This is by way of an update, so please read the background here and the initial post here first. It all helps my stats and you, Dear Reader, to understand things.
Mum and I returned to the newly opened JDW, Captain James Lang in Dumbarton two days after our first trip. Mum had offered to pay, so why not? (She didn't as usual!) This time we were able to sit in one of the much coveted booths and see what was happening at the bar. I didn't give the cask beer a go at first - once bitten -twice shy and all that - but had a couple of pints of St Mungo Lager from West Brewery in Glasgow. Decent stuff, but perhaps they are being a bit fanciful to call it a cross between a Bavarian Helles and a North German Pilsner. At least in my view, though I must try that as an experiment if I ever have the chance to cross pollinate the two. Still, though as I said, it is good stuff.
I didn't see any cask being sold for a good while and then a guy asked for a pint of London Pride. It looked clear and he supped it with obvious enjoyment, returning not many minutes later for another. One or two more handpumps were now moving. Things cask wise were clearly looking up. I was deciding whether to plunge in, when I noticed a very tall guy at the bar, with shorts, a fleece top, a notebook and a mullet haircut. Bugger me if it wasn't Timbo himself. Tim Martin the boss man no less. I went over and said "Tim Martin?" "The same" quoth he amiably. We had a brief chat where I filled him in on the lack of cask beer in Dumbarton over the years and he asked me what I thought of the place. He was very pleasant and told me he'd been doing the rounds of some of his Scottish pubs and waved his bulging notebook at me "These are my observations" he boomed. As I ordered my pint of St Mungo he added "I'll get that". Splendid. What a guy.
As I pointed him out to my Mum, he went off on an inspection. I finished my pint and ordered a London Pride. It was rather good as Pride goes. There is hope as I suggested already and the staff were still trying hard. I was very impressed that Tim was, sans entourage, going round his own pubs under what seemed to be his own steam. Can't see many Chairmen doing that. The photo is nicked from the web.
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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