Thursday, May 16, 2019

Unreal Ales

Beer - what's not to like about it?  It's far more down to earth than wine - none of the pretensions one associates with the latter.  Moreover, it doesn't have the same sort of alcoholic stigma as some spirits - you know what I mean, the way things like vodka and cheap Scotch are forever associated with red-nosed, emaciated alcoholics drinking themselves to death in between wheezing on their fags.  So, beer.  A good honest drink we can all enjoy, (even if you are teetotal - there are some pretty decent non-alcoholic beers out there), or so you'd think.  But you'd be wrong.  There is plenty of snobbery in the world of beer.  If you don't drink so called 'Real Ales' then, by God, you are a peasant with no sense of taste.  And I'm not just referring here to those who drink lager, (they're just common or garden hooligans).  Oh no, if you have the audacity to drink something brewed by one of the big breweries, then you are beyond the pale in the world of beer.  According to the likes of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), the self-appointed guardians of our beer-drinking heritage, that is.  You know, I've never had much time for them and their pretentious views of what is and isn't beer, but of late I've grown even more dismissive of them.  Largely as a result of having read the local branch's Facebook page, where opinions of the type I've outlined get expressed.

Now, the reason I've been looking at said Facebook page is part of my attempts to find out if anyone knows what is going on with regard to my (still closed) local pub.  After all, aren't CAMRA meant to be the guardians of our traditional pub culture?  Well, while the closure has been mentioned and some vague intimations of some kind of unspecified action maybe being taken at some equally unspecified point in the future, it is clear that they really aren't interested.  It simply isn't the 'right' sort of pub.  It seems plain, based on what I've read, is that they are far more interested in visiting twee little country pubs serving beers with 'amusing' names and taste like they've been filtered through a sweaty jock strap.  Oh, and it has to have been brewed in some obscure micro-brewery.  Indeed, I can't help but feel that their ideal brewer would be one set up in a converted public lavatory - Shit House Brewery, perhaps - bottling raw sewage and presenting it as a 'unique experience'.  You can imagine their top beers: Stencher's Pride, a thick, dark brown brew, so thick, in fact, that it has lumps in it, with a distinctive aroma guaranteed to attract flies.  Or Old Dougie's Best Shitter, a lighter brew named for a local 'character' who regularly frequented the premises when they were still a toilet,always leaving his distinctive 'calling card' in the bowl of his favourite stall.  In fact, it is brewed in that very toilet bowl.  Then there could be Golden Skidder, strained through several pairs of soiled underpants for that unique flavour.  Yep, just the sort of things the CAMRA crowd would be all over...



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