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Pub Visit - England

Malt Disley 1Visited on: Sunday 28th January 2018

Bob Thompson

So obviously a play on words I will not insult the reader with an explanation. The name may be on the cheesy side but this micro-pub is definitely the genuine article. It had only been open for six months or so when Linda and I turned up on a winter Sunday just after mid-day. It had been a short walk from Disley railway station yet we had wasted a bit of time looking for it. For the benefit of future visitors, it’s opposite the Dandy Cock, a Robinson’s pub.

Malt Disley 2So, a brief explanation of where we were. Disley is in the very topmost North-eastern corner of the County of Cheshire, sandwiched in a narrow strip between Greater Manchester and Derbyshire.

It is on the extremely busy Manchester to Buxton road, the A6. This is the only major problem with Disley which otherwise is a pleasant stone village, typical of the area. The traffic is relentless and even this Sunday there were many HGVs rumbling past. We had to be very careful crossing it.

Having eventually locating the pub we found it to be a very nice little watering hole. It has a central door with large windows either side that let a lot of light into the room. Light varnished wood is a major component of the interior. We settled on the left side of the pub where there is a wooden bench-type seat with cushions. Facing it are three small square tables and loose chairs.

Malt Disley 3The tables were interesting because they had glass tops. Two of them had collections of bottle tops underneath, presumably from beers sold in the pub. The other had an Ordinance Survey map of the local area. Just think if you were rambler and your own map had been blown away on the moors. You struggle into Disley, visit the Malt Disley and, as if by magic, you acquire the necessary knowledge to continue with your walk. That’s a public service!

There is a wooden shelf and three stools facing out of the left front window. On the right there is a similar shelf yet without the stools.

Malt Disley 4On the same side there are steps to a lower level. There are plans to open the basement up for more seating but I don’t those plans have come to fruition yet.

Also on the right is a fitted seat and table combination where a standing customer can face them at eye-level. In the middle of the room is a free standing shelf for upright drinking. Beyond this on the right is a corner book unit brimming with literature of various kinds. The L-shaped wooden bar counter is to be found on the left side.

But just before it is another important feature of the pub, the Dog Bar. It provides water in bowls and biscuits for canine customers. Please see photograph. I realise that dogs are quite intelligent but I think the provision of a magazine rack is probably a step too far, I bet they don’t use it.

Malt Disley 5Opposite the bar counter on the right side of the room there is a low table surrounded by a three-sided bench-type seat. In the far corner are two shelf units. These contain the bottled beers which can be drank in or taken away. Five litre mini-kegs are also on sale for home consumption.

As alluded to earlier the pub only opened towards the end of June 2017. It is the idea of Lauren Booth who previously had a career in teaching. Her story in connection with the pub started in October 2016 when she first identified the premises for her venture. Eventually planning permission was granted in March 2017. The builders went in soon after and I think it was quite an achievement to open in June, just nine months after commencing the project.

The inspiration behind the pub’s inception is her uncle Billy Booth, who also runs a micro-pub. Here I have to declare an interest, of sorts.

Malt Disley 6I had talked to Billy several times at the CAMRA Manchester Beer and Cider Festival and its predecessor, the CAMRA National Winter Ales Festival, when it was held in the city. He had visited the small bar in Bolton Market and was keen to open some similar himself.

I asked him to look at for its micro-pub articles to provide some ideas. His interest and desire culminated with the opening of The Samuel Oldknow in Marple. I hope I might have helped a little towards this. Please see a separate article on this excellent little pub.

Back in Disley, we were looking at the cask beers on the hand-pumps. There were four, as follows: North Riding Brewery (Scarborough, North Yorkshire) Chocolate & Fudge Porter (4.5%); Exit 33 (Sheffield, South Yorkshire) Blonde (4.0%). There were two from Brentwood Brewery (Brentwood, Essex) Elephant School Aussie Blonde (4.0%) and Elephant School Lager than Life (4.6%), a Kölsch. Elephant School is the experimental brewing arm of Brentwood.

Malt Disley 7There were also three still ciders offered, all from Lilley’s of Frome, Somerset in the form of Gladiator Cider (8.4%) and two flavoured: Mango Cider (4.0%) and Rum Cider (4.0%). Lovers of the gassy stuff are not ignored as there some “craft” keg beers and two German draught lagers. There is a full wine and spirits list including a very good selection of gins.

Like most micro-pubs food is not prominent although they do have pork pies with mustard. Naturally there is a selection of snacks in packets. Singers are often a feature on Sundays. All in all this a good pub in an excellent location.

Important information:

Malt Disley, 22 Market Street, Disley SK12 2AA. Tel: (01663) 308020.

Hours: Monday-Thursday: 16.00-23.00; Friday-Sunday: 12.00-23.00.

The pub is just over five minutes walk from Disley railway station. This is on the Manchester to Buxton line. The frequency is hourly Monday to Sunday. The journey takes about 30 minutes from Manchester Piccadilly. It is around 20 minutes from Stockport and 25 minutes from Buxton.

An alternative route is by bus route 199 from Manchester Airport via Stockport continuing on to Buxton.
It runs every half hour Monday to Saturday. In the evening and on Sunday and Bank Holidays it is hourly.