Visited on: Saturday 25th January 2020
Bank Street in Rawtenstall looks the part for a South Lancashire hill town. Cobbled roadway and both pavements are covered with slate. It is the main street of the town and is the ideal place to establish a micropub having an almost guaranteed footfall. I’m sure that’s what was in the minds of Michelle and Andy Morris when they opened it on 13th December 2016.
When I arrived after the short walk from the Northern Whisper Brewery Tap I noticed that the Hop micropub is in a stone built building, presumably a former shop.
I entered to find it absolutely packed. When I got to the bar I could see that there was a very good selection of beers. After getting one in my hand I migrated to a shelf on the back wall and took a look around.
Facing inwards from the large window is a fitted bench seat with cushions with a small table in front. The bar counter on the left side of the room is wooden and has three sides. There are high stools around it. In the far corner there another table with seats and at the back of the room is the aforementioned shelf I was using to store my beer.
There are many pictures and paintings on the walls. Unbeknown to me there is another floor above; I might have found some more room there!
There are six hand-pumps and apart from the house beer, are regularly changed around. On the day I visited they were Titanic (Burslem, Staffordshire) Cappuccino Stout (4.5%) and their Iceberg (4.1%), a golden ale.
Then there was Vocation Brewing (Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire) Heart & Soul Session IPA (4.4%); Mallinsons (Lockwood, West Yorkshire) Taiheke (3.8%), a golden ale.
In addition I could have had Brightside (Radcliffe, Greater Manchester) Galaxy Blonde IPA (5.0%) and finally Hop Ale (3.8%), the house beer brewed by Deeply Vale brewery of Bury, Greater Manchester.
There is selection of spirits and wines, however I’m not sure what the situation is with traditional cider. I didn’t see any on offer. Yet that doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.
I would recommend this pub to anyone who happens to be in or around the Rawtenstall area.
Hop Micro Pub, 70 Bank Street, Rawtenstall BB4 8EG. Tel: 07753_775150 Web: hopmicropubs.com
Hours: Monday-Wednesday: 10.00-22.00; Thursday-Saturday: 10.00-23.30; Sunday: 11.00-22.00
The town has a railway station on the East Lancashire Railway and this is a good way to arrive.
However, it doesn’t run every day. From the railway station entrance walk up Bury Road.
This changes into the dual carriageway St Mary’s Way walk along then turn right into Bank Street.
This is the main street of Rawtenstall. Near the end you will find the pub on the left.
Probably the best way to get here, at least from Manchester is the X43 Witchway express bus.
It runs every 15 minutes Monday to Friday, half hourly in the evening.
On Saturdays it is every 15 minutes till 16.00, half hourly thereafter.
Sundays is half hourly, finishing at 21:00.
From the Bus Station, walk out the back into North Street, turn left into Kay Street.
At the end turn right into Bank Street and follow the directions given above.