Friday, 19 July 2013

Whew. What a Scorcher!


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.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Norden Arms had no cask on last Friday because they couldnt keep the cellar cool.

Cooking Lager said...

This weather is just ice cold lager weather. Cold, slips down and hardly touches the sides. Having said that I had a couple of lovely cool golden ales in one of the better local boozers yesterday. The only one of the lot I would drink cask ale in anyway, regardless of weather. Some pubs seem to be able to keep a cool cellar, some don't.

Chillax beery campaigners. The weather will turn to shit soon enough and my desire for salad, ice tea, lager will return to pies, hot tea and bitter.

Enjoy the sun whilst it's here.

Phil said...

As yet I haven't even considered it. (Chorlton, Land of a Thousand Bars.)

Anonymous said...

Started the London Pubs Group meeting at the Royal Oak in Borough on Wednesday night (whew what a scorcher) with a pint of Grolsch and then switched to the Harveys Pale Ale, which came cooler than I was expecting. Perhaps pubs are turning down the thermostat in their cellars to compensate?

Dale I

RedNev said...

It's real ale for me. I struggle to find something to drink if the real ale is off. With modern cooling equipment, there is no excuse for not serving it at the correct temperature, but part of the problem is the usual one with beer: too many people accept products which are substandard in terms of temperature, condition or quantity. I don't know why this is: few people would buy a loaf that was stale or had a few slices missing.

Tandleman said...

Anon: Haven't they just spent a fortune doing it up? No cellar cooling? WTF?

Cookie: Depends on the pub and thelager.

Anon (2) and so they should

RedNev: It those that put up with it that have a few slices missing.

Glenn Johnson said...

Like yourself I know where to go to get a decent cool pint of real ale. Temperature of beer has not been a problem for me at all.

Beermunster said...

Nah it's still real ale for me, but most places around here seem to have a decent cellar and be capable of keeping the stuff cool even in this weather.

I do find myself drinking different types of ale in this weather though. Normally I tend towards things at the red or dark end of the ale spectrum, but the heat seems to have brought out my craving for all things light and hoppy. Had a cracking few pints of Marble Summer the other evening. Normally I can only take one or two of that sort of thing, but spent the whole evening drinking the stuff.

critch said...

been great in stamps too(liverpool camra's pub of the year and also grat in the freshfield(merseysides overall p.o.t.y.),theyre even running a 20 pump beer festival next week!

Curmudgeon said...

To be honest, few people would have the courage of their convictions to complain about a pint of cask beer that was too warm, but clear and not otherwise obviously "off".

Curmudgeon said...

I thought I would create a poll on this subject here.

Adrian Tierney-Jones said...

Having written what I wrote I can tell you that the cask beers at my two local pubs are as cool as a pair of proper Raybans (number 2 crop all round) — that includes Proper Job, Wills Neck and Ellands American Pale Ale, of which I hope to investigate further this weekend.

Pete said...

Chance would be a fine thing; our local 'spoons insists on serving all it's real ale at sub-zero temperatures...

Benjamin Nunn said...

An argument I've had with more old school CAMRA types than I'd care to remember... If the beer is too cold for you, it'll soon warm up. If the beer is too cold for me, it ain't going to cool down.

Ergo pubs should *always* err on the side of colder.

With a couple of stylistic exceptions, I like my beer served fairly cold and I mostly like to drink cask. Sadly in the Summer this does mean that my enjoyment of beer is greatly hindered in most pubs.

The one chain where I've always found the cask beer to be perfectly cool though is the Craft Beer Co.

Brewers Union Local 180 said...

Would you accept 11˚? That's at the jacketed pumps with a thermometer in the jar.

On the other hand, a nice 3˚ Farmhouse from one of those crazy Portland breweries does the trick as well. Only eight timezones away though.

Paul Bailey said...

I must admit, being a bit old school, that chilled cask ale took a bit of getting used to when it started to become more widespread a decade or so ago.

Now, however, I regard it as essential in hot weather, especially when I think back to hot summers during the mid 1970's and 80's, when the beer in some pubs was like warm soup!

I also like my ale on the cool side when things are more temperate, but what isn't pleasant is ice-cold beer in the middle of winter - especially if you've got sensitive teeth like I have.

On that subject, even lager-style beers shouldn't be served too cold, otherwise they lose all taste. Pilsner Urquell recommend seven degrees Centigrade as ideal for their beer, and on a visit to the brewery last year, a large illuminated digital thermometer, showing the temperature at which the beer was being served and kept in the large restaurant-cum-beer-hall, confirmed this.

Possibly more and more people are starting to think this way, as you don't tend to see quite so much of this "extra-chilled" nonsense for mainstream lagers and Guinness that was all the rage a few years ago.

Dimpled Mug said...

Nowt wrong with a nice pint of cider when the mercury starts to rise.

Coxy said...

Will try the Tullie again in a couple of weeks , it is usually terrible, but you have my hopes up!

Cooking Lager said...

It's pissing down. Pint of bitter anyone?

RedNev said...

You buying?

Cooking Lager said...

Buy you a pint any day Nev, of any murky vinegary dishwater you like, but if you start banging on about leftie nonsense, I'm off for a game of arras or chat up the chesty lass behind the bar.