It was touching to receive a personal invitation to the retirement luncheon for Giles Dennis, formerly Head Brewer of JW Lees. The great and the good of British Brewing were there, along with licensees, brewery colleagues, malt and hops suppliers, beer writers, friends and many others whom Giles had just wanted to be there.
We started off with beer of course. As this was held in the new Crowne PlazaHotel which Lees supply, a temporary bar was set up with Lees Bitter - reracked that morning - being liberally dispensed. It was good to chat to so many people from around the country, many of them ex brewers with funny tales to tell. If nothing else the brewing industry is full of funny anecdotes and delightful people. Lunch was steak and ale pie and beer, wine and speeches flowed. We presented Giles with an appropriate special award from our local CAMRA Branch and I was asked to speak on behalf of CAMRA, which despite several pints of bitter and glasses of Rothschild Pinot Noir, I managed to do. Giles in his response to the Chairman's kind remarks about him, included a very positive mention of CAMRA's role which is gratifying. It earned a round of applause from industry people who actually know what they are talking about.
Our table included beer writers Barrie Pepper, Arthur Taylor, the British Brewing Insitute and Lees Head Cellarman and the Head of Technical Services. It was a good afternoon in good company.
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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