Ye Olde Hob Inn is a pub I’ve long admired from afar but for one reason or another – mostly location – never visited.
A quite inordinately picturesque 400-year-old former coach house – complete with thatched roof – this Grade II listed Church Road pub is the last stop before leaving Bamber Bridge in the direction of Leyland.
Inarguably among the area’s most attractive pubs, although it now offers its services as a ‘bar, grill and restaurant’ it was with some excitement that I rolled over the threshold one recnt evening with a thirst – and an appetite – in need of urgent attention.
Happily the inners match the outers, and the space is more or less precisely as welcoming and cosy as long imagined.
Pausing at the small but well-stocked bar for a glass I took a pew and was soon in Ye Olde Worlde pub heaven.
I kicked off with a pint of the eponymously named Ye Olde Hob Inn, brewed by Joseph Holt.
Brewed with a variety of five malts, this was a big dark beast of a bitter beer. The aroma was strong brown bread, the head light and creamy, the flavour complex yet a reassuringly old-fashioned bitter beer.
Smooth and easy drinking, the glass emptied so easily I checked the bottom to ensure it hadn’t been breached.
Next up, I overcame a lifelong dislike of heavy metal and ordered a jar of Trooper, an ale brewed by Robinsons in honour of the angry zombie Iron Maiden have had on their LP covers since Adam was a lad. Happily, it has more going for it than the overblown operatic yelping of said band (apologies, Maidenheads).
A deep dark amber handful with a bright white creamy head, the nose was a fresh, tangy blend of bread and citrus hops, and this carried through to the tongue, where malty caramel cookie sweetness and a nice bitter finish rounded off a great gulp.
The food was decent, the price fair, the evening too short. Will no doubt return in deep midwinter once they get the fire lit. Excellent.