You all know me. An open minded sort of a guy who takes things as he finds them, doesn't get hidebound by outdated definitions, always willing to try new things, never stuck in the past and very, very, generous with my moolah. A kind of modern day Adam Adamant. A few extra coppers here and there for beer? No problem if it is something I want to drink; no problem if it has quality running through it and it came a long way; no problem if it is in London where that's just the way it is, again as long as the quality is right. But what if I'm expected to pay extra for a beer that would cost me a lot less on cask? Less in the same pub even?
Back to the open minded bit. I'm stung, nay, cut to the very quick by those misguided miscreants, those picky trouble makers, those poor deluded souls that think I don't like craft keg beer out of badness. I've been complaining about the lack of availability of British craft keg up here in the grim North as I have had little experience of it other than a bit in London and Sheffield, but here we have in Manchester the chance to try it. Port St Beer House has installed extra keg taps for British craft keg, so me and E hot footed it there last Friday. E somewhat grudgingly it has to be said. It seems my keg drinking plan didn't meet with her approval. Cutting remarks such as "we could go to the Marble for a couple of decent pints" show you Dear Reader, what I'm up against in the search for enlightenment.
So I order a couple of halves to prove my doubting better half wrong. "A half of Schiehallion and one of Jaipur (both keg) please." "£4.50 of your British pounds" quoth the bearded barperson. "Fucking Hell" quoth me and her indoors in unison. Now there isn't a keg price-list in the PSBH - an oversight I'm sure - but there is one for cask. It's in the photo. Keg is apparently pricier. Lots pricier. What did it taste of? The Schiehallion of carbonic acid and metal, the Jaipur, like a fizzy, pale shadow of itself , which might just have suited a hot summer day in a beer garden, but on the whole just appeared to be rather pointless, especially in the PSBH where I have to say, they know their stuff cask wise and would have presented the real thing in all its glory. We reverted to the much cheaper and better cask and noted that Thornbridge appear to be labelling some beers as "Thornbridge Hall". New and old breweries I assume.
We burped all the way home, remarking that CAMRA has little to fear from new wave keg. At this rate it will price itself out of the market, so don't be afraid to pile on the cost new wave brewers. Oh I know it has extra production costs, but don't worry about price. Nor you Dear Landlord. Make the pips squeak.You both owe it to your followers.
And you my keg loving lovelies? Drink up. I've seen the future and it certainly works for me!
This is a bit of fun really, but it does illustrate a serious point on price. Just how much will that market stand?
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.
Read my information and links and then decide for yourself. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes.
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