I see others have noted that JDW has ended its 99p promotion. I noticed this yesterday when on a brief two pub crawl of Rochdale. For once my visit to the Baum proved disappointing. Three beers on offer here. One was a honey beer from someone or other. It wouldn't do. I wanted something pale and hoppy for my first drink. Flowers IPA (didn't know it was still listed) was the other choice, before settling on my chosen beer, Hoppy Blonde from Williams Bros of Alloa. Did it do what it said on the tin? Alas no. It was pale, thin and weedy with a slight phenolic finish. I made my excuses and left. Even the best pubs, and the Baum is one, have a day when the beer doesn't suit you.
The Regal Moon is a large art-deco former cinema owned by JD Wetherspoon, is a GBG entry and is usually good for choice. Today was no exception. In addition to Triple FAlton's Pride, current Champion Beer of Britain, the superb Phoenix White Tornado, beers from Allgates (hmm) a special from the dependable Elland was available, as well as more standard offerings.
Bearing in mind the recent criticism of JDW on some blogs, I looked carefully around this large pub and did observe one small group of ne'er do wells. About five in number, they sat and chatted and if they smelled, it didn't reach me at the bar. Shoppers popped in and out, young couples, whispered in corners, two old dears nattered over their late afternoon meals and the only thing in the air was the buzz of conversation. There was a distinct lack of comatose bodies on the floor and no aggression or scrapping going on. No-one seemed to be getting tanked up before going on elsewhere. OK it wasn't Friday night -but let's face it, it seldom is! It was disappointingly normal.
Back to beer. Phoenix White Tornado was dependably good, Allgates Groundhop Day was ordinary, as their beers increasingly tend to be these days. There is often a strange chemical finish in them which I just don't like. I had to try the Alton's Pride. It was in excellent condition, an old fashioned full bodied brown beer, with a strong malt base and a good hop finish. A very good beer, but champion? Must have been great on the day I suppose.
Last up for me was the oddly named Elland Drakens Eld. This is a pale, ginger beer with a full body and a very strongly bitter finish, with a distinct ginger bite. It might not be to everyone's taste, but it was a very interesting and enjoyable beer to finish on and my beer of the week so far. But of course Easter weekend beckons.
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.
This blog mentions specifics; pubs and beer, good and bad. The opinions will be forthright, but you can always disagree, just don't be offended. Comments from those mentioned are particularly welcome and a right of reply is hereby offered.
Read my information and links and then decide for yourself. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes.
If you wish to email me you can do so by using this address: tandleman[at]yahoo.co.uk
These are the life blood of any blog. Please feel free to comment. I do not practice censorship if you stick to the point, but personal insults are frowned upon and may result in deletion. Anonymous entries may have the piss taken out of them or be deleted.
Beer samples are welcome, but I cannot guarantee a good review. You, the brewer, on the other hand can.
I do not currently accept adverts on this site, but if you feel so inclined, make me an offer. If you wish me to wear your brewery stuff, great. XXL please
The contents of this blog represent the personal views of the author only. They do not represent CAMRA policy in any way whatsoever.
The contents of this site and individual articles may not be reproduced in whole without the express permission of the author and will require an appropriate credit. Extracts may be reproduced with a credit to the author.