that it hasn’t won more awards, especially in its early days, when there wasn’t much else like it around here.
A major step was made in 2013 when the management opened their own brewery in Kirkdale which is nearer Liverpool city centre. It is a 4.5 barrel (bbls) plant and supplies a regular range of beers, one of which is always on the bar at Stamps. From the six hand pumps there are normally five different beers offered.
There were five cask beers on when we called in: Cross Bay (Morecambe, Lancashire) Zenith (5.0%); Oakham (Peterborough, Cambridgeshire) JHB (Jeffrey Hudson Bitter) (3.8%); Titanic (Burslem, Staffordshire) Stout (4.5%); Hop Back (Downton, Wiltshire) Summer Lightning (5.0%) and finally from their own brewery in Kirkdale there was Stamps Cascade IPA (5.0%), which I had and thought greatly of it.
I have heard that they sell still cider but I could see no evidence of this. A lot goes on in this pub. Every week on Tuesdays sees the return of the Stamps Ukulele Band. On Wednesdays it is the turn of the Night of Quiz. A regular tried to coerce us into staying saying it would be the funniest quiz we had ever participated in; we declined.
The pub’s motto is Real Ale, Real Food, Real Music. I’ve covered the former but there was a surprise when I looked at the menu as it is entirely vegetarian; that is unusual! As far a music is concerned Fridays usually host a DJ, Saturday nights are for Rock bands and Sundays host either acoustic / folk acts or are Jam sessions.
So, as can be seen this pub is well worth travelling to. Especially it is just over five minutes walk to the award-winning Liverpool Pigeon micropub.
Stamps, 5 Crown Buildings, Crosby L23 5SR. Tel: 0151 286 2662
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 12.00-23.00; Friday-Saturday 12.00-24.00
The pub is easy to get to from central Liverpool. Buses depart from the Queen’s Square Bus Station, about five minutes walk from Lime Street railway station. The 47 operated by Arriva runs every 20 minutes from Liverpool to Southport on Mondays to Saturdays, every 30 minutes on Sundays. The X2 operated by Stagecoach runs from Liverpool to Preston via Southport every 30 minutes, Monday to Sunday.
Alight at Crosby Village. Stamps is found on the three-way intersection in the middle of the town. There are other bus services such as the 53 which also comes from Liverpool Queen Square Bus Station. This route passes the Corner Post at Brighton-le-Sands and also Stamps Too at Waterloo.