I am at my mother's at the moment. I arrived to a wet and blustery Glasgow Central station and after nearly four hours on the train, I needed the liquid refreshment that only beer can provide. So straight across the road to the legendary Horseshoe Bar. This place was buzzing, but I was unable to stop and savour the "patter", as the beer choice cask wise was limited to Caley 80 Bob or the ubiquitous Deuchars IPA. Damn. These just wouldn't do. So girding my loins I set off to Queen St station where I'd catch my train to Dumbarton. On the corner of George Square is the Counting House, a magnificent and huge conversion by JDW of an enormous domed former Bank of Scotland HQ. It is grand in every way and usually offers a great selection. Not this time really. I chose unwisely for a start. My first choice, Schiehallion, sputtered and died. It had gone! My second choice was Brains Bread of Heaven. A malt monster with an unpleasant harsh finish. Hmm. A half of the even more malty Cairngorm Wildcat was cloying. Deuchar's was avoided, but I'd saved the best 'til last. Phoenix Navvy would surely do the trick. It didn't. It was served southern style and the beer was ruined by it, with the balance being adversely affected. I reckopn too it was past its best. Damn again.
So what to do? I know I thought. I'll go to the Station Bar. This GBG pub is near where Buchanan St station used to be. It is a bit of a hoof, but I thought "it'll be worth it". It wasn't. In a busy pub I could see I was the only one drinking cask. Four beers here. Abbot? No. Theakstons Best? No. So halves of Downton Forest King and God help me, Deuchars IPA were procured. Both were vinegary and undrinkable. It was obvious no-one had pulled the warm beers through since they were last purchased, I left them and went home to welcome cups of tea. This simply isn't good enough in a GBG pub. I'll be writing to Glasgow and West of Scotland Branch of CAMRA to tell them so!
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. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
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