On last week's trip to the Black Country I was more than surprised - taken aback might have been a better word - to find that most conservative of brewers, Holdens, selling their own Black Country Lager. In one of our first stops, the Black Bull in Sedgley, the very chatty Landlady heard us discussing it and offered me a taste. Very nice it was too, although that may have been different when scaled up. Oddly the brewery's own website makes no mention of it at all.
On the last day of our jaunt we stopped at Eccleshall and popped into the Royal Oak, a Joules House, and again there was an in-house lager on sale. This time the beer, Green Monkey, was clearly described on the website and interesting it was too. "We are very proud to say Green Monkey will never be pasteurised or
artificial carbonated, we like our lagers "Brewery Fresh", and this
comes from being lagered for up to four weeks. This careful method
develops a naturally carbonated drink, producing the most delicate of
bubbles, creating a smooth finish on the palate. I didn't have time to try this, but it did set me wondering how many such examples are being brewed out there. Two rather small breweries doing so is interesting. Now of course I know of the likes of Fullers, Lees, Shepherd Neame and probably more, but how common is this and are they readily available on draught?
Can anyone advise? Are there other such lagers out there?
Of course the question I should have asked of Joules, is how this naturally carbonated lager is pushed to the bar.
I also acquired a Joules T Shirt in the pub when the Landlord allowed us to add our drinks together to qualify for a promotion. Nice one.
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. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
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