I was in Prague when I heard the terrible news that Simon had died. It was a shock. It always is when someone you know goes and getting older as I am, it happens with monotonous regularity. But Simon wasn't old and that makes it worse in so many ways. We all know that I think.
A couple of years ago, Simon sent me a message. He was coming to Manchester and would I meet him and show him round? I intended only to stay for a little while, but of course that lasted a lot longer than planned and I tottered off home while Simon, heading for the station, thought he'd check out the Port St Beer House. Or did I go with him? You see what I mean?
I last saw him by arrangement a summer ago, in the Euston Tap, but this time I was saved by my train. He was good company as so many say and hard to get away from in the best possible way. His infectious enthusiasm will be missed, as will his lack of pretension about beer, though maybe the merkin won't be! He was indeed a reluctant scooper, but in his own way, he was one nonetheless, but he never forgot that beer is best when enjoyed in good company, rather than as a status symbol or a notch on the bar.
He (somewhat surprisingly) sent me a direct tweet last year asking me if he could have an opinion from me about whether he was "being an arse" over something or other. I agreed of course, but then he then later said there was no need. I have no idea what is was and now never will. It was a bit of an odd incident, but there you go. I am glad he asked me, even if it came to nothing.
He was a good lad and you can't say fairer than that.He'll be missed.
I don't half look a tit in these socks. Hope he's grinning about that somewhere.
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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