As this winter drags on and on, one place of solace ought to be the pub. Excellent beer, a cheery welcome and a warm fug of heat as you enter, makes the winter blues dissipate somewhat does it not? One problem I have found recently though in that otherwise cheerful picture I've drawn, is that far too many pubs are at the moment, not to put too fine a point on it, bloody freezing.
On Saturday, our trip to Magic Rock having taken the knock due to appalling weather, a brave band of us went for a few pints in Manchester. It wasn't all plain sailing. On one of the coldest days of the year, it wouldn't be unfair to say that two well known pubs in the Northern Quarter, both in the Rochdale Road area, were as cold as a sheep on Arran.
Times is hard I know and fuel bloody expensive, but you don't go to the pub as an endurance test. A small coal fire in one room will not heat a large pub on a very cold day. This really is a case of speculating to accumulate, because customers will simply not sit about drinking beer when the temperature inside would make a yak shiver.
Put another couple of pennies on a pint - I don't care - but heat the pub up please.
It has to be said that the three, shall we say, less traditional pubs we visited, were lovely and warm. Even if the beer was icy.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer author, 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. 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.
The Royal William, Stowmarket, Suffolk
The best pub in town, according to the local CAMRA. Hidden away on a back street (but not far from the mock Elizabethan railway station). Ten real ales - all...
Read my information and links and then decide for yourself. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes.
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