Our pub, along with another, had a trip around JWLees Greengate Brewery on Wednesday night. They are the kind of thing a brewery such as Lees does as a reward to its tenants and customers from time to time, though the gap between visits is usually rather long. Such events include a tour round the brewery and after a few pints in the Brewery Cottage (the hospitality suite) poured by the Area Manager and the hosting pub tenants - off we went. Now I've been around there quite a lot in various guises and each time I learn something new. This time one of the Brewhouse Team - a production brewer if you like - took us round. I know him a little and he asked me not to ask awkward questions. As if I would. That wastes valuable drinking time, but as we walked back to the Cottage we chatted about Lees Original Lager and Carlsberg which are produced at Greengate. "Of course" he said, "you won't approve of lager." He seemed surprised when I advised him that I'm a huge fan of lager and of Lees Original and that I regularly drink lager home and abroad.
This idea that Camra types all dislike lager is a quite common misconception. It is like the misconception that Camra members don't drink pasteurised bottles, don't drink keg and don't drink cans. "They certainly don't drink craft" is the mantra. Now a few die hards mightn't, but actually most of us do drink keg beers (carefully selected of course) and most of us certainly drink lager to some extent or other lager. Returning to craft keg, in fact in areas outside London, I reckon some craft bars are both literally and figuratively propped up by Camra members in a way that would surprise most people. (London is a different case, but it will still happen there.)
While cask beer at its best is unbeatable, not drinking lager is inconceivable to me for one. Well made lager is an absolute delight and those that sniff at lager are missing out in a big way.
What did I learn this time? Well, while I knew Lees made no cask beer for anyone else since they stopped doing Burton Ale, I found out that they brew Tetley Keg Bitter, Greenalls Bitter and Ansells Bitter (both keg).
They also produce Carlsberg Lager for Carlsberg to supplement Carlsberg's own production, as well as for their own estate and free trade.
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.
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