I have moaned about warm beer in London before, so you'll know what to expect. More moans about warm beer in case you can't work it out. Firstly background. Cask conditioning when done properly for everyday drinking beers, is the finest way of presenting beer. When not done properly it is dire.
Warmth is the enemy of cask conditioning. It is physics pure and simple. At higher temperatures, CO2 is less soluble in liquid. Everyone knows that don't they? Everyone except London publicans that is. Last night in the Dispensary my beer was an astonishing 17.6C. That's warm. This is CAMRA East London's Pub of the Year 2009. Hmm. It makes the Bree Louise's 15C seem positively arctic. Of course in both cases the beer was flabby and unpalatable. At over £3 a go, this isn't acceptable.
So naturally we left there and heading home, had a pint in JDW's Goodman's Field. Saltaire Blonde at a perfect 12C and a world of difference in price and quality. It just needed a sparkler for complete enjoyment. A curry was called for and when E went home to warm the plates and set the table, while it was being cooked, I nipped into the Brown Bear. I didn't fancy London Pride or Doom Bar and the taster I had of Wyre Piddle in the Leaves confirmed this brewery fully deserve its "avoid" status on my mental list of micros. I beat a hasty retreat to the Empress of Prussia, a Shep's tied house. It was empty apart from me. The Master Brew was also a perfect 12C, full of condition and tasted bloody awful. With stewed tea tannins and harsh hop oils, it was a hard to drink mess.
So there you are. One decent drink out of four in the capital. Today's another day though and a chance for all to be redeemed. E wants to go shopping in Covent Garden. We'll no doubt have a drink after. I'll have my Cask Marque thermometer with me and will report back.
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.
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