I was out in Manchester on Saturday night. Unusual for me. An American mate of mine was in town with his girlfriend, so I made my way across town to the Knott Bar, a place I know, but due to its distance from my bus route, not one I go to very often.
After a few pints, I changed my drink to Magic Rock Rapture. I like their beers but was surprised to find it opaque and muddy, almost like the last pint out of a cask. A barman who hadn't served me noticed me examining it and said "Is that the Magic Rock?" I replied in the affirmative. "Yes" he said, "they've stopped fining their beers and we are getting complaints. I'll change it if you like." I liked, adding that it just didn't taste right at all. Now I don't know whether this change to no longer fining beers is true or not, but I have looked after Magic Rock beers before and they always dropped bright. Has this changed really happened or did I just get a bad pint? Back to the same old problem. The certainty is being swept away. You just don't know any more. Either way, this murky thing has raised its head yet again. The only saving grace was the barman handling the situation with skill and changing my pint happily.
That is by no means certain if we see more and more unfined beer served without a warning.
My Yankee chum also ordered a bottle of Rochefort 10. It was my round and set me back £7!
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. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
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