Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The Pound Pub has arrived.

A 'no frills' pub is to sell a pint of lager for only £1.50 per pint and £1 per half state newspaper reports today. The Pound Pub will open in Stockton-on-Tees with a second pub planned for Atherton just outside Manchester. Cue gnashing of teeth by the health lobby.

I do have a bit of a problem with two half pint costing 50% more than a pint which could encourage excessive drinking. I presume that none of the beers on offer will be the latest 'must have' offering from our coolest craft breweries nor can I imagine that any brewery can provide cask beer to be sold so cheaply. So I'll pass thanks.

Monday, 17 March 2014

The most influential brewery in the country

According to Radio 2 tonight the answer to that question is........................................... Marstons! This was the lead in to a rather vacuous piece concerning their new Revisionist range.  Pretty obvious answer I'm sure you'll agree.

The journalist who was spouting the publicity blub annoyed me by insisting in pronouncing the brewery as 'Marztons.'

Thursday, 13 March 2014

What the cool kids are drinking

The Oxton Bar and Grill is unsurprisingly, in Oxton, which is one of the oldest districts of Birkenhead. A number of late Georgian and early Victorian mansions and cottages survive and there is a slightly upmarket, village feel which is untypical of this decaying town.

The bar will be a new entrant to the GBG in 2015 but after a perfectly good pint from the local Peerless brewery I was attracted by a keg offering of the sort that is rare in Wirral - Flying Dog Doggie-style. Very good it was too, but it was after ordering that I noticed the chalk board. The heading stated 'What the cool kids are drinking', listing a wine, a spirit and the afore-mentioned Doggie-style.

So it's official. Craft beer is for the young and cool. Like me.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Discount for CAMRA members

The Font, round the corner from Manchester Oxford Road station gives a whopping 25% discount to CAMRA members. That reduced my pint of Magic Rock Ringmaster from an expensive £3.60 to a very reasonable £2.70. It presumably indicates that the margin on cask beer in this bar is pretty high.

Monday, 24 February 2014

The Indy admits bias against alcohol.

I wrote to The Independent to complain about its skewed reporting of alcohol matters.  Below is an extract of the reply I received from Will Gore, Deputy Managing Editor:

With regard to our stance on alcohol, as with a range of issues we may take an editorial line on a subject if we think it is the right one after proper analysis (independence is not synonymous with impartiality). 

In other words they admit that their reporting is not impartial. I hope that I'm not the only one to challenge them.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Liverpool Beer Festival 2014

I hope those who attended had a good time. The local CAMRA branch actually made tickets available via the internet this year. The problem is you'd have to be in the know to be aware of that. A kind soul informed me a few weeks after the closing date for applications. Maybe I'll manage to get a ticket next year. Or maybe not.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

The Independent newsapers - No friend of alcohol

The Indy on Sunday sent my blood pressure soaring with their leader comment today.  I've noticed the bias of the Indy papers over recent times but today's unsubstantiated uttering moved me to reply:
I have noted with dismay for some time an anti-alcohol consumption slant to the reporting by the Independent on Sunday and your sister daily newspaper. It  took your leader column today to rouse me in protest at your pronouncements.
You state ‘ Minimum pricing would certainly have a disproportionate effect on poor people who are not problem drinkers. In our view, that is a price worth paying for the wider social benefits of cutting alcohol consumption generally and problem in particular.’
Can you explain in more detail why cutting alcohol consumption of responsible drinkers is a good thing, especially in regard to those on low incomes who you admit will be hit the most? 
Steve Hannigan
I urge you to complain also.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

The first craft beer chain?

Collecting my daughter from Lime Street station on Monday night I parked my car and used the side entrance. In doing so, I passed a pub that I'd forgotten about - The Head of Steam. Once packed to the gunnels it had just a couple of hardy souls watching Sky footy.


Was this part of the first chain of craft beer pubs?  The Liverpool pub had five beers, each with a different range of beers. Beers from around the world were available and I remember buying the new, O'Hanlons produced Thomas Hardy's Ale from the Huddersfield outlet in 1984.

The earliest memory of a pub that would now be classed as 'craft' was a rural one. The Mason's Arms, Cartmel Fell, hidden above Lake Windermere had a world beer list on each table. It stocked over 150 Belgian Beers in the mid 80's and was the first place that I drank beers from the excellent Dutch 't IJ brewery.