A farm building next to a bypass near St Helens may not be the first place you’d expect to find beers from some of the UK’s most exciting breweries, but CatHop Beers is a hidden gem.
After sitting in traffic on the East Lancs Road for an annoyingly long period of time we decided to take the opportunity to get out of the car and visit CatHop Beers. We’d seen a sign for it on a previous drive and it had intrigued us.
After parking up, we found ourselves in a group of farm buildings with which also included a cafe, a vintage bike repair workshop, a shop selling essential oils and a dog groomers. CatHop Beers was on the edge of the complex closes to the car park and easy to spot thanks to an A-board promoting its wares.
Inside, we were pleasantly surprised to find a large range of beer from some of the UK’s finest breweries and some from further afield. The shelves nearest the door featured a number of local breweries including Neptune, Chapter and Handyman complete with signs pointing out where each brewery was based. Further inside, shelves featured the likes of Siren, Buxton, Boundary and Tiny Rebel adjacent to two well-stocked can fridges with beers from Magic Rock, Northern Monk, Wylam, Wander Beyond and Loka Polly.
The selection was very good and, to be honest, not at all what we were expecting from a small shop in a fairly rural location; a pleasant surprise!
We had a little chat with the owner who said he’s looking into the possibility of getting an on-licence to serve some beers on draught in the future. The only downside is it’s unfortunately not too accessible via public transport as the nearest station would be Rainford which is a good 45 minute walk away, but if you’re visiting St Helens or coming off the M58 at junction 3 for Ormskirk/Southport, then it’s worth a little detour.
Inglenook Farm, Moss Nook Lane, Rainford, St Helens, WA11 8AE – cathopbeers.co.uk