Ah Summer. It beckons like a summery thing. What's not to like? Scallies with their shirts off, hogging any outside areas and loads of large lasses with red faces and way too tight Primark clothing for a start I suppose. But I live up North, so fewer willowy girls with floaty dresses and men in Boden attire, but that's life. It's gritty and real, like the ale sometimes is. So what do we all like on a hot day? No. Not that. Beer - that's what. Beer, cool and refreshing; beer cold as a polar bear's arse, frosted and glistening in the sun. That's what we want isn't it?
This, to some, means that real ale, that most British of drinks doesn't fit the bill in this weather. Why? Because it is too warm. Too warm? Surely in these days of refrigeration and temperature controlled cellars that can't be so? At least it shouldn't be so. The twitter waves are full of dire warnings of warm beer. Even ATJ suggests that "at least (publicans offer) one good craft keg font to keep the cask beer drinkers happy", his reasoning being that drinkers might fancy something colder and more carbonated. Well indeed they may, especially if the cask is warm enough to poach an egg in and looks like electric soup.
I am lucky to mainly visit pubs where they know what they are doing. My (cask) beers recently have changed little in temperature from normal. They are served at around 12° - 13° as they should be and are perfect summer drinks. Nor is it just here where they know what cooling is for. All the cask beer I had in Glasgow and surrounds last weekend was also perfectly cool. Hats off to the Tullie Inn Balloch, the Drum and Monkey and Blackfriars in Glasgow who all sold cask beer at the correct temperature. We also went to West, which being keg only and German run, had no temperature problems either.
So. Have you switched to something cooler because real ale has become unacceptably warm in the pub in which you wished to have it? I'd be interested to find out more and most importantly where.
It's another hot day here in Manchester. Lovely. Pint later I think.
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.
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