It is as well the Portman Group wasn’t around when Admiral Sir Edward Belcher was fitting out his expedition to the Arctic in 1852 to try to find out what had happened to Sir John Franklin and his gallant men, lost on their voyage in search of the North West Passage seven years earlier. The… Read More The Portman Group is trying to destroy Britain’s proud history of strong ales
Why is finding a properly kept pint of cask ale such an appalling lottery in Britain’s pubs, despite the existence since 1971 of a consumer organisation dedicated to beer quality – before most pub staff were born – and the existence of a trade organisation dedicated to raising the standards of draught beer, Cask Marque,… Read More Why, nearly 50 years after the birth of Camra, can I still not be guaranteed a decent pint of cask beer in most pubs?
Is the Campaign for Real Ale about to have its Clause Four moment? For younger readers, Clause Four was the part of the constitution of the Labour Party that contained the aim of achieving “the common ownership of the means of production”, and it was when Tony Blair, Labour’s new party leader, and his allies… Read More Dishonest nonsense and Camra’s Clause Four moment
I have a new “magic beer moment” to savour: drinking 13-year-old Carlsberg Special Brew in the cellars of the Jacobsen brewery in Copenhagen. Actually, that was just one of a number of great moments during my trip to Denmark earlier this month to talk about “beer and terroir from an international perspective” to a bunch… Read More Place-based beers and 13-year-old Special Brew
I’m as keen to big-up the attractions of the pub as anybody. But there was a big pull-out quote in the latest Cask Ale Report from a cask ale-selling publican in Bristol that “there is no future for a pub without cask ales. It’s the only thing in the pub not being taken by the… Read More Cask ale ‘is unique to the pub’? Don’t bet on that
The seventh edition of Pete Brown’s yearly investigation into the state of cask ale in Britain, the Cask Report, came out this afternoon in time for Cask Ale Week, and as usual it’s full of fascinating cherries of information. Here’s a selection of random titbits you might miss in other stories about it: ● The… Read More A few fascinating cherries from the 2014 Cask Report
Jamie Oliver, the thick-tongued TV chef and hugely successful restaurant entrepreneur (and son of an Essex pub landlord), has 3.3 million followers on Twitter. Which is, you’ll not be shocked to hear, about 2,600 times more Twitter followers than I have. Indeed, it’s quite possibly more followers, my very rough survey suggests, than all the… Read More So who are the big beery twitterers?
Is this newspaper report about ructions on Tyneside the start of civil war in the Campaign for Real Ale between “Real Camra”, those who hold to the original verities, that all keg beer is bad, and “Revisional Camra”, a younger set who argue that the campaign needs to accept “craft” keg? I very sincerely hope… Read More Real Camra versus the revisionals
Where I come from, if you suggested cooking with Stella Artois, you’d be comprehensively jeered, by both the many fans of what is probably the fourth or fifth best-selling beer in Britain, for being a pretentious twat, and by Stella’s many haters, for promoting a mega-lager seen as, at best, bland and pointless. But where… Read More Cooking with Stella – no, no, come back …
The news that Meantime Brewing Company has appointed Nick Miller, former managing director at SAB Miller UK’s operating company, Miller Brands, as its new chief executive is the most significant event in the UK brewing industry this year. (Incidentally, I love the iconography of the photo of Nick and Alastair Hook, Meantime’s founder and brewmaster:… Read More What it means now it’s Miller Time at Meantime