Electric Blue


On 30 June 2012 I visited Chester for the CBAS & CAMRGB TWISSUP… as I mentioned in a previous blog post I won’t be providing a blow-by-blow account of the evening’s insanity but as the days have ticked by I’ve felt an increasing urge to write a little piece on Blue Ball Brewery and its Chester pub, Kash Bar…

Runcorn: Not Just A Pretty Bridge

Blue Ball Brewery is based in the infamous lager (and crisps) town of Runcorn. I’ve actually been (un)fortunate enough to stay in the town a few times in the last couple of years and I must confess that I was blissfully ignorant that it was home to such a fine young brewery. I don’t think I’ve met anyone who has anything decent to say about the town itself but I was kind of taken in by its quaint non-working class charm and found the short walk into the old town centre at 2am on a Sunday morning to be a very interesting journey… the streets were packed and lively and I couldn’t help thinking that I’d stumbled upon a Wild West Night in Soviet Russia!

Before hitting Chester I’d never tasted any Blue Ball beers and I’ve still to try any of (what their website leads me to believe are) their three core beers: Black Hawk (a 4.8% Blackberry Porter); Blonde Bombshell (a 5.2% American Pale Ale); Zeppelin (a 5.5% Hefewiezen). However, while at Kash for the TWISSUP I was fortunate enough to drink three of their other beers: Indie Girl (a 3.8% American IPA); White Betty (an 8% Golden Belgian Ale); Black Betty (a 7.2% Black IPA). I found them all to be very tasty brews that I would happily drink them again and would also try any Blue Ball beer that I come across.

Blue Ball have created a little bit of a stir thanks to their branding, which some people find tacky and/or plain sexist and some people consider to be excellent pieces of beer pump art. I must admit that I can see that the tacky and sexist claims are to a certain extent justified I can’t help quite liking the artwork… perhaps it’s because I used to share a house with someone whose staircase walls were home to several Vargas prints.

Vargas Does Chester

Kash is only a few minutes stumble from Chester train station. As soon I walked through the door I liked the place. It’s big but not cavernous and even in the mid afternoon when it wasn’t anywhere near full it had a good buzz and strongly suggested that it would be a great and lively place to be once darkness descends. The draught line-up was enticing with several Blue Ball beers sitting proudly alongside BrewDog Dogma and Obsidan from Wrexham’s finest, Sandstone. The bottle list is reasonably extensive, but not so crazily huge that you spend more time choosing than drinking – the fridge is home to tasty treats from the likes of BrewDog, Duvel and Flying Dog. The bar covers a very small area but although there was always a steady stream of customers I never felt I was waiting too long to be served, which can be an unfortunate problem in some otherwise excellent drinking establishments. When I paid a second visit late in the evening the place was much busier and it felt like the kind of place I’d like to spend my Saturday evenings. It had a good and solid local feel but not the kind of ‘local’ where it takes several visit every month for a year before anyone will engage you in conversation… it felt like the kind of place that quickly welcome friendly locals into the family. Perhaps I felt that way because I was drinking with a local but I’m pretty sure that if I was to return alone I’d have a very similar experience… and I will definitely return.

Anyway, I’ll save you from anymore of my waffle and pish because all I really wanted to say was:

If you see any Blue Ball beers – give them a go! If you are anywhere near Chester – visit Kash!

* * *

… all photography by landells …


~ by landells on July 5, 2012.

2 Responses to “Electric Blue”

  1. Erk. I reckon those pump clips would put me right off but I might be tempted to give them a go on your recommendation. On the proviso that someone else, preferably a male mate, ordered – I can’t see many women I know wanting to put up with the lecherous grins that asking for a spank or a tart might instigate.

    Kash in general sounds excellent, it’s been a long time since I was up in Chester, I’d love to check it out. Nice review.

    • The Spank pump clip is certainly very OTT. And they could do with modifying some of their beer names because when they’re coupled with the artwork they make it all seem a tad sleazy. But, despite telling myself that I shouldn’t, I can’t help but like the Vargas inspired artwork. I am a sham :o(

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