When I left the hall yesterday after Oldham Beer Festival set-up, I saw the back of my bus leaving. Damn. It was a half hour wait for the next one, so what to do? Conveniently there is a pub opposite the bus station. It is signed and run by Marstons. Do you remember that rant by Marston's MD Stephen Oliver that I referred to recently? I know he has apologised for most of it since, but remembering his boast that I could have all the choice of beer I'd like in his pubs, I went in.
Guess what? Of the 35 permanent beers boasted by Mr Oliver, exactly none were available. The pump clips were all turned round. Instead a lone Black Sheep pump coughed and spluttered a reluctant half of ice cold beer to me. The barman, with cigarette behind his ear, told me I might need it topping up as it had been giving trouble all day. He then retreated to the open back door to smoke said fag. It did need topping up, but I didn't bother asking for one, or wondering why he didn't change the beer onto a non faulty handpump. He had plenty to choose from and almost no customers.
There are many reasons why we don't go to pubs, but I'd imagine this cheerless experience would put you off for quite a while. I went back to the cold bus station. It was preferable by far and a much happier place. At least in a bus station hope and expectation fill the air. The pub is for sale or is it lease? No wonder.
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.
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.
Read my information and links and then decide for yourself. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes.
If you wish to email me you can do so by using this address: tandleman[at]yahoo.co.uk
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Beer samples are welcome, but I cannot guarantee a good review. You, the brewer, on the other hand can.
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