Beer, beer, beer

Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate
edited January 11 in Heaven
Someone mentioned a can of Tetley's on a Purgatory thread, which has led to a conversation about beer, generally. I want to reply to the last comment but don't want to prolong the tangent there:
Tetley's used to be fine in a handful of pubs in central Leeds but it never traveled very well. It's not the same now it's no longer brewed in Leeds and it's never, ever, ever been any good in cans.

No beer is good in a can. On draught from casks or in a bottle, yes. But keg or in a can ... no, no, no ...

@KarlLB, @Martin54, @Gamma Gamaliel and I continued to tell, in the way that aficionados do, @Mark Betts that Tetley's in cans is unpleasant, even that:
KarlLB wrote: »
Your taste buds are knackered. It tastes like the Leeds and Liverpool canal.
The majority have it.

Mind you, I don't just drink bitter. I also drink Mild, I also drink Porter. I also drink Stout.

Tetley's was an acquired taste but when it was on form it could be a cracking pint. It could be one of the worst pints you ever tasted but in some places - The Cardigan Arms, The Garden Gate in Hunslet, The Adelphi by Leeds Bridge and that pub on the way up to Armley that was the model for the pub in the Hornby Railway sets, it could also be one of the best.

It was never as good as Timothy Taylor's Landlord though and that's a shadow of its former self. 'Like angels dancing on my tongue,' as one beer writer put it.

The Kirkstall Brewery in Leeds is producing some good stuff. So all is not lost.

But the day the Tetley's plant closed was a sad day, just as it was in London when they moved Young's out to Bedford. It's never been the same since.
.
Stones from Sheffield. Whatever happened to that? Another cracking pint that disappeared.

Ok, so they have Kelham Island there now and a lot more besides. Even so.
KarlLB wrote: »
Stones from Sheffield. Whatever happened to that? Another cracking pint that disappeared.

I never had a good one. Mind, it was nearly 100% keg. Perhaps in the Elder Days there was a drinkable cask version.
Stones was always on hand-pump when I had it.

@Mousethief. Some tangents are important. Theology is important. So is cask ale.
Enoch wrote: »
Some other sad losses are the original cask conditioned Magnet from Tadcaster and Home Mild, a dark beer almost like porter, from Nottingham. The real gem, though, the never to be forgotten drink, sadly long gone, was cask conditioned Guinness, as served in Ireland. Mind, the drawing process was so complicated, with a wooden spoon and a jug, that one can understand why. But it was worth waiting for.
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Comments

  • @Enoch - I don't think I've ever tried the Home Mild, but I've drunk cask conditioned Guinness brought over from Ireland for the London Boat Show, and then started sampling stouts trying to find similar beers. There used to be some interesting Irish stouts in a pub in London, which also served Murphy's on tap.

    I remember good (half)pints of Stones and Magnet, but I suspect both were at beer festivals, where the beer all came from kegs, set up on racks.

    I miss Youngs. I used to live in Putney, where the dray horses delivered, and there were enough Youngs pubs to be able to pub crawl just Youngs pubs - Green Man, Spotted Horse, Castle and (iirc) The Dukes' Head. A longer pub crawl meant walking down to Wandsworth for all the pubs there. But cycling near the brewery as the mash was moved didn't help any incipient hangover, a regular experience on my way to work.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Curiously, although Youngs is widely admired, it gives me a headache. I don't know why. But for that reason I tend to avoid it.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited January 11
    At beer festivals those things you see on racks are not kegs; they're casks. Important difference; Keg beer is dead, sterile and usually filtered; cask beer is live on its yeast. They're exactly what you'd find in the cellar of a proper pub using handpulls.
  • Sorry - was trying to get that post together, and forgot to double check my terminology. Casks, I mean casks.

    Young's Brewery moved from Wandsworth in 2006, amalgamating with Wells to create Wells and Young's. Young's were bought out from their 40% share in 2011. So Young's doesn't taste the same any more, which is not surprising. It is no longer a local beer, delivered in casks on the back of a horse drawn dray to mainly pubs within that range.
  • Knowing where a thread like this is likely to go, can I make a plea at this early stage for simple session beers?

    Yes, strong beers are fun. So are beers with interesting tastes. But there's a place for something straightforward to drink, when you want a convivial time but where getting the maximum alcohol in or challenging your taste buds isn't the point of the evening.

    And if it can be easy to keep so there's a limit to the damage that the licensee can do to it, so much the better.

    Reading this through, I realise it looks like an appeal for the return of Watney's Red Barrel. That's not what I mean. It's an appeal for a simple base line of reliable decent beers - what used to be served by Fuller's Chiswick, or Courage Bitter, or (as above) Young's Bitter.
  • Anybody ever have Clark's Burglar Bill?

    I only ever had it once in my life as I only came across it once. Back in the mid 1990s.

    My memory is that it was the best beer I ever tasted.

    And I also agree that Tetleys drunk in a Leeds pub in the early 1990s was a good pint.
  • Fawkes Cat wrote: »
    Knowing where a thread like this is likely to go, can I make a plea at this early stage for simple session beers?

    Yes, strong beers are fun. So are beers with interesting tastes. But there's a place for something straightforward to drink, when you want a convivial time but where getting the maximum alcohol in or challenging your taste buds isn't the point of the evening.

    And if it can be easy to keep so there's a limit to the damage that the licensee can do to it, so much the better.

    Reading this through, I realise it looks like an appeal for the return of Watney's Red Barrel. That's not what I mean. It's an appeal for a simple base line of reliable decent beers - what used to be served by Fuller's Chiswick, or Courage Bitter, or (as above) Young's Bitter.

    The finest ever session beer was probably Ward's bitter, which made a virtue of necessity. IIRC this was (and may still be) a Sheffield brewery that specialised in a low-strength bitter for the steelworkers. They would knock off for a swift lunch break, down four, five or six in half an hour and resume their toils. After work, same again. I think it was about 2.2% by alcohol. Holt's comes to mind too. I think that was a Merseyside brew for dockers and shipbuilders.
  • I still say that, as far as cheap supermarket canned beer is concerned, Tetley's is OK - better than most. I never claimed it to be "exotic." The thing is, if I was to refuse to drink it anymore on account of everyone saying "it tastes like the Leeds and Liverpool canal," or similar, wouldn't that resemble the story of the Emperor's New Clothes?
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Wards is long gone. In my youth in Bedfordshire one could do a lot worse than Charles Wells Eagle Bitter for this purpose; Black Sheep is a commonly available option up here, but I agree there's a bit of a shortage of quaffing ale in the ~3.5% range.
  • I've always tended to drink the quaffing beers, but the London breweries have tended to fairly strong ordinary brews: Young's bitter / ordinary was around 3.7%,ABV, compared to the Special at 4.6% and Fuller's London Pride is 4.1% compared to the ESB at 5.5% (all cask values). I tended to drink the Young's Ordinary and Fuller's London Pride.

    What I'm finding now is Sambrook's Wandle at 3.8%, but Sambrook's also brew a Session beer at 3.4%, not that I've seen it anywhere. The other brewery that seems to be getting into pubs is Meantime, but their offerings are lager (4.5% ABV) or pale ale (4.3% ABV).
  • DardaDarda Shipmate
    One of our local Vicars says that, when he gets to heaven, he is looking forward to finally tasting the perfect pint!
  • I live in Youngs-land, and used to love their pubs, Dukes Head a corker on the river, and that whole cluster in Wandsworth. Progress, you see, that everything disappears or is taken over (same thing).
  • Good thread.

    Yes, Wards is a sad loss.

    Tetley used to be a good session pint in Leeds.

    Burton Bitter can be a good session pint hereabouts but people are right, there's been a trend away from 'normal' session pints.

    I'm not against the lighter 'Golds' and 'Blonde' ales, nor the new strand of heavily hopped IPAs necessarily - although one has to tread warily of course.

    But the 'normal' British session pint does seem to be a rare breed in some places.
  • Mark Betts wrote: »
    I still say that, as far as cheap supermarket canned beer is concerned, Tetley's is OK - better than most. I never claimed it to be "exotic." The thing is, if I was to refuse to drink it anymore on account of everyone saying "it tastes like the Leeds and Liverpool canal," or similar, wouldn't that resemble the story of the Emperor's New Clothes?

    No, it's simply a plea for common sense. The only reason your canned Tetley's from a supermarket tastes better than some of the alternatives you might get in a can in a supermarket is because ale isn't supposed to be served in cans in supermarkets. It just isn't.

    For someone who is presumably a stickler for 'proper' Liturgy and tradition / Tradition etc I can't understand why you are prepared to put up with substandard beer simply because it's cheap.

    I'd rather do without than drink canned beer or keg ... although I have been known to enjoy some of the new Craft Beers from time to time - although they're still keg, only posher keg than what there used to be.

    Listen to KarlLB. Ale is supposed to be cask or bottle-conditioned. It is meant to be 'live' and not sterile.

    Enough of this canned piss.
  • Sorry, I didn't complete the following sentence properly:

    'The only reason your canned Tetley's from a supermarket tastes better than some of the alternatives you might get in a can in a supermarket is because ale isn't supposed to be served in cans in supermarkets. It just isn't.'

    What I meant to type was: 'The only reason your canned Tetley's from a supermarket tastes better than some of the alternatives you might find in cans in supermarkets is because those alternatives are even worse. Ale isn't supposed to be served in cans in supermarkets. It just isn't.'
  • It is painful for a thirsty exile to read this thread. Microbreweries are all over the place in North America, but the tendency is for faddy flavoured beers, and the abomination known as American IPA - unrelated to the real thing. Every time I'm told "You'll love our new beer" I prepare for an attack by Cascade hops, and I'm usually right. If a beer is described as 'hoppy', it will be over hopped with no subtlety about it. Fortunately. we have Grand River Brewing nearby, and they do several quite palatable traditional beers that sustain me through these dark times. We could occasionally get Caledonian 80/- around here a few years ago, but it didn't seem to travel, and fell out of favour. A very sad experience came in a bottle of Old Peculier in a bar in Texas some years ago. It had arrived there via California and had transmogrified into an unrecognizable brown liquid with no resemblance to the thick, flat sublime ale that it was when I was young(er).

    I agree with the comments on canned beer, but don't know why it should be so. One theory is that passing the liquid over the sharp metal edge catalyses a change that you don't get when pouring from a bottle, which sounds plausible, but is outside my field of knowledge.
  • A Feminine ForceA Feminine Force Shipmate
    edited January 11
    It is painful for a thirsty exile to read this thread. Microbreweries are all over the place in North America, but the tendency is for faddy flavoured beers, and the abomination known as American IPA - unrelated to the real thing. Every time I'm told "You'll love our new beer" I prepare for an attack by Cascade hops, and I'm usually right. If a beer is described as 'hoppy', it will be over hopped with no subtlety about it. Fortunately. we have Grand River Brewing nearby, and they do several quite palatable traditional beers that sustain me through these dark times. We could occasionally get Caledonian 80/- around here a few years ago, but it didn't seem to travel, and fell out of favour. A very sad experience came in a bottle of Old Peculier in a bar in Texas some years ago. It had arrived there via California and had transmogrified into an unrecognizable brown liquid with no resemblance to the thick, flat sublime ale that it was when I was young(er).

    I agree with the comments on canned beer, but don't know why it should be so. One theory is that passing the liquid over the sharp metal edge catalyses a change that you don't get when pouring from a bottle, which sounds plausible, but is outside my field of knowledge.

    Somewhere along the line, the Citra hop became the gold standard for a craft IPA here. I think Muskoka Brewery made it popular, and because of this, now every craft IPA is just so aggressively over-hopped with that damn Citra, I don't even bother ordering IPA from the craft list if it was brewed north of the 49th parallel.

    In my opinion, Citra is the Ethel Merman of the hop world. The blowsy, big chested, somewhat ugly loudmouthed singer in a red sequinned dress belting in front of the chorus line somewhat off-key and overwhelming the orchestra with her midwestern twangy accent.

    I love beer. I used to work in a pub, got to try everything. IMO the most important thing in beer is the same thing as in food: balance. In food, the best dishes are the ones that balance the sweet, salt, bitter, sour and umami flavors. Same thing with beer. If you are using five malts and seven hops, it's important to balance the flavor notes so that the drinker can detect the different flavors as part of a repeatable experience.

    A one-note beer is uninteresting and sensory overload kicks in very quickly. You might order one but your senses would tell you it's enough, and you wouldn't order a second. If you are running a bar, this is a disastrous mistake. You want people to order a second round.

    I can barely get past the first mouthful of that damn Citra hopped IPA.

    AFF
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Thank God it's not just me. If I wanted the taste of grapefruit pith I'd eat a piece of grapefruit peel; it'd be a lot cheaper.
  • The trend here is to bring refillable bottles back to a local micro-brewery. The bottles are usually a litre or 1½ l. I detect 3 trends: differently hopped beers of the IPA type, different types of malt to make ales, porters and stouts, and the aforenoted tendency to adulterate beer with fruity flavours. We do get some reasonable things like spruce beer in the winter which are differentiated from these.

    My winter preference is a robust, dark stout or porter. There are several locally made. I don't think most mass-distributed beers compete well with locally made.

    I agree with FF re IPA. It's okay to use in cooking though. Turnip scallop in cheese/beer sauce is a lovely thing.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    Thank God it's not just me. If I wanted the taste of grapefruit pith I'd eat a piece of grapefruit peel; it'd be a lot cheaper.

    Amen, amen and amen.
  • Yes. Amen. A decent IPA is a thing of beauty but the hop-bomb merchants are ruining it.
  • FirenzeFirenze Heaven Host
    edited January 11
    Much as I like a good beer, health considerations mean I’ve been driven to look at cider this last while. Previewing a new pub, if it only has Strongbow or Magners on draught, then forget it.

    The Harp in Chandos Pl is a decent cider pub, as is the Williams Ale and Cider House in Spittalfields, but as is the wont in City pubs, they tend to be extremely crowded.

    The best cider we’ve found recently is a small producer - Cromwell Ciders in Hemingford Grey nr Huntingdon. Made from varietal apples and totally still, it is just everything a cider should be.
  • I confess to a fondness for grapefruity IPAs, up to a point at least, though I know they're not the most subtle things in the world. Realistically, they probably have the same staying power as the jammy Shirazes and over-oaked Chardonnays that were popular in the 90s.

    We got a chance to drink a lot of good cask ale when we were in the UK in April. I think our favourite pub for selection was Market Porter in the Borough Market area in Southwark. Lots of good ciders too. I assume it probably gets pretty crowded but it was really quiet when we were there on a Sunday evening...
  • A Feminine ForceA Feminine Force Shipmate
    edited January 11
    Marsupial wrote: »
    I confess to a fondness for grapefruity IPAs, up to a point at least, though I know they're not the most subtle things in the world. Realistically, they probably have the same staying power as the jammy Shirazes and over-oaked Chardonnays that were popular in the 90s.

    ...

    There are plenty of hop strains that bring in that citrus tang, the Centennial and the Chinook bring more to the table than just all grapefruit all the time. And if they are judiciously balanced with rounder flavors like the Vic Secret or the El Dorado and don't completely overshadow the caramel toffee of the malt, then the result can be a very pleasant, refreshing and complex glass of summer suds.

    I get why craft ale brewers rely heavily on the Citra because ales have a hard time competing with the large breweries in terms of the refreshing wash of a lager or a pilsner in the heat of the summer.

    It's very expensive to lager a beer. It takes a long time, and one has to produce sufficient volumes to yield a return on the time investment of the lagering.

    So I understand why this hop is the go-to for craft brewers in Ontario. It's also like people's tastes have been conditioned to expect a nuclear blast of grapefruit and pine sol in a craft IPA and now craft brewers are afraid to do something else.

    AFF

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Goldings and Fuggles are the hops I look for.
  • Yes. Amen. A decent IPA is a thing of beauty but the hop-bomb merchants are ruining it.

    So glad that others are expressing the same thoughts I've had about this bloody obsession with uber-hoppy IPAs.

    I've been to a number of beer tastings at my local liquor store with a few friends and we've become frustrated at the way that beer after beer just overpowers us with hops.

    There are some great micro-breweries around here and some are really producing great beers of various kinds. I had a great Porter the other night - creamy and chocolatey - and I don't normally like Porter.

    I still miss UK cask ales. I highly recommend Hog's Back Brewery's TEA (Traditional English Ale), but you'll probably only find it in a 20 mile radius of Guildford.

    Why don't North American breweries try making cask ales? Every beer drinker I know who has come from England or ever visited there has said that they would drink a good cask ale if it were available - so you can't say that there's no demand.
  • County Durham Brewery (it sounds bucolic, but it's really a one-man operation in an industrial park in Toronto's outer suburbs) makes some really good cask ales. The problem is, they only sell to pubs in Toronto. They also make a good, complex IPA that doesn't taste of grapefruit.
  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    Tetley Bitter travelled better than GG imagined, a good pint was available 14 miles down the road in Huddersfield too, but it took a good cellarman to get a good pint of Tetley's, quality varied wildly.

    The star of Tetley though was the Mild. Southerners rolling drunk because they were expecting a low alcohol drink such as Watney Mild found this out. A good Northern Mild is at the same strength as the session bitter, about 3.4% alcohol.

    The trend for RealAle™ is a fad. I have been into a local pub with 20 hand pulled beers and ciders to find no bitter or mild on sale, just pump after pump after pump of similar unsubtle pale ales and IPAs. Not all real ale pubs are good pubs. The row of taps of fizzy keg (called craft keg, which is a misnomer, there is no craft in keg beers. EVER. If you want to pay double to drink shite this is what to go for, but leave your socks at home.) should have been a sign that they were not really about beer, just about profit. Give me a good range of different beers any time.
  • A Feminine ForceA Feminine Force Shipmate
    edited January 12
    Yes. Amen. A decent IPA is a thing of beauty but the hop-bomb merchants are ruining it.

    So glad that others are expressing the same thoughts I've had about this bloody obsession with uber-hoppy IPAs.

    I've been to a number of beer tastings at my local liquor store with a few friends and we've become frustrated at the way that beer after beer just overpowers us with hops.

    There are some great micro-breweries around here and some are really producing great beers of various kinds. I had a great Porter the other night - creamy and chocolatey - and I don't normally like Porter.

    I still miss UK cask ales. I highly recommend Hog's Back Brewery's TEA (Traditional English Ale), but you'll probably only find it in a 20 mile radius of Guildford.

    Why don't North American breweries try making cask ales? Every beer drinker I know who has come from England or ever visited there has said that they would drink a good cask ale if it were available - so you can't say that there's no demand.

    Plenty of craft brewers in Ontario do, the problem is finding an establishment with a hand pump that will pull the ale properly and cellar it at the proper temperature. The pub I worked at was the only one within a fifty mile radius with a hand pump, and it was not exactly in the middle of nowhere.

    The Big Three - Molson-Coors, InBev and Sapporo/Sleemans own most of the bar taps in the province.

    AFF

  • Yes, Balaam, I used to work in Huddersfield and it was possible to get a good pint of Tetley's there too. Halifax the same. But generally speaking it was better within a mile or two of Leeds city centre.

    On the faddy thing, yes, I agree with that, a lot of city centre so-called real ale bars are rip-offs.

    On the lagering thing, yes, AFF is right, it takes a long time to lager. Trouble is, since Carlsberg pioneered a way to speed up the process back in the day, the big brewers have fast-forwarded the whole thing. Ach y fi!

    I'm a big ale buff but will occasionally have a bottle of pils or a Viennese style lager or a Czech lager in the summer or with food. I have yet to find one I'd want to drink regularly, though.

    I don't drink a great deal these days. I'm cutting back but do relish a decent pint of cask-conditioned ale or the occasional bottle of stout or a Belgian Trappist ale as a special treat.

    I'm on my own now since Mrs Gamaliel passed away last month so I don't want to get into the habit of solitary, rather than social, drinking. I shared a decent bottle of wine with my daughter last weekend and she's likely to stick around here a while before resuming her university course later in the year.

    For a while now I've restricted my alcohol intake to certain days and tend to refrain from it during Lent, Advent etc. I think it'd be wise for me to go easy but a decent pint is one of life's pleasures.

  • Brakspear bitter and Jennings bitter are both in the region of 3.5% (I think Brakspear is actually 3.4) so can pass as session bitters, but both are still brewed locally* despite being owned by a large brewery so availability is pretty geographic still.

    They are also both distinctive - Brakspear has a buttery flavour and is heavily hopped, whilst nearly everything Jennings brew has a strange hint of burnt toffee to it. I rather like it, but I can see that others might disagree.

    We are knee-deep in microbreweries here in Oxon, but the big pubs tend to be Greene King these days, after they bought out both Morlands and Morrells. Apart from the fact that it feels wrong to be drinking the beer I grew up with far from home, it's so hard to fond a pint of GK that tastes half-decent that I no longer bother. And, if you used to be a devotee of the Turf Tavern in Oxford, everything it sells now is from the Greene King stable.

    It worn't like that when oi were a lad.

    AG

    *Brakspear, sadly, no longer at Henley, but still in the original vessels.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    I suspect Jennings is keen on crystal malt. It's something I quite like..
  • Possibly - I remember visiting and one of their big selling points is their beautiful soft water, which I know enough chemistry to find interesting in the context of brewing (harder water makes bitterer beer - though in fact it's sulphates that cause it, especially calcium sulohate). Part way round I spotted some big bags with familiar looking names on and asked if they burtonised. They do - but with magnesium to keep the softness.

    AG
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Soft water is traditionally associated with brown ales, which use crystal malt. My theory may possibly have legs.

    Pale, crystal and chocolate malts, goldings and fuggles hops - you don't really need much more for perfectly good beer.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    Soft water is traditionally associated with brown ales, which use crystal malt. My theory may possibly have legs.

    Pale, crystal and chocolate malts, goldings and fuggles hops - you don't really need much more for perfectly good beer.

    Yes it's an incredibly simple recipe, isn't it?

    Now I am back in Canada, there are a couple of brew-it-yourself establishments here. I may just have a go at a fruit beer in the spring.

    Strathroy Brewery used to produce a spectacular gluten-free framboise but his consistency has been spotty of late. I may give it a go myself.
  • I think you're into something with the soft water versus hard water thing, Karl.

    Welsh beers traditionally tended to be brown and softer / maltier.

    Yorkshire beers and Burton beers are made with hard water, I think.

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    That hard water areas traditionally produced bitters is a matter of record; they've been known to use hardening salts in softwater areas to produce beers of this type.

    Whether Jennings use crystal malt to create the beer which started this tangent I have no idea; breweries tend to not publish their exact recipes; they are intellectual assets.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    I was told many years ago that Burton-on-Trent owes its brewing reputation to the presence of gypsum beds beneath it. It meant the malt brewed using the local water supply cracked in a particularly beneficial way.

    30-40 years ago there was still at least one working alabaster workshop in the area, but I don't know if that's still the case. Among other things, it made rather nice table table lights.
  • Yes, that's the case with Burton ales.

    As for Jennings, I've often wondered why it has such a distinctive taste but could only conjecture why that might be. KarlLB's explanation sounds reasonable to me.

    Meanwhile, is it just me but have some of the ales of yesteryear lost something of their distinctive flavour?

    Theakston's Old Peculier doesn't taste as it used to and neither does Timothy Taylor's Landlord. Has the crown slipped?
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Might just be our aging tastebuds, too many curries...
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Just been on Jennings' website. Does indeed contain crystal and indeed chocolate malts. That would explain the presence of brewing sugar as well; making up the loss of maltose in crystal and chocolate malts by increasing the pale malt quantity would result in a too heavy-bodied result for a session ale.
  • Ok. Thanks.

    Taylor's is still a great pint, but it used to be better I'm sure. 'Like angels dancing on my tongue,' as one beer writer put it.
  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    I prefer Taylor's Boltmaker to Landlord anyway, so no problem there.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Ram Tam. Do they still make that?
  • I don't think so, but Boltmaker seems to have superseded Landlord as their signature beer.
  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    Ram Tam is still made. We had a meal in the Wooly Sheep pub in Skipton, which has the fool range of Taylor's beers. Recommended to go with a meat pie.
  • Cool.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    edited January 14
    Why don't North American breweries try making cask ales? Every beer drinker I know who has come from England or ever visited there has said that they would drink a good cask ale if it were available - so you can't say that there's no demand.

    Plenty of craft brewers in Ontario do, the problem is finding an establishment with a hand pump that will pull the ale properly and cellar it at the proper temperature. The pub I worked at was the only one within a fifty mile radius with a hand pump, and it was not exactly in the middle of nowhere.

    There are three breweries within a few blocks of my job that make cask ales. Why do they need to have a hand pump? And other than asking the staff, how can I tell whether or not they are using one?
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    There are alternatives to hand pumps. It's possible to drive a pump by electricity, but that is likely to give the impression that the beer is actually kegged. And of course, there are quite a lot of English pubs which think it shows their credentials if they have the barrels on a shelf behind the bar and draw off the beer direct from the tap. That, though, IMHO is a really bad sign. The proper temperature for cask beer is cellar temperature (53-55° F or 12° C), not room temperature.

    It is alas also possible to design a fake hand pump that is actually delivering kegged beer.

    Cask beer is live. It gets its head from the CO2 generated by live yeast. So it's really important to keep every part of the pump totally clean. Otherwise it will contaminate the beer which will go off.
  • I don't think so, but Boltmaker seems to have superseded Landlord as their signature beer.

    Please stop talking about Timothy Taylor's Landlord. It's driving me crazy, thinking about supping on a pint of it.
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