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Showing posts from July, 2013

Defeating the Lager Louts - they ruin it for everybody....

It’s a well-known fact that people who drink Real Ale are superior to those who don’t. (People who drink “craft” beer are in a different stratosphere altogether.) But all groups and members of society need an arch-nemesis, a rival, an enemy to counter their beliefs and fight for justice. Sonic has Robotnik. Professor Layton has Don Paolo. Krill have whales. And we Real Ale drinkers have lager louts; fiends who take it upon themselves to disturb and disrupt our noble way of life. The lager disease has never been more apparent than on one Trans-pennine Real Ale Trail – yes, I am returning to this topic once more. I covered it last summer after a rather ridiculous amount of attention. I reviewed it again this May, after partaking in the fiendish event. And now I draw to it a final time to bring joyous tidings: the Enemy has been defeated. There has been an on-going war for at least three years on the militant train line between Stalybridge and Batley. Here the honourable and

Beer Pessimism

With all great loves and passions sews a degree of despise, resentment and pessimism. At some point, very few regular tweeters or bloggers have avoided the trap of just being a big ol’ grump. We’ve moaned. We’ve put down everything with a tiresome inevitability. “This beer is OK, but everything about the industry right now is rubbish.” I hate to return to that most famous of divisive breweries, which I have both defended and abused in equal measure. But my epiphany of pointless acrimony happened in BrewDog Manchester via that little appreciated piece of beer beauty – the beer mat. It was a joyous day a couple of weeks ago when I, along with two friends, last visited BrewDog Manchester. I wanted to drop in to try a couple of the guests, and also two of their new brews, Electric India and #mashtag . Whilst sampling a couple of these brews, conversation turned to BrewDog as a company. I was filling my friend in on the recent Equity for Punks launch and the blog post from AllG

Paul Gascoigne, Steve again and the Weariness and Wariness of Alcoholism

It was never my intent to use this blog as a stage for personal vents on alcoholism, but after writing about a man I know, Steve (not his real name,) earlier this year, I feel compelled to add to the story once more. It became apparent in a conversation today, after The S*n’s ridiculous campaign begging people to not serve Paul Gascoigne a drink after his most recent, sad relapse. What followed on Jeremy Vine’s Radio 2 show was a stranger discussion in to whether it should be made illegal for people to buy known alcoholics drinks or for bartenders to sell drink to known alcoholics. Whilst the sentiment seemed reasonable, we all know such laws would be impossible to police and would never be realistically practical. What finally struck a chord with me though was one caller, a bartender by trade, who said that it was not her responsibility but “the responsibility of Gazza’s, or any other alcoholic’s, friends and family to stop them drinking.” Some people truly have no idea. Th

It's Not Just Beer Geeks who are Snobs

Around a month ago I visited HulaTiki Lounge in Manchester’s Northern Quarter for the first time. I’d wanted to visit for a while, hearing my friend talk about all the specialist rums after he’d done the Rum Trail. But too often I was swayed into visiting the likes of the nearby Common and Port Street Beer House for some decent beer instead. Also the place seems continuously busy and popular, which isn’t a bad thing, though the queue is exhausting. Being the Northern Quarter they hate men. Always take a lady on your night out to the NQ. If you are 3+ males, you are not going anywhere. I’m not a huge spirits drinker. I’ve long wanted to enjoy whiskey and scotch, hoping some dormant adult admiration for the drink will arouse, especially as everything peaty or smoked appeals, but I just have a childlike palate. What I can appreciate is decent rum, neat and over plenty of ice. I’m not an expert on this spirit though. I am, however, more partial to a spiced rum. Perhaps it’s my sweet