CAMRA MUPpets

After the Revitalisation project CAMRA started, whenever, no one really cared, they voted on many things.  Needing 75% approval but only achieving 72%, the organisation failed to recognise that all beer was equal, or something like that.

Cask was the ultimate and keg was secondary.

I’d agree but as we have learnt with voting…well as the Simpsons put it

 

You never get the results you want and most appreciate that and with an organisation such as CAMRA you can simply cancel your membership and leave and in all honesty that decision won’t impact on you enjoyment of beer and where to have it, well pubs may continue to close but CAMRA aren’t really trying to stop that, no one can except those who wish to continue spending money in those establishments.

Quote Joni Mitchell…

Many left CAMRA at that moment and bragged about it in a show of pure virtue, the stay-and-reform-from-within group looking slightly bemused by the whole process.

You pays your money, you takes your choice.

The insidiousness of the public health lobby groups coupled with an authoritarian nanny state is leading to us responsible adults being forced into to take numerous hits no only to our personal freedom and the appreciation of the fact we are responsible for our own well being, but also being hit in the pocket.

Tax, tax and more tax.

Which brings us onto minimum unit pricing, or MUP, and quite frankly I’ve just waffled on enough when the title of this piece would have been enough.

Like all CAMRA proposals, it won’t really have any impact as MUP will be steam-rollered in by far more powerful and of-the-zeitgeist organisations than the sandal brigade ever were.

Slow. Hand. Clap.

Just when voices against were required.

Fuck it.  I’ll just drink beer under my bed covers, locked in my own home, that way I might get some peace.  The stockpiling begins now.

Democracy – so good the Simpsons did the same joke twice.

Thanks for reading.

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Cool Kids Love a Corporate Buyout

Quick one before I go out to drink macro keg in nice locals with real people (womp).

I forget which got bought out first; Camden or Meantime, either way, only because either were first to be bought out was the reason it caused waves in the craft community/beer bubble world, other than that, neither brewery really factored much on a scale of THE brewery.

It was the coolness of Beavertown, coupled with a prediction precluding a denial until the actual truth came out that caused the most waves.

Then it all subsided and it was back to the rather uncool Fourpure that it barely raised and eyebrow above an iceman pour.

The craft community must have finally matured and accepted that they are in a capital market and breweries of a certain size are bound to want to go large at some point to “reach the next level.”

Hence when Magic Rock announced today they were off, I doubt many really cared.

Sure you’ll get Brewdog, ignoring they sold out to a hedge fund/venture capital group, proclaiming they are fiercely individual but then again they are massive and global enough not to need a buyout, £22 million excepted.

They’ll of course be some sour brewing sour twat in Manchester that’ll probably be ranting and showing his virtue, maybe he’ll start a petition/survey for all his loyal acolytes.

The question is, who is next? That nicely sized brewery I like so much in Macclesfield?  The teddy bear brewers in Newport?  Those existential hippies in Manchester funded by rich parents?

Who knows and quite frankly at this stage, who cares.

 

Drink well, breathe and thanks for reading.

They Fear Cask Beer Round Here

Subtitle: Anecdotal evidence on the continuing tribulations of cask beer.

Yes, the title is used for the rhyme and not for casting any aspersion on the drinkers I observed.

 

A few years ago I was in my local chippy when the bloke in front of me requested a chip barm* in his order.

“We’ve got no barms left I’m afraid” came the response from the server “but we’ve got bread if that’s OK for you?”

“It’s not brown is it?” came the worried follow-up from the customer.

I still vividly recall the trepidation in his voice, I pictured that after a hectic week his Friday treat of a chippy tea was about to get less rewarding as it would feature non-white bread.

Let’s be honest, brown (and wholemeal) is fine for toast and sandwiches but for a chip or crisp butty it is both pointless and akin to those people who order lots of food in a take-away and then insist on a diet drink (not that you get much choice of avoiding the bitter, chemical drek the sugar tax has forced the big chains to make).

No one likes the taste of diet soft drinks really; just like no one likes the taste of highly processed bread that isn’t white, and thick, doorstep thick.  If you’re going to treat yourself, do it right.

Sunday just gone I had the pleasure of travelling to York (visited many times before) to watch Leigh lose by 1 point in the championship division of rugby league.  I’ve travelled far further to see Leigh lose by 1 point (and by far more) but I’d never been to the Bootham Crescent ground before.

 

As a side note, it should be noted the Leigh’s home ground now only serves bottles and cans (poured into plastic cups) at the ground on match days, the time of even keg beer has passed it would seem.  To be fair all grounds I’ve been to only serve keg beer, with the exception of The Shay in Halifax.  Though all the grounds to make an effort to re-badge known brands as their “own” – so if you’re a ticker or are on Untappd, maybe trek along on a match day.

It should also be noted that drinking can still occur on the terraces of rugby matches and on the supporter coaches too so go fuck yourselves, South Ayrshire Police (and nanny Scotland in general).

 

We had arrived not in enough time to get to any pubs in the centre but in enough time to grab a few at the closest venue which was York Burton Lane Club it is always gratifying to find a Whatpub entry that is incorrect as they were serving cask beer, so York branch may wish to update this page sometime and look after your clubs as much as your pubs.

Paying a £1 entry as a non-member I clocked the rather obvious poster, which were also behind the bar, highlight that they had A Knight’s Ale by  local microbrewers Isaac Poad for only £2 a pint.  They also had John Smith’s (bitter) on cask too as well as a variety of Sam Smith’s keg amongst the usual standard lagers and ciders.

I’m always slightly trepidatious myself about cask beer at a certain price; it is on the turn and they are just trying to shift it and being in a strange environment with a horde of other piling in behind me I wasn’t about to ask to try it first (not that I actually do anyway, just go for a half, that’s a taster).  So a pint was ordered and very good it both taste and condition it was too.

But the conversations I heard around the bar reminded me of the aforementioned chip shop incident.

“Pint of bitter please” was a regular cry (other than “pint of lager” of course).

“Cask or smooth” was the barmaid’s reply, not even attempting to ever push the guest ale (which I suppose wouldn’t count as a bitter per se but still…)

“Smooth…smooth” were the numerous, convulsed replies.

Stick with what you know I suppose, price isn’t really an object in a rushed environment when you’re on a day trip.

Scanning the busy drinking area there were a few on the cask, I’m not going to put a number on it, nor what the average age of the clientèle was as this is just anecdotal.

 

But if you can’t shift cask beer at £2 a pint to the thirsty; then really, is it a premium product that can attract top whack and are those breweries that sell it for less really creating a rod for the backs of themselves and every other brewer?

 

Thanks for reading.

 

*barmcake, bap, cob, roll, batch, muffin, teacake, etc.

Spoons Workers Against Brexit – a Ha Ha Ha

I’m not going to link to them, you can search for them, they are quite easy to find, as are most of the #FBPE squealers.

A few points I will stress from the start

  1. Politics is indeed best kept out of business
  2. I respect all those who work at Wetherspoons and at pubs and clubs and bars in general.

To take my 2nd point first, I have worked in pubs; it can be hard and thankless (like most jobs) but it doesn’t take much skill to do.  Indeed it takes skill to do correctly, to enhance a customer’s experience but that is down to the individual and no amount of training can infer common sense within people.

Point one; I’m not one to boycott businesses that have different political outlooks to myself, I have a few I do out of whimsy (never once given McDonald’s my money, avoid Coke products) but it is nothing but a relic of my youth with no real morals attached to it (love me a Burger King, love me a Pepsi), plus you try and completely avoid buying anything Nestle don’t own.

But given the political climate we live in today, it is not without notice that there is a complete lack of irony of those that generally object to the politics of a person or business and the fact that they are anti-democratic losers.

But let us look at the demands from SWAB:

1. Withdraw all pro-Brexit propaganda from our workplace. This means that we will no longer be marked down for refusing to distribute beer mats, leaflets, magazines or menus that promote Martin’s politics.

2. Pay us a Living Wage. That means a £9 hourly rate outside London, and £10.55 in London.

3. Trade union recognition, granting the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union negotiating powers over our pay and pay and working conditions.

 

Points 1 to 3 can quite easily be covered in the simple request, go and look for another fucking job.  You work in a low skilled job that does not merit a “Living Wage” especially considering that most of those in this group will probably be under 25 and are no where near worth £9 an hour given the current scale of age dependent National Minimum Wage payments.

You have signed a contract, either honour that contract or go somewhere else and if you can’t then may I suggest going and getting a better education and qualifications so you can go somewhere that pays better and gives you better job satisfaction.

“Be the change you want to be in the world”*

Or as the kids say these days

Learn To Code

 

Thanks for reading.

 

*Which was not said by the racist, nationalist, nappy wearing religious nut job sectarian, also known as Gandhi.

The CAMRA Festival Cask-Keg Craft Quandary

Subtitle – A Real Problem (Answer: No, that was just a pun which I felt was too sloppy for the title but I don’t like waste, as trite as it is).

 

The month of January 2019 saw me visit the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival and, as very usual, the Bent & Bongs Beer Bash

I still hold that Bent & Bongs is not really a CAMRA festival.  It started with the local Round Table(s), moved on to Bent & Bongs Charitable Trust and whereas it has always had help in every aspect from local CAMRA branches (Wigan, mainly), it doesn’t really push itself as a CAMRA do.

Now Bent & Bongs has always had 3 stalls; right back from my attending at the much missed Formby Hall, which were casks ales, ciders & perries and foreign beers (sometimes with bottles).  2019 saw the introduction of “Craft Corner” where by 10 beers were presented by Keg (and the were keg, not CAMRA “real ale approved” KeyKeg).

Still, having visited the Manchester version from when it was the “Winter Ales” version and then when it moved to the velodrome and almost killed people with the amount of walking required, the set up has been fairly similar, up until the move to GMex (or Manchester Central if you must).

During this rather move the beer scene has evolved (or in-vovled) and so CAMRA, wishing to not miss a trick developed a way of getting Keg (any keg style) into their festival but for sake of brevity (set-up), this year, with the exception of the brewery bars and Irish Bar, the keg were kept in the “Keg & KeyKeg Bar” – note the distinction even here, they should really add Dolium just for the fuck of it too.

Anyway, it was only on the final day of Bent & Bongs I noted the clear distinction between Cask and Craft.

Not anyone’s fault, the terms aren’t mutually exclusive.  Same with real ale, keg, keykeg, or whatever material the cask is made out of.

Or for that matter is the cask it pump or gravity.

But you can only field the “what’s the difference between cask and craft?” question so many times, trying not to notice the glazed look in the eyes of the asker, not from beer but from your own overly long, if technically correct answer, before you just say…

Craft (beer), in the UK, it’s a marketing term.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

“Pub Bans Dictionary Definitions”

 

Daily Mirror Link

Daily Mail Link

Well, no one comes out of this covered in glory.  So here let me rail against these idiots and let my own prejudices shine.

Ms Wershbale, a mother-of-one, had gone last Sunday with her girlfriend to play board games at the pub where she has been a regular for three years.

Pubs are for drinking, maybe some darts, dominoes, billiards and a bit of shove ha’penny but if you want to pretend you’re still a child, play you’re board games with your kid(s), at home.

On the same day Mr Johnson – the pub goer Ms Wershbale had offended – took to Twitter to talk about his distress. He wrote: ‘When you’re trying to relax in your fave pub and there is a TERF [trans exclusionary radical feminist] wearing an anti-trans T-shirt… it’s disgusting and I’m so upset by it.’

Grassing wimp.

The manager of Five Clouds Tom Lewis said Ms Wershbale is not permanently barred but she must ‘have a discussion with staff so she understands the situation’ before she is allowed back in.

Tom lad, use this opportunity to mansplain wisely, it is the only time those liberal twats in the beer world will make an exception, when you are defending a lesser minority against a slightly greater minority – please consult you victim-hood flowchart for all other occasions when this can be used.

I look forward to a debate between Wershbale and Jan at Marble (purveyor of rules like this) – maybe make it part of Manchester Beer Week 2019, a logical step from the unnecessary use of identity politics that were so prevalent in the 2018 saga.  There is a title for this epic clash just ready and waiting.

Also; Five Clouds is a bar, not a pub, I’ve been a half dozen time, a nice place, not the best in Macc but at least it has, good staff, limited exposed brickwork, no industrial-chic and doesn’t look like an Ikea catalogue vomited the furnishings.

——————

Lets cut to the chase.  Ms Wershbale hasn’t been “banned for wearing a t-shirt” – she has been barred for being an antagonistic twat.

Christ, when I was in college I borrowed my mates Cradle of Filth t-shirt just to wind-up my biology teacher who’d already banned numerous t-shirts I’d worn.  I was 17, I hated Cradle of Filth (I still do, or rather I just don’t get them) and I was being a dick.

 

 

This is where we are at with political discourse, it has been reduced to the level of teenage name calling.

Dictionary definitions are wonderful when used for causes and labels you wish to attach (incorrectly) to people; how many times do people you don’t agree with have to be called fascist before that word loses all meaning?  Facts don’t care about your feelings.  Deal with it.

Likewise, when it comes to the mantra “private businesses can set there own rules” – again this only applies when it suits a narrative.

All this against a back drop of words, a lack of maturity, running to a safe space to claim victim points and general wazzock behaviour.

I still get pissed off with the amount of signs pubs and bars have to carry by order of their licenses

  • no drugs
  • no smoking (or vaping)
  • are you 25?
  • please leave quietly
  • line cleaning
  • PRS music approval
  • Numerous posters for up coming events

Not only are you bombarded with information that in most cases is entirely irrelevant to your enjoyment of a beer, in some establishments we now have to see prominent virtual signals to, as if it were necessary, let us know the victualler is as far away from being a Nazi as is possible.

Well, their interpretation of a Nazi.

And if you don’t agree with their way of thinking…

 

Thanks for reading.