Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Real Lager Back in the Day


Boak and Bailey have an interesting article on the issue of the CAMRA view of lager many years ago. They are right to point out at the start of it that it is more than one of simply regarding lager as "fizzy piss."

Last night I received the attached scan from our Regional Treasurer who was involved with Bury Beer Festival back in 1980.  The list of beers is interesting and it is is gratifying to see that of the 12 breweries (an amazingly modest number by today's standards) no less than 5 remain in production.  That however is not the main point of me reproducing the original programme.  If you look down to Lees there is a lager offered for sale. With an explanation.

Mudgie is always banging on about the poor quality of the lagers produced by regional breweries and he is, in the main right. These were really ales - Kolsch like - in that they were warm fermented by top fermenting (ale) yeast and then cold conditioned before pasteurisation and kegging.  Some were truly awful.  Lees had Tulip Lager and while now, in a modern lager brewery, they produce excellent lagers, it wasn't always the case.

My contact does not say if the thirsty hordes, no doubt including CAMRA members, in a fit of nihilistic doctrinal purity, refused to drink it, though somehow I doubt it. Beer Festivals were still a bit rare in those days.

Click on the image to enlarge. I was also sent an amusing tale which I'll publish soon.

7 comments:

RedNev said...

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Brewdog!

Curmudgeon said...

Not sure I'm *always* banging on about it - although my limited memory of Amboss and Einhorn was that both were pretty awful. And it was Mr Clarke who brought up the story of "Fat Fred" over at B&B's ;-)

Jeffrey Bell said...

Lager racked off into casks can be lovely. Portobello Pilsner served that way was a favourite at the Gunmakers and the brewery are about to produce an 8% dark lager for bottling which I'll be getting a single cask conditioned firkin of...

Jeffrey Bell said...

Lager racked off into casks can be lovely. Portobello Pilsner served that way was a favourite at the Gunmakers and the brewery are about to produce an 8% dark lager for bottling which I'll be getting a single cask conditioned firkin of...

electricpics said...

Old Mill Brewery used to do a cask pilsner style lager called Alt Muhle. I remember it being pretty good. Not sure if it's still going.

Ben Viveur said...

Bloody hell, try showing this to those who moan about the lack of stylistic choice at CAMRA beer festivals these days!

With 3.5-4% ordinary bitters dominating, I'd imagine the lager would've flown out the taps for novelty value alone.

Shows how much we've moved on though. Pubs in 2015 have far more extensive ranges than beer festivals did in 1980.

Cooking Lager said...

I wouldn't touch lager that qualifies as real ale. chill and fizz is what you want.