The Elf Rider, three Bees and a Dark Lord

Posted: April 17, 2012 in This is the Voice of Lefty Reason

The Elf Rider, three Bees and a Dark Lord

At the beer festival; about 60 ales and ciders, not a lager or alco-pop in sight.  The hall is absolutely heaving with quaffers.  Middle (to late) aged blokes in berghaus or rohan kit, young couples with kids and dogs,  and packs of young crusties.  This last group make a beeline for the super strength ciders and attack their pints with the enthusiasm that only youth can bring.  The rise and rise of real ale must be a backlash against foreign lager and its fizzy modernism.  The beers here have been brewed at home or in the micro-brewery without the corporate advice of the pub-co giants who insist on margin boosting as the business model that all potential brewers must slavishly follow.  The good stuff may not have been brewed by men with beards and a pipe on the go, but I would like a little wager that most of them have.  I would like to think so anyway.  It is a peculiarly British phenomenon, a sort of return to the past.  Most of the ales are “session” beers, a dozen in one sitting without the need for a kebab and a scrap on the way home.  They drip down Arran jumpers onto the straw strewn floor.  CAMRA-ites celebrating the fact that there are now 800 real ale breweries in Britain, four times as many as in 1971.  Good on ‘em I say; real ale is one of the few things we should drag back from the “Good Old Days”.  More power to their (suede-patched) elbows.  As the young grebo falls for the second time, and for the second time still manages to clutch onto his pint of Black Dragon Cider (7.4%), I wonder whether CAMFRIB (campaign for ridiculous foreign brews) are recruiting well?  I hope not.

  1. Jonny says:

    Oh yes, Soars and I often reminisce about the Chilli-infused real ale from Corporation Arms festival in 2009 – too gimmicky for Woz tho. 🙂

  2. David Lee says:

    Beers festivals. World of the fuzzy duck, cunning stunt, and the blind badger. Sorry made the last one up. They are a thing of beauty. Derby fest still the best. Tim I resent the idea that elbow patches and Arran are essentials. A steady hand and will power are all you need. And clothes, got to have clothes. And money, lots of money. Constitution of an ox and a taste for the exotic. Beer made with honey. Whatever next. Real ale shampoo?

  3. Funnily enough, my sister-in-law ran the Whitehaven/Ennerdale Micro Brewery and produced some fine ‘session ales’. One or two of them were very popular in the Shepherds Arms in Ennerdale. Now, free house it is not, and once her beers proved more popular than Jennings own the landlords were told in no uncertain terms to get the stuff OUT.

    The good thing about pubs brewing their own, is that they have a better chance of survival. There are far too many going out of business, but if they’re serving up the tired old Carling/ Carlsberg/ Smiths/ Stones shite, then people with taste, patch wearers or no, will go elsewhere.

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