Wednesday 4 March 2015

Thomas Hardy's Ale Reborn

This beauty arrived by post yesterday so I thought it was time to end my silence.

The rights to the Thomas Hardy Ale name have now passed to a company in Italy called Interbrau. This preview edition should certainly whet the appetite of beer connoisseurs everwhere. They've gone back to the original pint and half pint bottles from 1968 for the design. The wax capsule is an attractive touch, although there appears to be a crown cork beneath it.

The ale is brewed to the classic strength of 11.7%, who brews or will brew has not been revealed although we are assured that it will be in England. This re-incarnation may well be more successful than O'Hanlon's. The beer market has move on a lot in 10 years and there are plenty of beer geeks who won't mind paying top dollar for a beer that is a statement. "Look at me. Money's no object to show what superior taste I have." Others will buy just the one bottles and stare lovingly at it from time to time, never getting round to actually drinking it. Which is what happened first time round.

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.