Broad Street Social – A Ray of Sunshine

Bury. This town is embedded in my childhood and youth. From seeing Joy Division at The Derby Hall in April 1980 (merely a month before Curtis took himself away) to the fact – as discussed yesterday with Barbara – that approx 20% of my vinyl collection was purchased at the much lamented Vibes Records, Bury has its place in my cultural heart. A big place.

But it’s never been a destination for drinking for me. Yes, it’s got one or two places worth the candle, but I needed more.

Now, I think, I’ve got what I needed. What I – personally – was waiting for. And that, is located on Broad Street. Approximately a 1 minute walk from the bus station and Metrolink terminus. A little ray of sunshine awaited.

I’d heard whispers about James & Jen Smith (they of Brewsmith Beer) – and their partner, Dave – opening a Taproom in Bury.

And – if you know them – you’d understand my sense of anticipation.

Before I go further, you need to understand something. I don’t say things that I don’t mean. And there are a number of reasons that I respect the Smiths.

The most important is that they do things right. And they are uncompromising in that. They won’t do things just for the sake. It’s all or nothing.

And I like that. So I knew that this venture would be right. Right up my street. Broad Street.

Did I expect anything less?

After 5 months of Lockdown, this view is bliss.

Walking through the door, details taken, tables appropriately – safely – spaced. Did I expect anything less? Wooden floor, bare brick walls, beautiful inlaid tile work (thematically throughout the bar). Just lovely.

Did I expect anything less?

I saw friends to the left, a brief wave. The promise of happy face to face, human, conversations. Laughter.

But my focus was – for a change – laser like. Brewsmith Bitter.

I hadn’t had this beer for too long. Pin sharp. Plentiful hoppy. Refreshing. Did I mention sharp? Quite why this beer isn’t in the same conversation as Pint by Marble & Sonoma by Track its quite beyond me. This is one ******* delicious and classy beer. A local classic.

Pints of Cascade and NZ Pale followed. Both excellent – with a marginal preference for the Cascade. An underrated hop, all too frequently dismissed in favour of other lupuloid fun. But it shouldn’t be.

A belting local #EvilKegFilth selection here…

Woe, woe and thrice woe. My visit was all too brief. But before I left, I had to have a pint of my favourite Brewsmith beer – and one of my very favourite dark beers. Oatmeal Stout. For me, another local classic. Rich. Roasty. Dry and bitter of finish. Another bloody lovely beer.

That’s enough about the beer. What about the place, eh?

Well. It’s bloody lovely. Single open space, but kind of a two roomed feel, that open brick wall and wooden floor gives a classy minimalist feel. Well thought out and well laid out. There are plans for artwork from local artists (and Bury imagery) to adorn the walls. That localism sits well and the time and place feels right.

The place just has a lovely feel to it. Easy and relaxing from entering to leaving. Excellent and friendly service, great beer, plans for local food traders to occupy the kitchen at weekends. All local. All bases covered. All my personal boxes ticked.

This is one fabulous bar for Bury. Dave, James & Jen have created a little gem here and no mistake.

Did I expect anything less?

No. I really didn’t.

It formally opens on Friday. I’d go if I were you.

(With sincere thanks to Kate for the better of the photos!)