I have mentioned before that my quiz league endeavours take me to various Sam' Smiths pubs in my area. Last night it was the Bay Horse in Royton, Oldham. This is a neat little pub with one main and one side room and a cheery bunch of regulars. It also had one of the fittest barmaids I've seen in a long time. It was struggle to look away. Good job we were in a side room and I couldn't see her, or my puny contribution to victory would have been even less! But I digress.
The beer was all keg or should I say all mixed gas dispense. A row of electrically lit little boxes lined the bar. To me a pub isn't a proper pub without a handpump or two. It just does not look right. In these situations I usually drink Dark Mild as it is the least offensive when done this way. Sam's Dark Mild is 3% and is a good beer underneath the dodgy dispense. It had decent malt, a touch of roastiness, a hint of hops. The recipe was for a classic dark mild. It was served far too cold and while at first it seemed OK, the dread hand of pasteurisation gave it an unappealing cardboard edge. It was a mere £1.11, yes, £1.11 a pint!
So come on Sam's. If you don't want to sell cask mild, that's up to you, but surely you don't need to boil the heart out of the beer and serve it at such low temperatures?
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
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