I've passed through Glasgow a couple of times in the last couple of weeks on my way to my Mum's in Dumbarton. Dumbarton offers no real ale, well no real anything these days really, so I always stop off in Glasgow for couple of pints on the way. Usually it is one of two Wetherspoons between the station I arrive in and the one I leave from, or the Drum and Monkey, though often this Caledonian Brewery obsessed bar is passed by. I am no fan of Caley beers.
Glasgow denizen, sparkler hater and blogger Robsterowksi recommended I try Browns on George Square as a change, as they sell Harviestoun Blonde. So I did and found both times, in this glitteringly posh bar, that despite silver founts adorned with Doom Bar and Harviestoun Blonde pumpclips, only Doom Bar on offer. The second time (this week) I queried this and was told that they only have one "spike" (I assume they mean spear extractor) so they can only ever offer one real ale at a time. The barman advised me it is usually Doom Bar, as that is most popular.
Now that's up to them, but why imply that two are available? I dislike this misleading way of doing things. It is presumably to ensure that the "look" of the bar is maintained. Better though to take the clip off when the beer isn't available, or better still to buy another extraction spear. They are cheap as chips and this place, believe me cost millions.
Of course, you could always go to the nearby JDWs and choose from a dozen real ales. Which is what I did.
Glasgow of course is a lager city. I doubt if Browns sell much cask anyway and I suspect it will buzz at night with or without it. It was empty both lunchtimes though.
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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