Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The (un)Holy Trinity

Whilst in Market Drayton last week I discovered from the local paper that my favourite brewery, Joule's of Market Drayton has bought another pub in the town - the Sandbrook Vaults. This is good news. The Sandbrook Vaults is part of a very rare institution - an unholy trinity: three buildings in a row all of which are public houses!
Market Drayton's unholy trinity
On the left is one corner of the Clive and Coffyne, which despite its name is one of the town's livelier establishments and to the right is the Tudor House Hotel. The Sambrook Vaults in the middle has been closed and boarded for a few years thus destroying the "trinity" but now not only is it to be re-opened it's become a Joule's pub as well.
For younger readers, "Joule's" was a 200-year old brewery in Stone (its defunct brewery still backs onto the Trent & Mersey Canal) that was closed by Bass Charrington in 1974. Ironically, "Bass Charrington" has now ceased to exist - being absorbed into an American conglomerate and it's once-flagship beer "Draught Bass" being brewed in minute quantities by a once-rival brewer. Joule's however has been resurrected by a group of enthusiasts (who are also hard-headed businessmen) that has bought the rights to the name and the original recipies and is now re-creating them in a purpose-built brewery in Market Drayton.
Joule's Brewery, Market Drayton 
Unlike most small breweries it does not sell to wholesalers but instead has concentrated on building up a tied estate within the former Joule's trading area of Staffordshire and adjacent counties. The purchase of the Sandbrook Vaults is their third in the town thus, along with the Red Lion and the Lord Hill, completing another Trinity.  Market Drayton is a sad place in many ways these days with its retail heart having been eaten by out-of-town supermarkets but it's still worth a visit as the best pub crawl on the Shropshire Union  or at least  - with deference to Chester - on the Birmingham & Liverpool Junction!


No Direction said...

I hope you don't go over the governments recommended units when you visit these places, and also, don't forget your 5 a day. Big Brothers watching.

Jim said...

I keep strictly to the limit in every pub on the crawl! :-)