It is building up to a crescendo as the first match approaches, both here in Middleton and in Germany, where I was at the weekend. Here all the pubs are being done up in the national colours, with the emphasis on quantity rather than quality, though they don't seem to do that in Germany. Not that Germany eschews tackiness altogether. While visiting a brew pub in the sticks on Saturday we came across a shop selling tat (in German colours of red, yellow and black of course) that might have made even a Langley lad think twice. Leprechaun hats in German national colours, Hawaiian garlands, ditto (I rather liked them), a set of three clappy hands (which I now wish I'd bought), flags for cars and a lanyard in red, yellow and black, with a whistle for getting on people's tits. (That was a euro and is now proudly in Tandleman Towers.) I rather think though that I would be unwise to wear much German gear around here, as I'd likely get my head kicked in. To add to the festivities, as we left Frankfurt the airport was besieged by fans, garlanded, Ballack shirted and face painted, waiting to watch the national team fly off in Lufthansa's new A380.
Nonetheless Middleton is not to be outdone. I noticed this rather fine bronze fellow (pictured) outside the Middleton Archer, a Lees Pub. It pays tribute to the err..... Middleton Archers (the chaps with longbows, not pints of bitter) success in mowing innocent Scots down at Flodden, a fact also commemorated in our Parish Church, by the world's first ever war memorial. I'm getting excited too and must get some beer in. Even this pub drinker may require the odd home libation.
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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