Monday, 12 July 2021

The Beer Police

It all started so innocently. A few pints with a pal that I hadn't seen in over a year because of you know what and, in addition, my first chance of a pub crawl in Manchester City Centre for quite some time. Well - a year ago. With the same pal as it happens. Me having hopped off the bus at Shudehill Bus Station and him having arrived at Victoria, it seemed a good idea on this sunny Manchester day, to start  at the "new" Holts pub, in Shudehill. 

I say new but the pub in question, the Lower Turks Head is hardly new, dating back to 1745, when Bonnie Prince Charlie was still, just about, strutting his stuff. According to the Holts website, "Dating back to 1745, The Lower Turks Head was once an old stagecoach stop and enjoyed a proud heritage through successive centuries before closing its doors last August. Inside the deceptively deep and roomy venue, the pub is crammed with distinctive fixtures and fittings, including a long wooden bar, checkerboard floors, wooden staircases, cut tables and cubby hole seating." Sounds nice and as we checked in at the door, a glimpse showed that the boy Joey had done well. The place looked immaculate. We chose to sit outside, me drinking Holts Mild and Mike drinking Bitter. It was actually quite a good place to sit, with excellent and cheerful table service and great views of the comings and goings of both the Bus Station and the adjacent Metrolink stop.

We left with considerable reluctance for the joys of the Crown and Kettle and its rather large outdoor offering, where again cask pints and great service were had.

Now into each life a little rain must fall. We were peckish, so went to Bundobust for veggie offerings, Mike being a non meat eater. The bar there usually has a great range and so it proved. For Mike something by Squawk on cask and for me, a rather exotic sounding stout, Chaitro, brewed by the new in-house brewery. Described as a porter, but that is a very blurry line, this was served on nitro and was spicily different and bloody good. I tweeted accordingly, and we continued supping and munching in what was a very empty room, but the company, beer and food persuaded us to stay for another, though the staff seemed to prefer chatting rather than serving. Mike switched to the Chaitro, and we left, full and happy bunnies, to a quick couple of pints of Hydes cask outside the Abel Heywood, before going our separate ways.

Now, it seems that some folks don't like nitro stout or "well known" CAMRA types enjoying it. On Twitter rather a storm of annoyance about this occurred. 

Well. It did provoke quite a discussion and rather than go on about it, my point of view could be summed up as below: It is funny how tables have turned, but didn't CAMRA with its erstwhile disapproval of keg beer, used to get the same Beer Police allegations thrown at them?

For the record CAMRA is all about choice with an emphasis on cask ale. In line with that, my drinking last Thursday, with its overwhelming predominance of cask, fully complied with this. "Take that Beer Police."

The Beer Police have also been having a pop at us Bass drinkers. Liking Bass is harmless, doesn't mean approval of Molson Coors and there are bigger beery fish to fry, so lay off.

An aside is how much Manchester has changed in the last eighteen months. Wow.  


7 comments:

Dave said...

People often don’t allow someone to be for something without assuming it means they are against something else. I drink many types of beer with many dispense methods. The choices are fun. Why stay in one lane?

Curmudgeon said...

Don't let him know you've been drinking the Lees Lager!

Fred said...

>>> An aside is how much Manchester has changed in the last eighteen months. Wow.

Can you expand a little on that please for the benefit of those of us that haven't been to Manchester since Covid hit ? In what particular ways has it changed ?

jdwilliam said...

Relating to Bass Drinking. In the US it is becoming increasingly difficult to find British beer. The shelves are filled with so many US craft beers that imports are getting hard to come by. Not only are there 8,000 breweries here now, Each seems to have 15 different beers and about a half dozen are NEIPAs so now room for a variety of British ales except those with connections to the world wide conglomerate brewing/distributing companies. If we want British ale we often have to take what we can find.

Cooking Lager said...

Too many CAMRA wallas are all over nitro, craft, lager, belgium and what not.
Y'all should drink bitter or hand over to someone that is prepared to neck one.
Preferably someone that can neck one without wincing.

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