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ISSUE TWENTY-THREE

| SPRING 2014

WE’RE WATCHING WHAT WE DRINK

Y T I E L A L A E R

V T £3.95 INSIDE MARVERINE COLE DES DE MOOR GRAHAM HOLTER WILL HAWKES

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BEER | inside

contents Regulars 05 Welcome

The wine lists may be impressive, but the inadequate selection of good beer is letting down fine dining restaurants

44 Food

Two pubs prove there’s more than one way to find the perfect food and beer match

47 Taste test

The perfect combinations for those with a sweet tooth – cake and beer

51 Bottled beer

New year and new bottled brews for our man in the beer aisle

53 Your shout

Gnat’s pee recollections, holy brews and the perils of the Reinheitsgebot

55 Roger Protz

The Industrial Revolution saw women ousted from breweries, but now they are returning

59 Science

Beer historian Ian Hornsey is perfectly clear about haze in beer

60 Home brew

Lo

Sharing inspiration and a rye look at brewing a German classic

63 Get quizzic-ale

More beer pairing – does great taste go with general knowledge? Our quiz reveals all

66 Last orders

Life on the road gave Supergrass co-founder Mick Quinn a taste for ale

Features 06 Small-screen beer

WILL AMLOT; ANDY SMITH

Beer has struggled to follow wine onto TV. Presenter Marverine Cole reveals why and what goes into a live beer tasting

14 Locally sauced

Forget food miles, cutting beer miles is the aim of seriously local brewers

16 Taking pride

There’s a changing of the guard at Fuller’s Chiswick brewery. Will Hawkes reports

‘It’s an amalgamation of many simple things along with regular live music nights that make the Rodley a fantastic pub’

page 38

22 Boots, beer gardens and Bavaria

Hiking, stunning scenery and great German beer – what’s not to like?

32 Young’s man

John Young was one of the big brewery owners beer drinkers have good cause to toast

36 Lancashire hot spot

After years of traumatic brewery closures, brewing is booming again

38 Sweet music

Pubs hit the right note with good cask beer and live music nights

56 Debate

Is the Wetherspoon pub chain a good or bad thing for cask ale lovers?

64 First-class refreshment

Geoff Brandwood is still riding the rails, this time stopping off in some fine railway refreshment rooms and hotels SPRING 2014 BEER 03

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BEER ¦ from the editor

welcome

With Valentine s Day approaching, my thoughts return to the usual quandary ‒ a meal

down the local pub apparently doesn’t quite tick the ‘romantic gesture’ box according to my loved one, but posh restaurant often means very unposh pints. The pretentious paradox is that the fancier the restaurant, the more flowery the descriptions on the menu and the heftier the leather-bound wine list, the less care and attention will have been lavished on the beer offering. High-end restaurants seem to have completely missed the recent revolution in great beer – and are missing out on a chance to establish a real point of difference, further convince diners of their dedication to taste and BEE quality and, importantly, make more money. It’s baffling when the table staff can tell you the MAGAZRI NE backstory of every cheesemaker on the cheeseboard and exactly which corner of the field CUSTOM ER MAGA ZINE your carrot came from – but when asked about the beers on offer, pause nervously, glance OF THE Y EAR AT THE PPA at the bar and tell you they “might have Carling or Carlsberg… it starts with a ‘c’ anyway”. INDEPEN DENT PUBLISH This applies even more so to chain restaurants, which are pretty interchangeable in ER AWARDS 2012 the minds of the dining public – but imagine if one started offering a proper range of continental and British beers (perhaps even some local to the area). Then we’d have a point of difference and a reason to choose Prezzo over Pizza Express, for example. Marverine Cole TV journalist and beer sommelier We can all campaign on this. Next time you Marverine is one of Britain s top female beer writers and has won several awards for her beer blog, Beer Beauty. She notice a restaurant asking for your views via an asks why there s not more beer on the screen and gives an online survey on the bottom of your receipt, fill insight into what s involved in organising a TV tasting. it in and suggest they get some decent beer. If the Mick Quinn Musician, singer-songwriter and co-founder beer list at a restaurant is uninspiring, tell them of rock band Supergrass, Mick spent years touring the so – and find a place where they do pay as much world, which opened his senses to new tastes, including real ale. He reveals his early experiences with his father s attention to the beer as the food. home brew and shares his views on Oxford pubs. Meanwhile, if I can’t find somewhere that fits Ian Hornsey spent 20 years as a lecturer in botany and the bill this 14 February, the message to my wife microbiology. He s performed consultancy work in the is likely to be: roses are red, violets are blue, I’m brewing industry and went on to found the Nethergate drinking Coors because I love you. Brewery Company in Suffolk. He has written four books,

GUEST CONTRIBUTORS

Tom Stainer

including A History of Beer and Brewing.

BEER

WWW.RETROPHOTO.CO.UK

Editor: Tom Stainer (tom.stainer@camra.org.uk) Sub-editors: Kim Adams and Rica Dearman Published by: CAMRA Ltd Produced on behalf of CAMRA by: Think, The Pall Mall Deposit, 124-128 Barlby Road, London W10 6BL Tel: 020 8962 3020 Creative director: Jes Stanfield Advertising: Simon Bryson (simon.bryson@thinkpublishing.co.uk) Managing director: Polly Arnold Printed by: Wyndeham Southernprint Ltd, 17-21 Factory Road, Upton Industrial Estate, Poole, Dorset BH16 5SN. BEER is printed on Solaris Brite 1.55, which is PEFC accredited, meaning it comes from well-managed and sustainable forests.

BEER is the quarterly magazine of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). CAMRA campaigns for real ale, real pubs and consumer rights. It is an independent, voluntary organisation with more than 150,000 members and has been described as the most successful consumer group in Europe. BEER magazine is sent free to CAMRA members every three months, and our campaigning newspaper, What s Brewing, is posted to members, free of charge, every month. To join CAMRA, help preserve Britain s brewing and pub industry, get BEER and What s Brewing free ‒ and a host of other membership benefits ‒ visit www.camra.org.uk CAMRA is a company limited by guarantee, run at a national level by an elected, unpaid board of directors (the National Executive) and at regional level by its regional directors, both backed by a full-time professional staff. CAMRA promotes good-quality real ale and pubs, as well as acting as the consumer s champion in relation to the UK and European beer and drinks industry. It aims to: 1. Protect and improve consumer rights 2. Promote quality, choice and value for money 3. Support the public house as a focus of community life 4. Campaign for greater appreciation of traditional beers, ciders and perries, and the public house as part of our national heritage and culture 5. Seek improvements in all licensed premises and throughout the brewing industry. BEER magazine will not carry editorial and advertising that counters these aims and we only accept advertisements for bottleor cask-conditioned products. Average net circulation for the period Jan-Dec 2012: 104,474

Campaign For Real Ale Limited 230 Hatfield Road, St Albans, Herts AL1 4LW Tel: 01727 867201 Fax: 01727 867670

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While wine gets star billing, beer rarely makes it through the TV studio door. TV presenter Marverine Cole asks why and, having succeeded in getting beer onto daytime TV, takes us behind the scenes

ILLUSTRATIONS: ANDY SMITH

The appearance of beer on British TV has always been

very one-sided. It’s the drink of commiseration and celebration. Something heart-warming to retreat to. Men drink it. Women don’t. Men are authorities on it. Women aren’t. Furthermore, beer is rarely ever seen or mentioned before 7pm… go figure! Both on TV adverts and the nation’s favourite soaps – Coronation Street, EastEnders and Emmerdale – beer plays very much second fiddle to wine. Wine is like the gorgeous Hollywood actress on the red carpet, flashing teeth as the paparazzi earn a living. Beer wouldn’t even have been considered for the VIP party. Wine appears on TV left, right and centre. You can’t move for references to wine. Wine is perfectly acceptable as an accompaniment to food on any and every cooking show going, on any channel at any time of the day. The image of wine is glamour, the star of the show – the natural dinner table choice. Beer is waiting outside in the cold, hoping someone at the front of the queue will notice it and say “Hey, buddy, don’t stand there, come on in!” Beer is oafish, odd, awkward, “niche” as one TV producer once told me. Beer also hasn’t really had much of a look-in when it comes to being seriously examined as part of British

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SHOW TIME | feature

‘The one thing TV execs have finally got their heads around is the resurgence of an all-round love of real ale and the success of the British breweries that produce it’

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SHOW TIME | feature

‘To get in front of an audience who may not know much about beer and who are more open to being schooled in the ways via their favourite show is a gem of an opportunity’ cultural history. The heady days of the BBC’s Beer Hunter with the legendary Michael Jackson must seem like a dim and distant memory to some. Thank goodness for YouTube to remind us of it all, eh? Since then, the exploration of beer on British terrestrial TV channels has all but disappeared without trace, with the exception of sharp shocks from shows such as the BBC’s Oz and James Drink to Britain and Oz and Hugh Raise the Bar. But the one thing TV execs have finally got their heads

and get it back on TV in long-form. Pete says: “The closest was when a producer at the BBC really got quite into the idea of turning Man Walks into a Pub into a six-part TV series for BBC Two or BBC Four. It did really well. They screen-tested me, but I wasn’t quite right at that point. Then they decided to get a better-known face to front it. Within 24 hours, the agents for Mark Radcliffe, Adrian Edmondson, Rory McGrath and James Nesbitt all said ‘Yes, in principle, they would love to do it’. “The proposal sailed through until the final commissioning meeting. We had James Nesbitt’s name attached – at that point he was the biggest name, one of the most recognisable faces on TV. “The guy responsible for commissioning said a flat ‘No’, on the grounds that the programme was ‘too niche’. “Whether it was one of Britain’s most recognisable actors who was too niche, or Britain’s most popular drink, he didn’t make clear. The proposal that was commissioned from that meeting was Griff Rhys Jones’ series on mountains. Not niche at all.” Pete’s still determined to get someone to sit up and listen when it comes to a TV series dedicated to beer. More recently, beer has had a big moment in the spotlight in a sustained and regular way, aligned to great food. Renowned beer writer Melissa Cole was the beer expert on a food show called Market Kitchen, which appeared on the Good Food Channel between 2007

around is the resurgence of an all-round love of real ale and the success of the British breweries that produce it. And I’ve been lucky enough to have been asked to showcase beer on several occasions over the past two years on various TV shows (all before the 7pm lockdown believe it or not, breaking into the hallowed shrine of daytime TV – a world packed full of women – half the population, let’s not forget). So to get in front of an audience who may not know much about beer and who also are more open to being schooled in the ways via their favourite show is a gem of an opportunity. Shows such as ITV’s This Morning – which I’ve ‘There seems to be a appeared on twice to talk beer – are big hitters. Watch it or not, it’s hosted by two reluctance to put beer of Britain’s most well-known and influential on TV in anything other TV presenters, Holly Willoughby and Phillip than bite-sized chunks’ Schofield, who, luckily for me, both happen to be fans of beer. (And yes, before I get any further, Holly is even more beautiful when you see her close up and Holly does drink beer and she likes it!)

Bite-sized beer

There seems to be a reluctance to put beer on TV in anything other than bite-sized chunks. No real appetite for reawakening the public’s senses to Britain’s national drink in a Michael Jackson-like fashion – a series driven by someone with real expert beer knowledge and insight, as opposed to a celebrity. One thing Pete Brown, 2009 Guild of Beer Writers Beer Writer of the Year, author of Man Walks into a Pub and BEER contributor, knows only too well. He’s tried many a time to persuade producers to take beer seriously

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SHOW TIME ¦ feature

and 2011. Each week Melissa offered up perfect beer matches to complement the dishes created by the celebrity chefs. Melissa says: “I miss Market Kitchen; it was great. I had a great rapport with the presenters, Matt Tebbutt and Penny Smith in particular. I was basically their go-to woman because I organised it all for the production crew and always made sure there were a few for them afterwards! But also, my overall food knowledge is very good, so I had more to offer than just a ‘beer slot’ – plus I trained as a broadcast journalist, meaning I generally remembered not to swear!”

It really is a loss to me that beer is still being ignored, when millions of men and women in this country love the drink down to their bones

In light of the demise of Market Kitchen, what does

Melissa think of new kid on the block Sunday Brunch (Channel 4) – a new incarnation of Something for the Weekend, which used to be on BBC Two, averaging around 700,000 viewers each week? And what are her views on Saturday Kitchen (BBC Two), a firm old favourite for many weekend foodies, which has reached up to 2.5 million viewers? She says: “Rebecca (Seal) is doing a great job on Sunday Brunch and, as we know each other, I’m often a source of advice for her and her ability to disseminate what I send is really impressive in a short period of time. “Saturday Kitchen drives me up the wall, however; when its wine experts make the odd cursory mention of beer, they talk nonsense as a general rule. Bitburger a ‘hoppy’ lager, yeah, OK. I did actually email all the experts involved at one point offering – really, really politely – to be a knowledge resource for them if they so wished.

I m sure beer will get its just desserts. And until then, I, and others like me who get the chance, will continue to do our bit where we can to champion beer on the telly

“I either got very snippy responses that they were also ‘general drinks experts’ (contradiction in terms there!) or none at all – and the production company wants nothing to do with beer, despite beer being absolutely on the nose in terms of demographic fit.” And what to the future of beer on TV? Melissa: “I see it coming back eventually. I’ll probably be considered over the hill at that point, but I’ll continue fighting for its place, but I worry that the poorly executed Let There Be Beer campaign has set that back by years.” You might argue Who needs

a TV series about beer anyway?’ I believe that the more the British masses – those outside your circle of beer pals – learn about, and begin to love beer, the more our superb brewing industry is likely to thrive. I think the future of beer on TV lies in the hands of a producer who really can understand the value of beer, who’s a beer lover and appreciator in his or her own right. It’s far from niche, especially when you consider that seven out of 10 drinks sold in every pub is beer. And that pubs are at the heart of British culture. And that London was once the world’s brewing capital. The undeniable facts are there. Our TV channels are stuffed with shows celebrating all manner of British history and culture, helping us to imagine what life was like in the days of yore. So it really is a loss to me that beer is still being ignored, when millions of men and women in this country love the drink down to their bones. It’s bizarre, but I’m sure beer will get its just desserts. And until then, I, and others like me who get the chance, will continue to do our bit where we can to champion beer on the telly.

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BEHIND THE SCENES OF A TV BEER TASTING

Even when beer appears on TV, it often attracts a slew of criticism from drinkers about dumbing down, or selecting the wrong beers, or saying the wrong thing – but what many viewers don’t understand are the unique pressures and complications of organising a TV tasting How do I choose my beers?

Beer for me is a passion, not a full-time job. I’ve always been a TV news presenter, producer or reporter, and beer is my hobby. So when my career and my hobby collide, it’s even more fun. The one thing I try above all else to do – even though I struggle with the demands of my new job presenting at QVC, the shopping channel – is to get out and about to beer events, meeting brewers and tasting new beers. I do what I can to keep an eye on who’s new on the block and who’s shouting the loudest. Those meetings, those tastings and those impressions, all of those connections I make always come to the fore when I’m looking to source beers for a TV slot. Each beer I choose is something I’ve tasted and enjoyed. It’s a no-brainer. Usually I try to include several bottleconditioned beers as I want to show they should no longer be shut in that dusty old cabinet where all the stereotypes of warm, flat brown beers seem to fester. And it’s not just about choosing beers, but sorting the logistics, to whom they should be sent, the address and when. Teeing up the breweries you’ve chosen and getting them to deliver on time. Liaising with the production team and the brewery to ensure smooth passage.

Safe pair of hands

Buoyed by my first TV tasting, and ever the journalist with original ideas, I suggested a new reason for beer to appear on the same show again. Father’s Day was the obvious choice that would appeal to the senses of a TV producer looking for something to add to their line-up. This is where you have to think clever and think ahead. The job of a producer of any live TV show is to cram it full of topical, visual features that will excite and engage its audience. They also plan ahead. I suggested a beer slot for Father’s Day (usually in June) three months earlier in

March. Having showcased beer and food matching on the Alan Titchmarsh Show twice before, as well as Oz and Hugh and the Great British Food Revival helps. They knew I was a safe pair of hands: someone who’s used to being on TV, in a live environment. That helps them out. So they knew they didn’t have to worry about me being a) fazed by a live studio audience, if there is one, b) ignoring advice and direction during the time on air and c) running out of things to say when the red light is on and 1.6 million people are watching.

The blue Smarties syndrome: the demands of the producer

So once Richard, the producer of the Father’s Day beer show, agreed for me to be on and gave me my time slot – around nine minutes, it was all hands to the pump. The difficult thing about a live show is you can’t crow about it because the slot might get killed. One of my earlier planned beer slots did get shelved with three days to go due to changing agendas. It’s live and morning shows that also like to reflect news and current affairs, so if something big happens, then beer is likely to get the elbow. But given all that, you can’t sit and wait until the last minute and I’ve always had a good say, if not full free rein, to find and suggest beers for my given slot. The challenge then is dealing with what I call the blue Smarties syndrome, ie the producer’s demands. You can’t have a fixed idea in your head of how you want things to be in your five or 10 minutes, because it’s likely to change. You are, without doubt, going to have to fit in with what the producer wants to do with the slot. After all, they’re hiring you to entertain and do a job – and no matter how many times you might have done it before, the producer will have infinitely more experience than you of what works and doesn’t work on TV. You go with the flow and hope it all fits neatly together! I was offered a chance to bring food into the mix, but was never quite sure whether it would be part of it all, until much closer to the broadcast date. For my second Alan Titchmarsh appearance, I was expected to be knowledgeable about a brand of gin and two beers that the producer had already requested for the slot, and I was

‘You can’t have a fixed idea in your head of how you want things to be in your five or 10 minutes, because it’s likely to change’

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SHOW TIME | feature

able to choose two more to bring in. Cue web searches and phone calls to the creators and brewers of both of the drinks I didn’t know to make sure I understood them. That said, every show is unique. You need to be prepared to work with little in advance, and be flexible enough to change course. I’ve not encountered any strange demands beyond that. That’s not to say something unusual might come along one day. There was no three-line whip about only British beers, no American beers or nothing above 7 per cent ABV, which is a good thing. I think that comes from the trust they have in me. With This Morning, the producer wanted a quiz-like theme, where Holly and Phil tasted each beer and had to guess whether it was British or European. I remember in among the raft of tweets from people who watched, were comments saying they weren’t convinced about the premise of choosing UK and Euro beers. This was a classic example of the above. The producer rules, you fit in. I was particularly proud of the selection – bottleconditioned beers taking precedence, all having to be

relatively easily available to buy (remembering This Morning audience members don’t know all the online beer sites, or have their fave beer bar or shops on speed dial).

Telly time flies

Before you know it, you’re at the studio at about 8.30am, whisked into hair and make-up, whisked back out to check everything you organised to arrive has got there and record a preview before the show starts at 10.30am. My slot was 12.10pm, and in the ad break before, Holly and Phil came to say hi and that they remembered me from last time. They’re already switched on to beer, which is a bonus. Once one of my guests, on another show, said the beer reminded her of dirty ashtrays and you have to smile, resist the temptation to kick-off, retort with a quip if you can and move on. That’s live telly. It’s a success if you and the presenters get on, have a laugh, you don’t spill anything and the times whizzes by. Before you know it, you’re being thanked and ushered off set. Time to breathe. Aaaaaaaand relax!

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LOCALLY SAUCED

Some brewers are looking, almost literally, in their own backyards for ingredients to make their beers as local as local can be, reports Graham Holter Pretty much all brewers use ‘the finest

ingredients’. We know this, because they tell us so. We’re very lucky consumers. So from a marketing perspective, they can’t really impress us much more than they do already – they’re kind of painted into a corner. ‘The very finest ingredients’, maybe? No. CAMRA members have an above-average grasp of semantics and you’d be mocked mercilessly by Martyn Cornell. So how to stand out from the crowd? Forget about the finest ingredients for a minute. What about making a big deal about locally sourced raw materials instead? The perfect storybook microbrewery would boast its own water source (as many have), its own prized yeast strain (which is simply a matter of applied microbiology – come on!), an on-site hop garden and fields of barley all around. The picture would be completed by a malthouse, reducing the food miles involved in the production process to virtually zero. But life isn’t like that, or at least economics isn’t. Brewing is complicated and expensive enough without raising your own malt and hops. And part of the fun for many modern brewers is to be able to select from an international array of ingredients that would make their predecessors salivate with envy. Yet, in theory, there’s no technical reason why all-local brews can’t be possible. Barley may be easy enough to grow in most areas of the UK (it’s our second-largest arable crop, after wheat) and hops are nowhere near as fussy as might be assumed. Their association with Kent and the Midlands is more to do

with access to labour from London and Birmingham than it is to geography. So where do we see this ultra-localism at work? The answer is, in very few places. It’s common to find brewers that use local barley, or local hops, but rare to see both represented in the same glass. The Scottish Borders brewery, for example, which markets its product as ‘From Plough to Pint’, has to buy in hops despite having abundant supplies of its own barley (it

‘So where do we see this ultra-localism at work? The answer is, in very few places. It’s common to find brewers that use local barley, or local hops, but rare to see both in the same glass’ has foraged locally for other flavourings, as part of the Wild Harvest project, but that’s another story). That’s not to say brewers don’t appreciate the benefits: Hogs Back in Surrey, for example, has long-term plans to introduce both crops in its neighbouring fields. And the new Yorkshire Hops plantation – the most northerly hop garden in Britain – is allowing micros to produce their first all-Yorkshire brews, something that will appeal to Geoffrey Boycott and co. At Dartmoor brewery, Mike Lunney has already put the idea into practice, admittedly not with his own malt and hops, but certainly with ingredients that have travelled a pretty short distance. “At the beginning of last year we had

somebody on Dartmoor growing barley that was good enough to malt,” he says. It’s 20 miles from there to the maltings in Newton Abbot, so that’s 40 total food miles. “Some people are quite keen to say ‘we have local barley’ and then send it 200 miles to the maltings,” he adds. “They forget to tell people about that.” For the first time, Mike has also been able to source local hops, thanks to amateur grower Wyndham Monk, who has an allotment near the barley farmer on the moor. “It’s the most exquisite Fuggle I’ve come across in 40 years of brewing,” he says. “Unfortunately, because of the weather, he got very limited crops in 2012. But last year’s is looking good.” The hops aren’t plentiful enough to meet the needs of Dartmoor IPA (4 per cent ABV), but they do find their way into special beers, usually in the form of dry hopping. The brewery’s local credentials are further enhanced by the Dartmoor heather honey that goes into its Three Hares ale (4.4 per cent). “It wouldn’t be quite the same if the honey came from Scotland,” Mike points out. Mill Green brewery in Edwardstone,

Suffolk, boasts a number of eco credentials and so it’s not altogether surprising that it possesses its own barley field and hop garden. But that doesn’t mean it’s self-sufficient, or that food miles are quite as low as you’d think. As much as head brewer Tom Norton would love to get his barley malted locally, it just doesn’t come in large enough quantities to interest East Anglian maltsters. So instead it’s transported to Warminster in Wiltshire.

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NICHE BREWING ¦ feature

Barley field

Water Brewery Hop farm Pub

Barley may be easy enough to grow in most areas of the UK (it s our second-largest arable crop, after wheat) and hops are nowhere near as fussy as might be assumed “We produce about 10 tonnes a year, which is probably about half what we need,” Tom says. “The hops are more difficult to grow, so we only use those in two or three special brews.” The hop garden contains eight different varieties, including Goldings and Fuggles, but so far it’s Bramling Cross that has performed best. “We’ve got a 14-acre field that we grow the barley on and we’ve cornered off about a quarter-acre and put 200 hop plants in. It was a bit

of an experiment and it’s probably not the best place to grow them, so we don’t get that many hops. But if we wanted to do it properly we would plant somewhere a bit more sheltered. We’ve done a lot of research into where hops used to grow here, and it was mainly wet valleys.” The barley, which is of the Westminster variety, is a selling point for Mill Green, as it is for brewers across eastern England. “Obviously, it’s a lot easier to produce good-quality malt in Suffolk because it’s basically the best place on the whole planet to grow it,” says Tom.

The brewery sources hops from all over England and buys from America, Australia and Europe, particularly when citrus flavours are needed. But, for Tom, there is something special about a truly local beer. “There’s a place for locally grown hops, even though they’re very labour-intensive and it works out much cheaper to buy them commercially,” he says. “The beers we’ve brewed with our own hops and malt have been very successful and have a very good flavour. But it’s more about proving we can do it than a massive commercial effort to make money.”

Graham Holter is a former editor of Off Licence News and one-time news editor of the Morning Advertiser. Graham not only knows a lot about drink, but can write about it as well. He is now a busy freelance journalist SPRING 2014 BEER 15

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profile | FULLER’S

The Fuller story The baton is being passed at Fuller’s. Will Hawkes discovers something about its brewing history and its future as brewing manager Derek Prentice hands over to his successor

CHARLIE BEST

It’s 11am on a chilly November morning

and, deep in the bowels of Fuller’s brewery, the daily tasting has begun. Half a dozen of the Chiswick firm’s brewing staff are sniffing and sipping their way through a variety of beers, from Gales’ Seafarers (3.6 per cent ABV) through London Pride (4.1 per cent) to Steel (3.5 per cent); the latter being a hop-heavy collaboration with the peripatetic Sheffield brewery of the same name. The intention is to ensure all is developing as planned, and most seem well satisfied on that score. The tasting is almost over when, at the request of Fuller’s brewing manager, Derek Prentice, one final beer is offered. It’s Bengal Lancer (5 per cent), Fuller’s Englishstyle IPA and a drink close to Derek’s heart. “I have a great love of this type of beer,” he says. It’s a passion that stretches back to his first brewing days at Truman’s in the late 1960s. “I have this vision of Ben Truman Pale Ale, a beer like White Shield [5.6 per cent], which Truman’s produced then,” he adds. “When the beer came down from Burton [where Truman’s had a second brewery] it was just magical.” It is a suitable time to reminisce. Derek’s 40 years of service to some of London’s most famous brewing names – first Truman’s, then Young’s and, since 2006,

Fuller’s – are coming to a close. By the time you read this, Derek’s time in west London will be over; his successor (and, indeed, his predecessor), Georgina Young, has been back in the brewery manager’s office since mid-November, having spent three months working alongside Derek before his departure. The handover of power has been amicable. Derek seems energised by the thought of new projects; Fuller’s has ensured that a potential mass exit of

experience has been averted (Derek was not the only brewer approaching retirement age); and Georgina, 41, is back in a job she enjoyed before going on maternity leave in 2006. “It’s been good fun, and I’ve learnt a huge amount,” Georgina says of the time spent working alongside Derek. “He has so much experience in the brewing industry; he knows how certain materials work and how they’ll react. It’s been really great to have that opportunity to work with him.” Derek’s thoughts have turned to the

“I have this vision of Ben Truman Pale Ale, a beer like White Shield, which Truman’s produced then. When the beer came down from Burton [where Truman’s had a second brewery] it was just magical”

RIGHT: Derek Prentice hands the reins back to Georgina Young, who returns to the brewery on the banks of the Thames

next act in his brewing career. He would like to open a brewery/bakery/smokehouse when he ‘retires’, but there’s plenty to do before then. “I feel there’s one more little project that I’d like to see through,” says Derek. “If I’m going to become involved in a different venture for the next three to five years, it’s the right time.” Given his extensive background, there should be plenty of offers of work. The Camberwell-born 63-year-old has come a long way from his first job at Truman’s Brick Lane brewery, where he worked in the laboratory while waiting to resit his chemistry A-level. “I never did get to university,” he says, smiling. “I started work almost

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FULLER’S | profile

temporarily in the lab, but then I thought: ‘This is great.’ I had planned to do forestry; I’ve been in brewing ever since.” It was a time of huge upheaval in British brewing, particularly in London. Many of the capital’s biggest brewing names were already on the way out. “The big brewery closures were already starting by then,” says Derek. “In the 1970s, you had Charrington closing, Whitbread closing. Whitbread had built its new brewery at Luton in the late 1960s, the first of the out-of-town megabreweries, with new technology. “Truman’s, by contrast, was like stepping back in time; it was a Victorian brewhouse. It had been rebuilt in the 1930s, but the fermentation vessels were Victorian. It was very traditional. When I started on the brewing team we had a flat there. You’d stay overnight, and start brewing at 5 or 6am.” It all changed at Truman’s in 1971,

when the brewery was bought by Grand Metropolitan. Truman’s switched to keg beer, and Derek spent his time making Tuborg and then Carlsberg. No wonder, some might say, his attention wandered. “I got involved in the luge,” he says. ‘Got involved’ is one way of putting it:

Derek, a keen sportsman who played rugby in his youth, represented Great Britain at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, USA, and would have done so again in 1984 in Sarajevo had it not been for injury. “I was able to take holidays in the winter by working shifts for others at other times; the rest of the brewing team wanted to take summer holidays.” By 1984, his passion for brewing had been reignited. Cask ale was back on the agenda at Truman’s. “We reinvented cask

“We were given six months to close it and we did it in just over twoand-a-half. One of my jobs was to close the brewery, to turn out the lights on the brewing and distribution operation. Sad to see” ABOVE: Taking pride – the Fuller’s team sniff and sip their way through a variety of beers during the daily tasting

beer,” he says. “Young’s, firstly, and then Fuller’s were having huge success, and cask was flavour of the month, so we were asked to produce three cask ales. It went well; we were producing a lot of cask ale.” In 1989, Derek went to Young’s,

a return home of sorts. He handed in his resignation just weeks before the announcement that Truman’s was leaving Brick Lane, but was still there at the time of the final brew. “We were given six months to close it and we did it in just over two-and-a-half,” he says. “One of my jobs was to close down the brewery, to turn out the lights on the brewing and distribution operation. Sad to see. “But going to Young’s was like going back to the brewing I had enjoyed in my younger days; the brewhouse had been renewed, but brewing was in the same style. It was hands-on.” Young’s, of course, also eventually gave up the ghost, leaving Wandsworth in 2006. That’s when Derek came to Fuller’s. Seven years on, Georgina, who has been teaching the sciences at a comprehensive school in Richmond for the past few years (“more family friendly”), is back and is optimistic about the future. SPRING 2014 BEER 19

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ROYAL MASH AT HARVEYS

e

Her Majesty the Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited Harveys Brewery in Lewes when they came to Sussex in 2013. The Royal party toured the brewery with Head Brewer & Joint Managing Director Miles Jenner and Chairman & Joint Managing Director Hamish Elder. On the mash tun floor, the Queen started the Steel’s masher to initiate a brew of Elizabethan Ale. Originally brewed to celebrate the coronation in 1953, Harveys has continued brewing it to the present day. The Royal visitors paused to sign the Brewing Book containing the day’s entries before visiting the copper house, fermenting room, racking cellar and bottling line where the day’s activities continued as normal. Staff congregated at different points en route and spontaneous applause greeted the Royal progress.

Miles Jenner commented: ‘The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh took an avid interest in both the process and the jobs that staff were performing. It was a very relaxed tour.’ The Royal party joined guests of the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex at a luncheon, hosted by Harveys, in a marquee erected for the visit in the brewery yard. The eighty guests, representing voluntary sector organisations and those involved in public service, enjoyed a meal comprised entirely of Sussex fare including Brill from Newhaven fish market, Sussex Best Bitter and Sussex wines. The Loyal Toast was proposed by Hamish Elder and the Royal visitors left Lewes through streets thronged with well-wishers. As they departed, the Royal Standard, which had been flown over the brew house as they arrived, was duly lowered.

‘Here’s A Health Unto Her Majesty’

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FULLER’S | profile

“It’s exciting to be coming back,” says Georgina, whose first brewing job was at Smiles in her native Bristol in the early 1990s. “My training is in brewing, and I worked in brewing for 14 years, so to have this opportunity again is absolutely wonderful. It’s really exciting. “The passion for beer is still there, and the quality of our pubs has gone from strength to strength [in the past seven years]. The export market has grown; the desire for chilled and filtered beers is rapidly increasing. Obviously, the family still has very firm control of the business, which is wonderful. It’s keen for us to continue brewing here at Chiswick.” Given Derek’s past, the issue of Fuller’s

leaving Chiswick is one he considers carefully. He envisages a bright future for the company. “New opportunities won’t fall into the [brewery’s] lap, but they are there,” he says. “The estate is very strong; it has been improved dramatically over the past 30 years. But financially it will be a challenge to stay on this site. The family still consider it very important. I hope they retain that sense of history. All the feedback I’ve got suggests they will.” In the past few years, of course, the London brewing scene has exploded.

There are around 50 breweries in the capital now, a fact that pleases Derek. Few will be surprised if he gets involved with one of them soon, as a “brewmasterconsultant”, as he puts it; a role with Truman’s – where head brewer Ben Ott is doing much to build the revived company’s reputation – would be neat. “I’d like to have a brewing role, but not so full-time,” Derek says. “I’ve spoken with the Institute of Brewing & Distilling about doing tutoring and educational

“Up until now, the ‘craft’ brewing sector has been concentrating on cask and I think now it’s a case of, let’s keep that tradition, but also put beer into the format that some of the public would like”

ABOVE: Beer has been brewed on the Chiswick site for more than 350 years

work. And the Beer Academy; maybe I’ll do some work there. I’d like a more active role with one of the London brewers, perhaps. I see a use for me there.” Georgina, meanwhile, has been tasked

with overseeing the next stage of Fuller’s evolution, alongside head brewer John Keeling. “We are investing in new capacity,” she says. “We’ve got to look at new technology. We’ve got to be leading in that field; we’ve got to use our space here smartly. We will always be brewing here on this site. I think some people are surprised when they come to Fuller’s and find out how olde worlde it is. Yet we have these wonderful stainless steel vessels and produce the beer that we do.” It’s the best time to be a brewer in London for a century, Derek believes. A new, more expansive era has arrived and he has no intention of leaving just yet. “It’s a really encouraging time,” says Derek. “Up until now, the ‘craft’ brewing sector has been concentrating on cask and I think now it’s a case of, let’s keep that tradition, but also put beer into the format that some of the public would like. We need to give them different flavours, not just the same styles of beer. We need to maybe be a bit more adventurous.” SPRING 2014 BEER 21

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travel | GERMANY

Boots, beer gardens &Bavaria Despite a native passion for hiking, Germany has yet to grab the imagination of British walkers, but the combination of stunning scenery and fine beer is proving impossible to resist, as Des de Moor reports

It’s a fine, clear day in early June at

the Hörnle Alm, a chalet perched precariously some 1,431 metres up on one of the three peaks of the Hörnle mountain in the Ammergauer Alps. To the south, a jagged line of snowcapped mountaintops rises above the swathes of pine forest, surmounted by the splendour of Germany’s highest peak, the Zugspitze (2,962 metres). To the north, the slopes fall away into a more gently rolling landscape of fields and lakes, traversed by the lazy meanders of the River Ammer. Spring was wetter than usual, and the grass in the steep meadows around the alm is rich and green, dotted with brightly coloured flowers. Here and there, knots of honey-coloured cattle graze, the hollow clanging of the bells around their necks providing an ever-present ambient backdrop to the crunch of feet on the gravelly mountain path. In Bavaria, an alm is an Alpine summer pasture, or the buildings associated with it, including chalets such as this one – all carved natural wood and projecting gables surmounted, as usual in this deeply Catholic land, by a cross. But rather Bavarian beer – a refreshing reward for walkers in the Ammergauer Alps 22 BEER SPRING 2014

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British visitors might be surprised to ďŹ nd good local beer in this remote little place, but from a Bavarian perspective, its absence would be unthinkable

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GERMANY ¦ travel

LEFT TO RIGHT: A Bavarian alm, offering refreshment to locals and visitors; the picturesque spa village of Bad Kohlgrub, in Bavaria

than sheltering cows, this building offers whenever the weather allows it. This is a refreshment to walkers, mountain bikers largely rural, agrarian region and beer is and, in winter, skiers. On a fine day like a local product: both grains and hops (the today, when the network of hill tracks is celebrated Hallertauer) are grown here. busy with locals and visitors enjoying the So there’s a clear logic to its role in the clear air and views, it does a roaring enjoyment of the great outdoors. trade in coffee, home-made A couple of days earlier, our This is a cakes – and beer. little group was wandering largely rural, There’s only one choice: the lower-lying paths agrarian region and a very decent wheat beer to the north when we beer is a local product: from Karg in Murnau. happened upon a small both grains and hops It doesn’t have far to lake in the forest – an (the celebrated travel – to the north-east inviting spot for a picnic you can spot the town lunch. Four men, two of Hallertauer) are beside Lake Staffelsee, and them dressed obligingly in grown here on a clear day, with a pair lederhosen and felt hats stuck of binoculars, you might even be with feathers, were already there, able to pick out the squat tower of the and already drinking beer. It transpired brewery. No roads climb this far up, so this was their regular Sunday routine – the last stage of the beer’s journey is by they turned up early to look after the lake, a precarious chairlift. and with work out of the way, they settled down on the verandah of their little hut to pass the time of day and work their way British visitors might be surprised to through a case of Murnau’s finest. find good local beer in this remote little One of my companions, Terry place, but from a Bavarian perspective, Marquand, from Ipswich, Suffolk, first its absence would be unthinkable. It’s discovered the pleasures of combining not just that beer drinking plays a key beer and walking in this very part of the role in the culture of this largest and world. “My late wife was German,” he most distinctive of German länder tells me, “and in the 1970s and 1980s (states). Equally important is where and we often walked in Bavaria with her how the beer is drunk, whether that’s octogenarian uncle and his friend. communally, in big halls or outdoors,

“They kept little black books of their favourite walks, which always involved a visit to a pub,” continues Terry. “One of them would say, ‘let’s walk out to this village on Tuesday’, and the other would check in the book and say, ‘no, we can’t go there on Tuesday because that’s the local pub’s ruhetag ’, its weekly rest day. It was essential to end up in a good pub with good wine and good beer.” Today, Terry’s a real ale drinker and a CAMRA volunteer – he chairs the Ipswich and East Suffolk branch tasting panel and acts as a brewery liaison officer. We’re here with 22 other visitors from the UK for a week-long beer garden walking holiday under the very capable leadership of Alf Robertson and Alison Sadnicka, one-time teachers and now experienced holiday guides. We re based at the foot of the Hörnle,

in the spa village of Bad Kohlgrub. It’s a picturesque place tucked away in the foothills, where traditionally styled, whitewashed houses decorated with painted medieval scenes and religious homilies in Gothic script cluster round a pretty town hall square. Our hotel is comfortable and hospitable, with a restaurant serving up hearty help-yourself buffets and a bar where Karg and SPRING 2014 BEER 25

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travel ¦ GERMANY In the other direction is achingly picturesque Oberammergau, famed for its Passion Play and something of a tourist trap

unfiltered HackerPschorr Kellerbier (5.5 per cent ABV) add interest to the range from Munich’s Paulaner. There’s a scattering of other CAMRA members in our group, but we’re not all here for the beer. Graham and Jane, from Leamington Spa, came for the mix of nature and culture with the beer gardens an added attraction. “I’m not a beer expert, but I like the idea of stopping a lot,” says Graham. Jane is particularly taken with the scenery and architecture. “Mountain streams, snowy Alps and Baroque churches,” she sighs. “It’s everything I expected it would be.” She’s not wrong. This is the Bavaria of the tourist brochures, the far south of Oberbayern, or Upper Bavaria, a mountain goat’s jump from Austria. The scenery on the rim of the mountains is stunningly varied, and the trip takes full advantage of it, with both easier and harder walks each day. Besides the mountain hikes, there are less challenging options lower down, where the numerous lakes provide scenic highlights. One of the most splendid is the aforementioned Staffelsee, the eye-candy setting that inspired Expressionist painters Wassily Kandinsky and his partner, Gabriele Münter, in the early 20th century. We walk beside the lake and through

its adjoining woodlands, marshes and nature reserves to a big pub and beer garden labelled, with some justification, Alpenblick, or Alpine view. The huge garden looks across the placid blue expanse, dotted with wooded islands, to Murnau and, rising above it, the grey and white procession of mountaintops, their cracked tooth silhouettes reflecting on the water’s surface. We soak up the fine view over lagers and wheat beers, pale and dark, from Hofbräu (HB) in Munich, before a gentle boat trip back to town.

on questionable evidence of insanity, then found dead in the Starnbergersee in circumstances never entirely explained. Linderhof is Ludwig’s French rococo mansion enclosed by terraced formal gardens with spectacular fountains. It’s set within rolling acres of woods and parkland dotted with extravagant features, including a Venus grotto, a Moorish kiosk with a peacock throne and wooden buildings based on scenes from operas by Richard Wagner. Even more spectacular ‒ and more

visited – is Schloss Neuschwanstein at Hohenschwangau. From the viewpoint of the nearby Marienbrücke, with craggy mountains looming far above and the waters raging in a gorge below, the eccentrically turreted mock medieval castle atop the hill looks like something Linderhof Palace, in south-west Bavaria from a Disney film – unsurprisingly, as it was the model for Snow White’s castle. In the other direction is achingly After a fine hike in the woods above picturesque Oberammergau, famed for its the adjoining lake, we retire to the Passion Play and something of a tourist Schlossbräustüberl to enjoy creamy trap. But if you look, you’ll find quiet König Ludwig wheat beer (5.5 per cent) squares with independent shops and – and classic nutty dark lager brewed in right next to the church where the play Kaltenberg by Prince Luitpold, Ludwig’s began – the Maxbräu brewpub, a homely distant nephew. I can’t imagine Ludwig place improbably located in the corner drinking them, though, except possibly of a rather posh hotel. It makes served in a ram’s horn at his a perfumed and flavoursome Wagnerian playhouse. Wheat beer unfiltered, unpasteurised Tour operator Ramblers producer Karg, and, unusually, warmWorldwide Holidays founded in 1899, fermented pale (RWH) sees beer takes pride in being the kellerbier, alongside gardens as a great way town s last surviving, a changing seasonal. of selling Germany as This is also the land a walking destination. old-established of tragic, romantic King Despite its native brewery and is well Ludwig and his famous walking tradition, fine loved locally castles. Ludwig II (1845-86), and varied landscapes, good effectively the last king of an paths and celebrated efficiency, independent Bavaria, was a sensitive and the country has traditionally been a hard conflicted soul completely unsuited to sell to British walkers. One of the positive statesmanship, who quite literally built things it’s well known for, however, is its himself a self-indulgent fantasy world. He beer. “You can put nice pictures in the was ultimately deposed by his ministers brochure till the cows come home,” says

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CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Schloss Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau; an Oberammergau hotel; Griesbräu brewery; König Ludwig Dunkel

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@rudgatebrewery •

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GERMANY ¦ travel

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: The copper vessels at Griesbräu brewery, Murnau; walkers in the German Alps; Murnau s spectacular backdrop

leader Alf, “but you need something to click in the client’s mind, and beer is the hook to do this.” It helps that beer and walking go together in Germany even more than they do in Britain. “If you go to an unwardened mountain hut, the two things you are guaranteed to find there are logs for the stove and a case of beer, paid for via an honesty box,” says RWH’s itineraries manager Michael Hatch, who devised the trip. “If you put beer, walking and castles together, you have a very good holiday… I hope.” Michael’s hopes appear to have been fulfilled – in 2013, the first year of the tour, all departures quickly sold out. The trip bypasses areas normally top of the list for the dedicated beer tourist, such as Upper Franconia with its myriad tiny breweries and unusual styles. But everywhere in Bavaria there’s something of beer interest not far away. Murnau boasts two beer gems which, though not included in the organised activities, are easily accessed using trains. Wheat beer producer Karg, founded in

1899, takes pride in being the town’s last surviving, old-established brewery and is well loved locally, though its distinctively fruity traditional unfiltered beers now find their way to the rest of Germany and

1676, and brewed its own beer until abroad. Things are getting even more interesting thanks to enthusiastic Victoria 1917. That tradition was revived in 2000 by current owner Michael Gilg, who Schubert, a beer sommelier and former converted a big, vaulted space previously Londoner, who now runs things jointly used as a storeroom into a brewpub, with her father, Franz. She’s behind complementing an already extensive innovations like a new pale wheat beer, restaurant and hotel. the ‘strongly hopped’ Staffelsee-Gold (5.8 per cent) – strikingly assertive by local standards, with English-grown Cascade Through an arch you ll discover a lending vivid floral and citrusy tones. delightful courtyard beer garden insulated Karg arranges brewery tours for from the bustle of the street by solid pre-booked groups, but anyone early-19th-century buildings and can visit the Bräustüberl, the dappled shade of trees. A buffet dispenses or brewery tap, on Big picture windows in hearty local cuisine at the main street at front of you reveal the reasonable prices, with Untermarkt 27. computer-controlled an impressive array Refurbished in 10hl brewhouse with summer 2013, it stocks its two gleaming copper of vegetarian options international beers as vessels. The natural alongside substantial well as Karg’s brews, and elegance of the bare brick chunks of poultry matches them with food – arches in a spacious interior and meat both highly unusual practices helps achieve an effect that’s in Germany. “Most people round pleasingly both contemporary and here just drink the beer from Murnau or traditional. A food buffet dispenses hearty Munich,” says Victoria. “But there are local cuisine at very reasonable prices, now sensational beers from around the with a surprisingly impressive array of world, and we want to help our customers vegetarian options alongside substantial discover them.” chunks of poultry and meat, and bread International influences are seeping made with spent grains. in, too, at Griesbräu, at the opposite end Griesbräu produces three regular of the main street at Obermarkt 37. It’s beers – an outstanding full-bodied, been a local institution since at least perfumed helles; a traditional dunkles; SPRING 2014 BEER 29

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GERMANY ¦ travel

PHOTOGRAPHS: ALAMY; GETTY; DES DE MOOR

LEFT TO RIGHT: Enjoying a drink at the end of a hike; the Benedictine monastery of Ettal Abbey has been brewing for 400 years

as the brewery, hotel and pub, there’s and a very good weizenbier – plus a the visitor centre, boarding school, art changing seasonal, served unpasteurised publishing house, cheese factory and and unfiltered. Michael holds monthly distillery producing herbal liqueurs. Bierseminaren for customers, and uses Despite its setting, the brewery is up to the seasonals as a chance to experiment, date and efficient, managed by a secular including with New World hops. And if head brewer, though one of the a beer seminar sounds forbiddingly monks helps out. Relics of academic, be reassured by how things used to be are Griesbräu’s strapline, For singles, preserved upstairs in a ‘Wo’s bier spaß macht!’ there s an instant museum with historic – where beer is fun! peer group. For couples, equipment, vintage Included in the there s the chance to photos of jolly brewing organised trip is a visit spend time with other monks and 1930s to one of Bavaria’s people as well as proclamations from the monastic breweries. The each other Führer on beer prices. Benedictine monastery at The beers are on sale Ettal near Oberammergau at the homely Bräustüberl traces its roots back to 1330, opposite. Unlike the Belgian Trappists, but didn’t start brewing until 1609, and German monasteries brew in generic has continued ever since, with nearly local styles, so Ettal offers pale and dark a century as a standalone commercial lagers, a pils and a Benediktiner wheat brewery after the monastery itself was beer (5.4 per cent) for everyday drinking, secularised in 1803. After the monks alongside a strong Bock (7.2 per cent), returned in 1900, the little hamlet all unpasteurised. They’re classy stuff, too gradually expanded into the rather – the smooth, delicate, chaffy, caramelcurious tourist attraction of today. tinged Kloster-Dunkel (5 per cent) is an impressive example of its style, while The monastery ‒ a rather forbidding Curator Dunkler Doppelbock (7 per cent) 1750s Italian-inspired baroque pile is a luscious, toffee and raisin classic. surmounted by a hefty dome – is well Though there’s great beer in worth seeing, but owes at least some of abundance, this is nonetheless a walking its fame to its flair for commerce. As well

holiday – even on the less challenging walks you still might clock up 10 miles a day. It’s also very much a group experience with socialising built in – a big plus point for many of my fellow walkers. I wouldn t want to come and just walk

round like a robot,” says Phil from Stokeon-Trent. “It’s the social side, too, and finishing up with a good beer is perfect for that.” For singles, there’s an instant peer group. For couples, there’s the chance to spend time with other people as well as each other. We’re not a youthful bunch either, despite the obvious walking fitness on display. But all agree we’re a friendly one. “It seems like a big family,” says John from Cambridge. “Maybe it’s the beer!” Leaders Alison and Alf admit they’re not beer experts. “It’s reminded me how much I like beer,” says Alison. “On a hot day after a good walk, that first whoosh of beer down the throat, it’s just…” She hesitates, then sighs. “It’s just lovely.”

Further information

Des travelled courtesy of Ramblers Worldwide Holidays. For information about Bavarian Beer Gardens departures in 2014, contact 01707 331133 or visit www.ramblersholidays.co.uk. SPRING 2014 BEER 31

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feature ¦ REAL ALE HEROES

Real Ale Heroes Number four: John Young

Young’s man

Drinkers may not often have cause to toast brewery owners, but John Young fought to maintain his brewery s independence and dedication to real ale ‒ often at reputational and financial risk, as Michael Hardman recalls The first time John Young set foot inside the Ram

brewery, which his great-great-grandfather had bought in 1831, he was in his late 20s and wearing the uniform of a Royal Navy lieutenant commander. It was just after World War II and although he had distinguished himself at the controls of fighter planes and been a leader of men, he was considered to be a rather shy soul who wouldn’t say “boo” to a goose. All that was to change, however, as he gradually forged a name for himself as a businessman, first in shipping and eventually in brewing, where he had the foresight to promote traditional methods of brewing and serving British beer at a time when the entire industry seemed hell-bent on foisting processed beer onto an unquestioning public. Mr John, as he became known, had no experience of brewing when he bowled up in Wandsworth one morning to begin what was to end up as 52 years of service to Young’s. He and his three brothers, who were all to become executive directors, had been kept away from the brewery by their father, Allen Young, so that they could learn to make their own way in the world. Both Allen Young and his uncle Henry, who was chairman for 34 years, had joined the board

There is no substitute for good beer. Our draught beer trade continues to increase and we have found it necessary to start making 36-gallon casks. We have deliberately abstained from supply Keg Beer to our tied houses

when they were 21, but when John Young became the first of the brothers to work for the firm – and not even as a director – he was already 33. Allen Young took the reins when Henry Young died in 1957. Unusually in the industry, he was a socialist and had been invited by the Labour Party to stand for parliament. In his relatively brief time as chairman (five years), he introduced a scheme that gave his workers a share in the profits created by their toil. John Young inherited his father’s brainchild when he became chairman in 1962 just as the board and its lawyers were putting the finishing touches to the Ram Brewery Trust, as the scheme was dubbed. The workers were allotted shares they could redeem when they retired to supplement pensions. The trust was launched in 1964, the year in which

John Young had the considerable courage to stand up to champion the cause of what would, a decade later, become known as real ale. His crusade was a master stroke that defined his chairmanship. In Young’s annual report that year, he wrote: “There is no substitute for good beer. Our draught beer trade continues to increase and we have found it necessary to start making 36-gallon casks, a size that hitherto was dying out in our area. We have deliberately abstained from supply Keg Beer [his capitals] to our tied houses.” He added: “Keg is not draught beer, but in most respects a bottled beer in a large container. It is

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The statement caused a stir in the industry and among investment analysts. John Young was collared at a Brewers Society meeting by a rival who said Young s pubs would soon be the refuge of old codgers living in the past

filtered and, by necessity, is more gassy than draught beer though less than bottled beer. We do not dispute that it may be more convenient, and unfortunately these days quality is often sacrificed for convenience, but it is also more expensive.” These were the words of a man born into an industry that was turning its back on the stuff that had slaked the thirsts of Britons for hundreds of years. He was not only a Young, but also the son of Joan Barrow Simonds, a member of the Simonds family whose brewery in Reading had been taken over by Courage, one of the Big Six brewers that, at the time, produced four-fifths of Britain’s beer. The statement caused a stir in the industry and among investment analysts. John Young was collared at a Brewers’ Society meeting by a rival who said Young’s pubs would soon be the refuge of old codgers living in the past. A hearse was passing by at the time and someone shouted out: “Look, Young! There’s one of your customers, never to be replaced.”

But Mr John was not to be browbeaten. To support his campaign, he drew up a list of Young’s tied houses, around 130 at the time, got it printed as a pocketsized leaflet, with the headline ‘real draught beer and where to find it’, and sent bundles to all the pubs. It was a roaring success, which resulted in greatly increased custom in Young’s pubs and a fan club of sorts being set up after two customers had used the leaflet to visit every pub and drink a pint in each. They wrote to the brewery with news of their achievement and were presented with a brewery tie and free beer. The idea spread like wildfire among discerning drinkers, helped by the formation of a 135 Association, without any advertising or promotion by Young’s, but with much encouragement to its leaders. More than 4,000 people have since completed the tour, some of them for a second or third time. By sheer coincidence, the week that CAMRA was

founded, in March 1971, the Sunday Mirror listed Young’s Special (4.5 per cent ABV) at the top of a table of strong beers it had sampled. The four CAMRA founders had until then never heard of Young’s beers. But John Young became an early supporter of the campaign and appeared on a show about CAMRA on Radio London, along with Chris Hutt, author of The Death of the English Pub, who was to be CAMRA’s second national chairman, and the programme’s host, Jeremy Beadle, who later found fame as the presenter of TV shows such as Game for SPRING 2014 BEER 33

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REAL ALE HEROES ¦ feature

a Laugh plus was briefly on CAMRA’s national executive. This was CAMRA’s debut on radio or TV, just before its membership mushroomed. Flushed with the success of his pub list, Mr John set about building the brewery’s profitability and reputation further with a string of innovations. He introduced children’s rooms, launched the Beer Squad to deliver beer to people’s houses, pioneered four-pint cans and negotiated with a Belgian brewery for Young’s to be brewed there. To keep his shareholders on side, he souped

up the company’s AGM and moved it from the brewery cellars to Wandsworth Town Hall and eventually to the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane. He would race through the agenda so that no time was lost on the buffets and drinking the free ale and wine. He wore boxing gloves, carried a gladiator’s shield and draped his head in a beekeeper’s hat on occasions when he

He was close to the workforce. He knew not only their first names, but often their wives and children s. Many shared in the delight when their offspring opened an envelope bearing Mr John s writing on birthdays needed to fight off criticism. And he even opened the doors to let in a pair of Shire horses pulling a Young’s dray to emphasise his traditionalist outlook. Horses delivered Young’s beer from the time the brewery opened in the reign of Elizabeth I until Elizabeth II had notched up 53 years on the throne in 2006, when the brewery closed. The horse historian Keith Chivers said that if it hadn’t been for John Young, the future of the Shire breed would have been in danger. Mr John populated the stables with goats, donkeys, a ram, ducks and peacocks. Oh yes, and geese, presumably so that he could say “boo” to them. He was unusually close to the brewery workforce. He knew not only all their first names and where they lived, but often their wives’ and children’s names. Many employees shared in the delight with which their offspring opened an envelope bearing Mr John’s unmistakable handwriting on their birthdays, knowing there would be a £10 or £20 note inside the card. Until the last few years of his life, he also tried to visit every Young’s pub before Christmas to deliver a handwritten card to the licensees. His letters, at any time of the year, were all handwritten, with the exception of lengthy business correspondence.

His generosity reached out into the charity world, where he was chairman of the governors of the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases in Bloomsbury. He roped in the Princess of Wales as patron and commissioned a sculptor to produce a likeness of her for the entrance hall. When he sought a date when Princess Diana could attend a ceremony, he asked: “When are you going to unveil your bust?” His work for the hospital (now the National Hospital

for Neurology and Neurosurgery), was instrumental in him being appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1975. He invited the Queen on a tour of the brewery in 1981. Before he died, in 2006, the CAMRA London branches named an annual award for services to real ale after John Young. He was the first to win it, but he was too ill to receive it formally. Only two months earlier, when visibly weak, he spoke at the firm’s annual meeting to explain why the brewery was closing. He received a prolonged standing ovation for his honesty and bravery, and then sank back in his chair. The day after his death, the final brew left the mash tuns and coppers. The timing was eerie. SPRING 2014 BEER 35

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Lancashire hot spot From sad, funereal times for drinkers 40 years ago, Lancashire is now a thriving place to brew and drink great beer

brewery in Blackburn. Formerly the home of Dutton, it was also devoted to keg, but CAMRA member involves reading even this dried up when it closed in 1978. a report about the demise of Yates & Along with Y&J, there were three Jackson (Y&J) brewery. It was early 1985, other independent companies listed for the business had just been taken over by the county in that first Good Beer Guide – Thwaites and brewing had ceased. Mitchell’s, Thwaites and Lion. Mitchell’s What’s Brewing carried pictures of seized the opportunity presented by the several hundred CAMRA members, closure of Y&J by moving from its own soberly dressed, marching through the brewery in Lancaster into the Y&J site, streets of Lancaster in a mock wake. but the brewery was eventually closed I was impressed that so many people – not when the company decided to focus on all of them local – should take the time pubs and quit beer production in 1999. It to tell the world that they were unhappy is, however, a brewer once again, having with what had transpired. The ink on acquired York brewery in 2008. my membership card was barely dry, but I knew I was in good company. The closure of Y&J was one of a The company that closed Y&J, Daniel number of traumatic events that coloured Thwaites, was founded in 1807 and is the Lancashire brewing scene in the today the county’s major producer, with first couple of decades of CAMRA’s an estate of pubs that stretches down existence. Right from the start, to the Cotswolds. Prolonged campaigners were up against negotiations to move out of Moorhouse s, it in this county of contrasts, its home in Blackburn city for decades, was where Industrial Revolution centre to a modern site in known as a producer towns sit coddled by rolling of soft drinks and the town have delayed the hills and moors. next stage of the company’s low-strength The first Good Beer development, but the business hop bitters Guide, published in 1974, has found a new lease of life revealed a trio of breweries through its short-run beer division owned by the national companies in the – a 20-barrel microbrewery, known as county, but all were, sadly, doomed. Bass Crafty Dan, within the main brewery. Charrington operated sites at Burnley But Thwaites doesn’t have things all its (the former Massey’s brewery) and own way in Lancashire. Its biggest rival Blackpool (erstwhile home of Catterall stands 10 miles along the M65 in Burnley, & Swarbrick), but both had closed by a company that has been in existence the time the next edition of the guide since 1865, but only began producing was released a year later, their output beer in the late 1970s. Moorhouse’s, for incorporated into a new keg-only brewery decades, was known as a producer of soft at Runcorn, Cheshire. Whitbread ran a drinks and low-strength (below 2 per

ALAMY

One of my earliest memories as a

cent ABV) hop bitters, but decided to brew the real thing in 1978, when family ownership had run its course and the company entered new hands. The acquisition of the foundering business by businessman Bill Parkinson in 1985 then led to years of steady progress, which have suddenly turned into a huge leap ahead, with the opening of a new state-of-the-art brewhouse in 2010. Moorhouse’s beers, some named after the

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LANCASHIRE ¦ regional report

local legend of the Pendle Witches, can now be found worldwide. Lion, the third independent brewery mentioned in the 1974 Good Beer Guide, is better known as Matthew Brown. This became part of a notorious takeover battle in the 1980s, when Scottish & Newcastle (S&N) came calling. The fact that Matthew Brown had earlier acquired real ale favourite Theakston added spice to the campaign to keep the business independent. The battle was hard fought, but S&N prevailed and Matthew Brown closed in 1991, despite public assurances from the victor that the site was ‘sacrosanct’. All this busy action involving

Lancashire’s big regional breweries has stolen the headlines over the years, largely obscuring the steady rise of the small brewer in the county, which is now very well served with cask ale. The Good Beer

Guide 2014 lists no fewer than 20 breweries, some already with historical foundations. Hart of Preston, for example, was set up as long ago as 1995, at the time in Little Eccleston, while Three B’s – now just outside Blackburn – came along in 2001, founder Robert Bell adopting terms from the region’s cotton industry for his beers, which include Bobbins Bitter (3.8 per cent) and Shuttle Ale (5.2 per cent). Of the other new breweries, perhaps the most successful has Matthew been Lancaster, which opened Brown closed in in 2005. 1991, despite public If you can twist your assurances from tongue around the the victor that spoonerising names of the site was Poulton-le-Fylde’s Fuzzy ABOVE: Ribble Valley contrasts sacrosanct with the county s industrial past Duck brewery – Pheasant Plucker or Cunning Stunt (both 4.3 per cent) – then you can enjoy beers from this 2006-established concern, too. Among the newest arrivals is Warton’s Old School, based next to former educational premises. With beer names to reflect this, it has never been more pleasurable to pay a visit to the Headmaster (4.5 per cent) and be given Detention (4.1 per cent). There are also thriving brewpubs, including Burscough, based in the town’s Hop Vine pub. The early days of CAMRA in Lancashire may have had a rather sad air, but it’s a fun, thriving place to drink now.

Jeff Evans is the author of CAMRA s Good Bottled Beer Guide, now in its eighth edition, and has written widely on beer and brewing.

Read more of Jeff s work at www.insidebeer.com

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feature | MY LOCAL

MY LOCAL

musical

Pubs provide one of the few places you can drink real ale from the cask and have played a key role in keeping music live as well – CAMRA members celebrate those that hit the right note

WILL AMLOT

RODLEY BARGE, LEEDS

It’s difficult to encompass just what makes a pub great. It’s an amalgamation of many simple things, like a friendly, warm atmosphere, often engendered by a real fire; the shiny brass on the beer engines letting you know, instinctively, that the beer will be as good as it can be; friendly staff; and a good choice of drinks. The Rodley has three permanent ales and an ever-changing pair of guests, mainly from Yorkshire breweries. All those put together, along with regular live music nights (start time is 9pm – check the website or Facebook to find out who’s playing), make the Rodley a fantastic family-run, and, thankfully, free house pub. It’s situated alongside the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in the small village ‘The pub of Rodley, almost halfway between Leeds and Bradford. The pub is actually sits largely unchanged in appearance, with original beams and stonework, below the water level, but it’s a wellalthough there has been some redecoration. built canal – the Local bands perform regularly, usually on Friday or Saturday nights, Victorians knew with the annual highlight a beer and bands festival, run for the past six their craft’ years over the August bank holiday weekend. Of the bands that have performed here, the most successful is The Stolen Mondeos, who toured as support band for Lily Allen. During the summer months, landlord Stuart has difficulty keeping up with demand for real ale in the low-ceilinged cellar, where there is room for around 15-30 firkins. A firkin usually lasts about a day and a half, so the beer is always fresh. There’s a real community feeling in the bar where everyone is ‘family’; whoever you are and whatever your background, you’ll be made to feel welcome. The pub actually sits below the water level, but it’s a well-built canal (the Victorians knew their craft), so damp is not a problem and the good-sized beer garden overlooks the towpath and barges. It’s a two-roomed pub and the room on the canal side has the real fire and is actually shaped like the interior of a barge! Opening hours are 12-11pm (check before travelling), with an extension for live music nights. Food is served 12-2pm weekdays and 12-4pm weekends. DAVID WOODHEAD David tweets @davidwoodhead26. Follow @therodleybarge or visit www.therodleybarge.co.uk for the latest news from the pub. 38 BEER SPRING 2014

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feature | MY LOCAL

ELM TREE, CAMBRIDGE

The Elm Tree is a 19th-century pub, tucked away in the backstreets of Cambridge, only a short walk from the city centre, at the merging of a few narrow streets in an area that was once a market garden. It seems deceptively larger outside than it feels inside. The newly repainted exterior is decorated with hand-drawn hops, there are a few benches in a suntrap along the lane on the southfacing side and three large arched windows look to the street. The building seems to contract as you step inside – a one-room pub with a dark wood interior, dimly lit with candles every evening, full of breweriana, bric-a-brac and beer bottles. A wide range of people come here, not least for the wide range of beer. The bar has about as many pumps as could fit on it, with 10 real ales, including beers from owners Charles Wells and B&T, several guests and fridges full of bottled Belgian beer. Despite the bewildering choice, the bar staff always seem to be able to guide people to the right one at the right time, and there are descriptive and persuasive menus written by landlord Rob, who knows a thing or two about Belgian beer – enough to have written a book on it. Most memorable for me are the occasions when I walk in and find B&T’s own Edwin Taylor’s Extra Stout (4.5 per cent ABV) on draught. Most of the time it’s a peaceful haven, a place to strike up a conversation or while away a few hours. But for at least the past 20 years since I first

‘It also puts visited, the Elm Tree has also put on on live music, no regular live music, no mean feat when mean feat when several nearby venues have since several nearby venues ceased to do so – perhaps surprising have ceased to do so for a city that once hosted some of – surprising for a city the first gigs by Pink Floyd and Nick that hosted some of Drake. Two decades ago, it was mostly the first gigs by jazz played at the Elm, open sessions in Pink Floyd’ the smoky bar, a large fish in a tank in the centre of the room and a wooden bar billiards table in one corner. It’s an airier room these days, with a low stage in one corner, installed by a previous landlord a few years ago, yet it still feels snug with even just a few people in, and has more varied music – acoustic, blues, folk, rock, even storytelling twice a year when the Travelling Talesman visits. The size and shape of the room seem to lend intimacy to whatever music is being played. Phil, a drummer for local blues band Silverbacks, told me: “It’s always one of my favourite gigs; you’re right on top of the crowd and there’s always a warm response.” It’s a similar warm response that has kept me, and it seems several locals, coming back here over the years. It could just be a coincidence that I’ve eventually ended up living in the next street. ADAM WALKER See more of Adam’s reviews at www.pintsandpubs. wordpress.com or follow him on @pintsandpubs. Visit www.theelmtreecambridge.co.uk for details.

The Cluny is a lively, loud and welcoming pub, with live music the main attraction for many people. One night it may be rammed with mature gentlemen who, 40 years ago, would have been described as long-haired louts, the following night you may be shoulder to shoulder with trendy, young student types. The Cluny has two venues, often with contrasting acts, so you may turn up to find yourself wedged between a grumpy old man and a cheerful young woman. The Cluny is in the Ouseburn Valley, a short walk from Newcastle city centre. It’s a Grade II listed building dating from 1848. Formerly a flax mill and a bonded

warehouse, it was designed by local architect John Dobson. The Cluny is part of the Head of Steam chain set up by long-standing CAMRA member Tony Brookes and recently bought by Camerons brewery, so cask beer is key with an interesting range of imported bottled beers, but I make a line for the seven handpumps with an ever-changing selection of beers from local and national breweries. Local breweries Wylam, Tyne Bank, Hadrian Border, Anarchy and Allendale are often available. Other local brewers, including Jarrow and Cullercoats, appear regularly. I almost always discover beers from breweries that I have never heard

SARAH LAQUIZ

CLUNY, NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE

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of from across Britain every time I visit the Cluny – and I visit frequently. Throughout the year there are themed festivals. For example, beer from Ireland for St Patrick’s Day, beers with names relating to Halloween, and so on. Perhaps the most recent interesting beer-related event was focused on Timothy Taylor – Landlord (4.3 per cent) casks were matured in the cellar for different lengths of time, so customers could taste the difference and decide which was their perfect pint. The first of the two music venues, Cluny, is predominantly standing, while Cluny 2 is usually seated. Cluny has a larger capacity and is better for

‘It has two venues, often with contrasting acts, so you may turn up to find yourself wedged nights there are veteran between a grumpy old performers. I have seen man and a cheerful a number of acts before they have made it big – young woman’

rock bands and loud energetic gigs, or ones that will attract a large audience. Cluny 2 was built as a theatre and is better suited to acoustic gigs and acts where the audience wishes to just sit and listen. The Cluny has a national and international reputation as a music venue. A number of promoters use the venues and, arguably, in my biased opinion (I check tickets on the door), it is the Jumpin’ Hot Club night that established the Cluny as a venue. The range of music performed is broad. Some nights there are many young bands on a packed bill, other

Jake Bugg, Duffy, Seasick Steve on his first tour, and many others. I have also seen acts that are part of the history of popular music: The New York Dolls, The Wailers, Elvis Presley’s guitarist James Burton to name just a few. The Cluny is a great pub for beer drinkers and music. I live a few hundred yards away and I always get a great welcome. Martin Ellis See www.thecluny.com or follow @thecluny for more information.

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MY LOCAL | feature

EAGLE INN (LAMP OIL), SALFORD

The Eagle Inn (also known as the Lamp Oil) is a Holt’s pub in Collier Street, Salford – a hidden gem that once served a thronging population from the nearby factories and the hundreds of terraced houses in the cobbled streets. The factories and most of the houses ‘The factories have gone and many ‘executiveand most of the style’ properties have been built. houses have gone and Alas, this did not bring the many new “executive” masses from the nearby flats properties built. Alas, and the pub was dying on its this did not bring the feet. I have been a regular in this masses from the pub since I moved to Salford in flats and the pub 2008 and have seen quite a few was dying’ landlords come and then go, with a host of temporary ones. Then, some 12 months or so ago, a young woman, Esther, took over the tenancy. A musician, she brought in a lot of younger customers, with the FAT CAT BREWERY TAP, NORWICH majority of the originals (some had Real ale and the hugely successful Fat Cat been drinking in the pub for 50 years) name are both a big part of the draw for many disappearing. The Holt’s bitter went up in price and a range of guest beers customers who visit this pub in Norwich, but were brought in along with a traditional those are by no means the only reasons. cider, almost at city-centre prices. As it’s The variety of excellent local bands brings my nearest pub I carried on going – not the crowds flocking regularly on a Friday as regularly as I used to, but still going night and Sunday afternoon. The eclectic mix for the odd couple of pints. includes skiffle bands, jazz, blues, rock ’n’ roll, Now, with the building next door pop and even brass bands have played at the converted into a music venue, the place Tap. Sensibly, the bar (made from the most is thriving with young people and local gorgeous plank of oak I will surely ever lean musicians. Live music is on every night, on) is well stocked with staff! with many of the Blueprint Studios Most Thursdays the Tap holds an acoustic customers, just down the road, popping in – these include regular Elbow’s Guy night or a popular quiz (it must be the free Garvey. What was once a thriving Joey’s snacks, as the questions are tough!). Its recent backstreet boozer that was dead on beer festival was ambitious to say the least. The theme was CAMRA champion its feet has been brought back to life beers from each ceremonial county, which was very successful and introduced many with lots of young customers. Many of customers to some cracking beers that can be hard to get hold of, unless you fetch the these are from nearby flats as well as cask yourself, which is what Mark the landlord did! Usually, around 17 real ales (on the music industry. It may not be the draught and gravity) are available, including from the Fat Cat range brewed on site. boozer it used to be, but it’s still there I believe the Fat Cat brewery produces one of the largest ranges of real ales in Norfolk. and may it remain so. GRAHAM DONNING Graham is instrumental in organising the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival – see www.manchesterbeerfestival.org. uk or follow @mancbeerfest for details. Follow @theeagleinnsalford for details of upcoming events.

Real ciders, perries, fruit and continental beers are also well represented. There is even a basket with newspapers (with a spare pair of reading glasses) and a suggestion box, as well as a traffic light on the rafters (which shows green when the pub is open and changes to amber at last orders, then red at ‘time’!). Norwich is a fantastic and friendly place, with a huge array of pubs showcasing superb real ales from near and far, and the Fat Cat Tap is certainly tapping into the hearts and minds of beer-loving Norwich folk. EMMA PINDER Visit www.fatcattap.co.uk or follow @fatcattap. Follow Emma @norwichcamra

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food ¦ BEER & FOOD

PERFECT MATCH Susan Nowak compares and contrasts two very different approaches to pairing food with good beer I haven t got a passport. I ve

never been abroad in my life,” says Roger Cudlip, a fixture in the Tom Cobley Tavern, a Dartmoor alehouse these four centuries past. Stuart O’Dell, on the other hand, has been to Argentina, Japan, across the US and Europe, even Kazakhstan, in a quest for interesting beers that now brings him to Teign Cellars in Newton Abbot. The former was CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year 2006, a finalist in 2012, and Roger’s local before he bought it a decade ago. The latter is not in the Good Beer Guide because it only opened in May last year. The first is the postcardperfect hostelry steeped in history where Tom and his mates raised a glass in 1802 before galloping to Widecombe Fair. The other is stylish, edgy, sells beers from KeyKegs alongside cask and might just be a blueprint for the future. What they have in common, apart from being in Devon, is that both serve excellent real ales and outstanding food, and make you feel glad to be on their premises enjoying both. At the Tom Cobley I found pub soul food served with 14 changing West Country ales

– all £2.90 a pint – and even more ciders, £3 a pint (local CAMRA 2013 Cider Pub; ciders sourced by Roger’s daughter, Lucy). A director of Dartmoor brewery was there enjoying his Legend (4.4 per cent ABV), and Mr Tucker of Tuckers Maltings popped in. eaters. Our Sunday roast is This is so my sort of phenomenal,” says Roger. His menu it was hard to choose. wife, Carol, and fellow cook Pheasant and venison sausages Paul Lethbridge serve hearty handmade by Roger, previously platefuls with plenty of fresh a local butcher – “I can tell you veg, terrific value at mainly which field the cow around £10, from The has been walking classic liver and first is the around in,” he bacon to duck postcard-perfect says of their beef and cherry pie hostelry steeped in – were almost plus a dozen history where Tom irresistible, but veggie dishes. and his mates the steak and And for those raised a glass kidney pudding with space left, in 1802 proved even harder Carol makes the to resist. sort of afters fast This one was meltingly becoming rare – treacle suet unctuous – the suet crust, pudding, apple crumble with lamb’s kidney, beef and really clotted cream or custard… buttery mash. Happily, I also got to choose my companions’ We left the Tom Cobley, food, too, so also dug into a hopefully good for another fine chicken, ham and tarragon 400 years, and drove down to pie, and a joint of belly pork – Newton Abbot’s East Street pull-apart meat under snappy where Teign Cellars is the crackling, gravy, home-made latest addition to an expanding stuffing and apple sauce. ale ’n’ cider culture. “This is a farming Stuart, qualified chef and community and they’re all big joint owner, gained a South

Devon CAMRA award for promoting real ales when he ran the Weary Ploughman in Churston a decade ago. He is “passionate about ale”. Maybe that’s why you read through 30 pages of beer and cider on their beer menu before reaching a pared-down food section at the back. Stuart calls it “a twist to normal pub grub”. I can see why. This is gregarious, sharing food that entertains the taste buds and starts conversations. First out were Cricket Ball Scotch Eggs – blood and duck (that’s duck egg encased in black pudding, £5), pork and paprika or chorizo, £4.50 each. James Anderson could bowl out any Aussie with one of these beasts – and I was bowled over. Just one segmented egg fed three of us when accompanied by their small (small!) sausage platter and a portion of handcut chips I overheard

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CLOCKWISE FROM FAR LEFT: Old Slug Porter;

lip-smacking lamb shanks; Stuart O’Dell with pub fare; Tom Cobley Tavern pump clips

FRAN NOWAK; ALAMY

and Harbour’s Imperial Chocolate Vanilla Stout (8.7 per cent). Cask ales included Moor’s Illusion and Bristol Beer Factory’s Milk Stout (both 4.5 per cent); and a local Bays or Teignworthy brewery ale is always on. “I am shocked at how my customers have embraced the more obscure types of beer,” says Stuart.

another diner dub “the best. Anywhere. Ever.” The sausage platter itself is as well sculpted as a Tate exhibit: five fat bangers cocktail-sticked into a porky pyramid. Stuart’s sos ’n’ condiment choice is inspired – pork and leek, Toulouse, Cumberland, herb and Old English with properly fermented sauerkraut, honey mustard and garlic mayo. He also offers pork pies that are claimed to be “probably the best in the country”, which he sources in Norfolk. Weighing in at a pound each, £3.50 a half or £7 whole, with home-made piccalilli and onion marmalade. We tasted the trad pie with herbs and it was very fine; there

are two more – mild chilli or chorizo and smoked paprika, but you muck about with pork pie at your peril. Two other sharing platters are likewise an eyeful and more than enough for two – cheese of Dorset Red, Cornish Yarg, Camelot Cheddar, Devon Blue and Cornish Camembert, or meat of prosciutto, Serrano, chorizo, ham and salami, £6.50 each or £7.50 combo with sourdough bread, crackers and proper chutney. There is hot food – sizzling skillets from breakfast to balti, steak ’n’ ribs, home-made burgers, including wild mushroom, and lamb shank in porter (see recipe, right). But I can’t imagine ever getting there, the cold dishes just tango with the beer. Ah, the beer. ‘Craft’ as well as cask. Dinosaur-like, I have totally ignored this issue only to find nemesis in Newton Abbot. Statistically, Teign Cellars stocks up to 10 ‘craft’ keg beers, five cask ales, eight ciders on gravity and more than 150 bottled ales, ciders and lagers in their cellar shop. Among the non-cask on our visit were Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch (8.3 per cent), Magic Rock’s Salty Kiss (5 per cent)

He and business partner

Stuart’s Old Slug Lamb Shanks Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil 4 lamb shanks 1 onion, chopped 2 carrots, chopped 2 celery sticks, chopped ½ tsp fresh parsley ½ tsp fresh thyme 1 sprig rosemary 5 cloves garlic, chopped 1 tbsp plain flour 2 tbsp tomato purée 500ml bottle RCH Old Slug Porter (“Any ‘good’ dark ale will work, but Old Slug is great!” – Stuart)

Chris Langmaid define ‘craft’ as “artisanal, well-crafted beers using high-quality ingredients” and maintain their choices reach the premises as real ale › Heat oil in a casserole dish, – unpasteurised and unfiltered. brown shanks all over, then “No beers served here remove. Add onion, carrots and involve extraneous [sic] gas celery, and cook until they coming into contact start to brown, about 10 minutes. with the beer. Beer ‘The other arrives in a › Stir in the is stylish, edgy, herbs and garlic, bag within sells beers from cook for a few a plastic sphere, KeyKegs alongside minutes, stir and when you cask and might just in flour and turn the tap it be a blueprint for tomato purée, pushes gas into and add the beer. the future’ the sphere, › Return lamb to the casserole dish, bring compresses the bag and to simmer, cover and braise in pushes the beer up the line,” the middle of the oven (180˚C, says Chris. “To me, it is the 350˚F, gas mark 4) for one and same principle as the Scottish a half to two hours, until the air dispenser.” Regarding meat is tender. Remove lamb and keep warm; bring beer secondary fermentation in the stock to brisk simmer and cellar, Stuart reckons there bubble it down until rich and is some, but it is “more like glossy, about 15 minutes. Pour bottle-conditioned beer”. over lamb and serve. He adds: “Many real ale Tom Cobley Tavern, Spreyton, pubs serve lager and Guinness. off A30; 01647 231314; We don’t. Instead, we serve www.tomcobleytavern.co.uk ‘craft’ beers with great flavour Teign Cellars, East Street, offering a wider selection, Newton Abbot; 01626 332991; which has to be better.” www.teigncellars.co.uk

Susan Nowak writes CAMRA’s Good Pub Food and has made many TV and radio appearances talking about cooking with beer SPRING 2014 BEER 45

44-45 Food cc.indd 45

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TASTING | beer

RIGHT: Christine Cryne brought together sweet and savoury

SWEET TREATS

Claire-Michelle Pearson heads to the BBC Good Food Show Winter to find out which beers go best with pud The BBC Good Food Show Winter at the NEC, Birmingham, was

packed with kitchen gadgetry, sumptuous dishes to tuck into or take home, live demonstrations from your favourite foodie TV shows and plenty of instruction for those that want to learn more or to be inspired. And, for the eighth year, CAMRA was right there in the thick of the action hosting the Great British Beer Experience and offering tutored tasting sessions. CAMRA national director Christine Cryne, who, in her own words “has been doing tastings for decades” teamed up with foodie favourite Marks & Spencer (M&S) to pair four of its tempting treats with brews to reveal another way beer is a great match for food. We also asked visitors which was their favourite.

CLAIRE-MICHELLE PEARSON

CHEESECAKE AND NORFOLK BITTER To set everyone on their way, Christine paired M&S’ creamy, vanilla and digestive biscuit cheesecake bites, which were covered in milk chocolate, with M&S Norfolk Bitter (4.5 per cent ABV). Brewed for M&S by Norfolkbased Woodforde’s, this copper-coloured bitter comes bottle-conditioned. Christine explained the brewery had used Goldings, Boadicea,

Celeia and Savinjki Goldings, and the malty character was balanced by the vanilla dessert. The dry finish also helped cut through the creaminess of the soft cheese.

FAVOURITE MATCH FOR 10 This may have gained only third place in the vote, but still had a respectable score.

MACAROONS AND CORNISH IPA Across to the other side of England from Norfolk and another bottle-conditioned beer from the M&S range, this time brewed by St Austell in Cornwall – M&S Cornish IPA (5 per cent). Taking a different direction from the Norfolk brew, Christine pointed out the “completely different smell” coming from this pale, gold-coloured IPA, with its “sweet grapefruit note” and “clean, fresh grapefruit taste”. Explaining the origins of the style, Christine suggested these beers would have historically been stronger and hoppier to survive the long sea journey to India, so the brewery has chosen to use these particular hops (although they are American, not British) – Willamette and Chinook, and Cascade for aroma.

Paired with this beer are delicate almond macaroons because the beer is “strong enough to cope with the nuttiness”. Christine added: “I wanted to use something that had a big flavour, but not too sweet, to go with the macaroons. Something with a bit of oomph behind it.” Christine said the bitter finish from the punchy hops also made this a good beer to take on the little French desserts: “That lingering bitterness in the aftertaste will build and build in the mouth and will help cleanse the palate.”

FAVOURITE MATCH FOR 15 Amuse-bouche! This beer clinches the top spot, as drinkers’ favourite. SPRING 2014 BEER 47

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TASTING | beer

CUPCAKES AND ESPRESSO STOUT For this match, Christine decided to evoke that “elevenses” feeling by pairing vanilla cupcakes topped with overtly sweet raspberry frosting with the natural choice – coffee. “When considering this pairing, I thought coffee goes well with cupcakes. It’s quite a sweet cupcake so you need the coffee to take the edge off.” Dark Star Espresso Stout (4.2 per cent), served from the cask, was the choice to take on the sweetness and show the range of flavour possible in beer. Dark Star brewery – which started life in the cellar of the Evening Star pub in Brighton in 1994, and is now near

Horsham – uses dark, roasted malts (which also gives that black-as-night colour), along with freshly ground Arabica coffee beans (added a few minutes after the boil) for that “really strong coffee note on the nose” and taste. The “burnt characteristics take the sweetness off the cupcake”, with some dryness in the aftertaste, which Christine said come from the malts.

FAVOURITE MATCH FOR 4 Another good pairing, but this beer is not everyone’s cup of tea, finishing last.

FRUIT CAKE AND PORTER

TELL US ABOUT YOUR TASTINGS!

Organising an event suitable for a BEER tasting? Get in touch. Tasted a new beer in your pub? Send your tasting notes to tom. stainer@camra.org.uk

Battersea, London, is home for the final brew, Sambrook’s Powerhouse Porter (4.9 per cent), also served from the cask, and the brewery’s first seasonal. Established in 2008, Sambrook’s was ahead of the capital’s brewing explosion. “When it set up there were only seven breweries in London – now there are around 50. There’s almost been a tenfold increase,” said Christine. Named after local landmark Battersea Power Station, this beer is a deep, dark brown, which Christine said wasn’t “unusual for a porter”. This big beer is packed with four hop varieties, with roasted malt on the nose and a fruity note coming from that hop mix. The taste is treacle, caramelised fruit and a hint

of citrus. Christine added the chocolate notes that you get are coming from the malts. What better pud to pair with this powerful pint than deeply delicious iced fruit cake? [For the tasting in December it was Christmas cake, but the match will work with wedding and other fruit cakes.] “The brewer has let the sugars ferment out with this beer so it has a drier character”, which Christine said helps balance out the sweetness from the vine fruits and brandy-laced cherries in the cake and the royal icing and marzipan.

FAVOURITE MATCH FOR 14 A surge of power puts this one in second place.

For more information about the BBC Good Food Shows held throughout the year, see www.bbcgoodfoodshow.com SPRING 2014 BEER 49

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SMALL WONDERS ¦ bottled beer

ON WITH THE NEW

ANDREA TURVEY

The astonishing explosion of

small-scale breweries in the UK continues unabated, and with many of these breweries now bottling for shops and off-licences, and even selling direct to the consumer, the choice for the home drinker has never been wider. The eighth edition of CAMRA’s Good Bottled Beer Guide appeared in summer 2013, when its compiler, Jeff Evans, calculated there were more than 1,700 commercial UK bottle-conditioned beers available from approaching 400 breweries. As the first edition in 1997 listed only 180 beers, that’s almost a tenfold increase in 15 years. As usual, I was spurred by the new edition to track down beers from breweries new to me. Kevin Robinson has worked under the alluring name Vibrant Forest from a tiny brewery in his New Forest garage since 2011. I was particularly impressed by Wheatwave (4.8 per cent

ABV), his take on a wheat beer made with Bavarian yeast. There’s lemon tea and spice on the aroma and a slightly smoky palate with clove flavours. A sprinkling of hops tidies things nicely. Yeovil Ales in Somerset was started in 2005 by father and son team Dave and Rob Sherwood, who offer a wide range of well-made beers in a mix of contemporary and traditional styles. Their strong IPA, labelled YPA Yeovil Pale Ale (7.3 per cent) is a fruity delight, vividly flavoured, but without any aggressiveness. Tropical fruit, orange and tea bread aromas set up a honeyed, toffee and tangerine palate and a long and involving finish, with late hedgerow bitterness. A farm just outside Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, is the base

for Willy Good Ale!, the brainchild of Will Southward. Will not only brews great beers, but personally designs their striking labels, usually involving the family’s Jack Russell terrier, Olive. She appears as the unlikely avatar of legendary bluesman Robert Johnson on Willy Brown (5 per cent), a rich and substantial brown ale with shades of a German bock. A juicy, sappy palate dries on the finish with biscuit and roast coffee notes, and firmly resinous hops. Martin James took over the premises of the former Reepham brewery in Norfolk, one of England’s top brewing counties, in 2010, renaming it Panther and branding his beers with numerous multicoloured manifestations of the eponymous big cat. There’s

Des de Moor is one of the country s leading writers on bottled beer, and author of CAMRA s London s Best Beer Pubs and Bars. Read more of Des de Moor s reviews at www.desdemoor.co.uk

a Black Panther (4.5 per cent), of course, and even a Pink Panther (4 per cent) wheat beer made with red fruit, but my top choice was smooth and nutty red ale Red Panther (4.1 per cent). The beer nods to US practices with a notably spicy, hoppy finish underpinned by some chocolate hints. Also in Norfolk is Humpty Dumpty, a brewery I’ve featured before, but certainly deserves further mention. Founded in 1998, the brewery hit its stride in 2006 under new owners Steve and Lesley George. A recent addition to an excellent range is Jubilee Mild (5.4 per cent), a fine example of a bottleconditioned mild. It’s made with five malts and, unusually, hopped with Willamette from Oregon, a variety US brewers often reach for when they’re aiming for an English-style flavour. You’ll find plenty of toasty dark malt, chocolate and black cherry fruit in this smooth and tasty bottleful. SPRING 2014 BEER 51

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13/01/2014 16:23

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YOUR OPINION ¦ letters

YOUR Gnat s pee recollections and sound advice on how to put the fun back into fundraising with a glass or two of beer, while the Reinheitsgebot exercises two readers who are no fans of the laws that delivered blandness and Holsten Pils I much enjoyed the article on As organiser of Yardley Beer Festival in Boston and Nairn (BEER, Winter). Birmingham, it made me smile. Richard Boston opened my eyes to I suggested we have a festival in 2012 real ale and the struggles of small to raise funds for St Edburgha’s church. independent breweries. I not only The event was such a resounding success read all his columns in The Guardian, that we held another in 2013 and I cut them out and kept them. My we have already pencilled in favourite line went something 6 September for 2014! like: “Since I compared I recommend any Germans Watney’s Bitter to gnat’s organisation that wants sometimes pee last week, I have had to put the fun into refer to it as the a lot of complaints. And fundraising to consider Einheitsgebot, not only from gnats.” He a festival and don’t forget the law alerted me to The Beer the ciders and perries. of sameness Drinker’s Companion and Martin Collinge, Birmingham The Death of the English Pub, both of which I hastened to buy The paean to the and still have, alongside Beer and Skittles. Reinheitsgebot from Michael Mothersole (BEER, Winter) was the sort of Clive Alford, Peel, Isle of Man ill-informed certitude that drove me I enjoyed the article on the brewing potty when I lived in Germany. The Reinheitsgebot had been a reverend Godfrey Broster (BEER, German law for just a few decades Winter), though I was surprised not before it was recognised as antito find mention of the parish ales of competitive by the European Court in late-medieval England. These were 1988. It is no longer law, but its role essentially beer festivals, the profits today is still protectionist. of which went to the parish purse and The sad thing is that while the formed one of the main sources of Reinheitsgebot protected the consumer income for the Church. Anyhow, I hope from some forms of adulteration, it did Reverend Broster can rebuff any critical nothing to prevent blandness. Indeed, puritans, safe in the knowledge he’s operating in a well-established tradition of ecclesiastical fundraising. Duncan Montgomery, Darlington

I read with interest What Would Jesus Brew? (BEER, Winter) and the churches that have held beer festivals.

Germans sometimes refer to it as the Einheitsgebot, the law of sameness. It was also destructive – its imposition helped wipe out swathes of beer styles. Fortunately, some of these lost styles have begun to re-emerge, but almost everywhere, blonde, lagered beers dominate. If you really want to know why most German beer is good, look to the training of brewers and the pride they put into their work. Then try some of the newer non-Reinheitsgebot beers and see just how much more those brewers can achieve when they don’t have one arm tied behind their back. Bryan Betts, Brentford, London

Michael Mothersole (BEER, Winter) is seriously mistaken if he thinks the Reinheitsgebot is “the single thing that keeps German beer so good”. I could cite several reasons for this, but I’ll stick to four. It’s possible to brew awful beer without transgressing the Reinheitsgebot. It’s a bread-protection law, not a beer-protection law, having been introduced to ensure wheat and rye were available for bread. It’s no longer in force, as the list of ingredients was greatly expanded in 1993. Holsten Pils. Yum! David Sherman, Chelmsford, Essex

write now

Write to BEER, CAMRA HQ, 230 Hatfield Road, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL1 4LW, email tom.stainer@camra.org.uk or continue the debate at forum.camra.org SPRING 2014 BEER 53

53 Your shout.indd 1

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ROGER PROTZ ¦ column

Brewster boost

Years after being ousted by men, women brewers are making a welcome return Brewsters are back. It s the medieval

name for a woman brewer, from a time when most beer making was carried out in homes and producing ale and bread was part of the daily domestic ritual. Women brewers disappeared at the time of the Industrial Revolution, when large commercial breweries developed and making beer was considered a male preserve. Brewsters made a brief comeback as a result of the Beerhouse Act 1830, when householders were allowed to turn their premises into pubs. The act proved a social disaster and most of the rudimentary alehouses disappeared or were snapped up by bigger brewers. But now we have an abundance of brewsters. Sara Barton set the trend with Brewsters brewery in Grantham (see BEER, Winter 2013), while Mo Zeiher, first brewer at Hogs Back in Surrey, celebrated her daughter’s birth with a beer called Brewster’s Bundle (7.4 per cent ABV). Catherine Murphy at the Buntingford brewery in Hertfordshire won two awards in the 2013 Champion Beer of Britain competition at London’s Olympia. At Marston’s, Emma Gilleland has been promoted from Burton on Trent head brewer to command all the group’s breweries – the brewster of all she surveys. I’ve met brewsters on my travels. Annick De Splenter is a graduate of the Ghent School of Brewing in Belgium, but she dumped a large part of her learning by creating the Gruut brewery (www.gruut.be), where she has revived another medieval tradition – making beer without hops. Gruut, or gruit, was once widespread and was the name given to herbs and spices used to counter the biscuit character of barley malt. The supply of gruit was controlled by the church and the use of herbs and spices largely disappeared when the Church lost its dominant role in society and hops were

Women brewers disappeared at the time of the Industrial Revolution, when large commercial breweries developed and making beer was considered a male preserve

Annick admits to using aniseed, ginger, pepper and even peanuts. She did tell me she used peanuts in her Bruin at the end of the production cycle. Instead of ‘dry hopping’ she ‘dry peanuts’ the beer! Her Wit is unfiltered and has a powerful ginger hit on the aroma and palate. Blonde, in contrast, is crystal clear and, to my taste buds, has strong indications of coriander and pepper. Amber is her interpretation of English pale ale and is rich in orange, spice and tobacco flavours. You have to decide which characteristics come from herbs and spices and which from fermentation. The last place you would expect to

seen as a better flavouring and preservative for beer. The Gruut brewery is also a bar and restaurant where visitors can sample Annick’s beers. They include Wit (5 per cent), Blonde (5.5 per cent), Amber (6.6 per cent) and Bruin (8 per cent). She keeps her recipes secret and it’s fascinating to drink her beers and try to work out which flavourings she uses in a particular brew.

Roger Protz is one of the world s leading beer writers, travelling the globe searching out new brews, and edits CAMRA s bestselling Good Beer Guide. Read more of Roger s writing at www.protzonbeer.co.uk or follow him @rogerprotzbeer

find a woman brewer is in a Cistercian monastery. But Belgium is definitely a country full of surprises. The abbey of Val-Dieu is near Liège and was built in 1216. The monks there brewed for centuries until the brewery was destroyed during the French Revolution (www.val-dieu.com). In the 20th century, commercial breweries produced Val-Dieu beers under contract to the abbey. But brewing restarted in 1996 in stables in the grounds. The abbey, with its superb Renaissance and Gothic buildings, is open to visitors, but, due to falling numbers, the last monks left in 2001. So it’s now possible for Virginie Harzé to brew at the site. She produces 9,000hl a year and her range includes Blanche, Blonde (both 6 per cent), Brune (8 per cent) and Triple (9 per cent). Some beer goes into keg, but most of the production is bottle-conditioned and is exported to other parts of Europe, China, Russia and the US. You can enjoy them at the abbey with the local Herve cheese and accommodation is also available. Go and marvel at a brewster in a monastery. SPRING 2014 BEER 55

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WETHERSPOON | head-to-head

I first encountered

Wetherspoon during my second year of university in Southampton. It was here I formulated my GOOD opinions of real ale, as I’d consume two or three pints alongside the surf and turf and chocolate fudge cake I would have each Monday. At the festivals we would visit more often, and walk down to the other ’Spoon at the bottom end of town in order to try as many beers as we could, all for less than £2 a pint. As a student, it was price that drew me to the real ales (that and the fact it’s what everyone else was drinking probably). While prices may have risen in the decade since, a pint in a Wetherspoon is still cheaper than elsewhere, and I suspect many students have started their beer drinking lives like I did.

In recent years, Wetherspoon has had a ‘try three beers for the price of one pint’ promotion during its festivals, using third-pint glasses. Having had to force my way through pints and even half-pints I haven’t enjoyed, the ability to drink thirds, and then have the option to buy a larger measure, is a welcome one. It is perhaps at the beer festivals where

Wetherspoon benefits real ale the most. Unlike most other beer festivals, the Wetherspoon ones are free to enter, run for a couple of weeks rather than a few days, and are on the high street. Even when the beer festivals aren’t running, the range of real ales in some branches offers a good deal for real ale drinkers. In many places I have visited, the Wetherspoon pub has been the best place to drink in. This may imply Wetherspoon has a negative effect on an area’s pub

‘Often the Wetherspoon has been the best place to drink in. In some places, it’s the sole place to drink real ale in’ trade. In terms of my argument, I should add that in some places, the Wetherspoon has been the sole place to drink real ale in. Things have improved in recent years, and I believe Wetherspoon deserves credit for bringing such a wide range of real ales to the drinking public who may never have encountered them otherwise. Part of the purpose of CAMRA is to raise awareness of real ale. Wetherspoon has been doing this for a while now. Maybe it’s time we acknowledged that. David J Bascombe comes from Southampton and lives in Slough, Berkshire. He is one of the team behind the Birmingham Beer Bash. His blog can be found at www.mrdavidj.co.uk and he can be followed on twitter @mrdavidj

One of the most successful pub businesses of the past 25 years and certainly one of the most contentious for beer fans – but is the Wetherspoon chain a good or a bad thing for real ale? I’m not going to lie

– it’s a tough side to argue. I’m sure the range and price of ales will be the forefront of the opposing view, BAD so I’ll start there. With regards to the range, more times than not I’ve been presented with plenty of pumps, the majority with clips facing the customer, yet only two or three beers available. Not the end of the world, but frustrating. What I truly have a problem with is its beer festival – The Biggest Real Ale & Cider Festival. A Google search for its festival brings this up: ‘to celebrate spring in style, our April 2011 beer festival features 50 British & International ales and 10 ciders in all our pubs’. Now, anyone who has read the What’s Brewing letters page shortly after a large CAMRA festival will know some people

are always disappointed to turn up on the last day and not have every ale available to them. Yet nobody appears to have a problem with Wetherspoon twice a year putting on a beer festival where maybe 10 ales are available at most. I don’t honestly know how it gets away with it twice a year. Why is this bad for real ale? Real ale and pubs are intricately linked, and practices such as these show neither ale nor pubs in the best light to new potential ale drinkers. Wetherspoon buys beer at massively

reduced rates, and obviously only from breweries large enough to meet its supply requirements. This means smaller ones can’t get on the bar, restricting choice for customers. As well as this, the reduced prices Wetherspoon pays, and charges customers, is devaluing real ale and taking money out of the sector. It takes skill and

‘Nobody appears to have a problem with Wetherspoon twice a year putting on a beer festival where maybe 10 ales are available at most’ knowledge to brew good beer, and the reward to the brewer should be reasonable. More importantly, customers will start to think real ale is worth only £2 a pint. Pubs without the buying power of Wetherspoon may see the scales of profit and loss tip the wrong way with one of its pubs nearby, in much the same way a supermarket can do to local butchers and bakers, sucking money out of the local economy at the same time. Real ale needs independent pubs to survive and thrive. Ed Davies used to manage the family inn on the Welsh borders. He now lives in North Yorkshire and works as a business consultant to pubs and breweries. SPRING 2014 BEER 57

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HAZE ¦ science

Hoppy haze

As Crisp Maltings launches a new malt it claims can reduce haze, brewer and beer historian Ian Hornsey looks at the science behind unclear beer different (stronger) type of bond and these will not dissolve if heated (ie they are irreversible). Oxidation reactions are and the visual appearance of a product is an important index known to be involved in these interactions. of its stability (ie shelf life). Cloudy/hazy beer can be caused Most notable haze-forming polyphenolics are the by two main entities: biological particles (ie brewers’ yeasts, proanthocyanidin dimers, which become haze-active during wild yeasts or bacteria) or non-biological particles – and these mashing and boiling. Most polyphenolic material emanates give rise to biological and non-biological hazes respectively. from barley (mostly the husk) and is extracted during mashing Overall, beer haze may be defined as ‘insoluble or semi-soluble and wort separation. Polyphenols can also be introduced by particulate matter, which is small enough to form a colloidal hops, but only 20 per cent of them survive boiling (as opposed suspension in beer (typically under two micrometres (µm))’. to 70 per cent of those that are malt-derived). Hop polyphenols Such particles scatter light and will impair the transparency are generally highly polymerised and are precipitated with the of beer; this is sometimes called colloidal haze. With the odd hot and cold breaks during brewing, and thus cause exception, such as wheat beer, drinkers associate a clear few problems. Most of the malt polypeptide beer with freshness – and the presence of a haze is Daft as it component arises from hordein, a barley protein usually associated with inferior quality. It is also may seem, there known that what the eye detects can influence is invisible haze, which rich in the amino acid proline. Also malt-derived is oxalic acid, which is flavour perception by the drinker. can only be detected removed during brewhouse operations as long Biological haze is caused by microbial by haze meters. If detected, it serves as there are sufficient calcium ions in the contamination, and, if due care is taken during as a warning liquor. Failure to do so means that oxalates the brewing process, it is avoidable – because the for brewers persist in the final product and can precipitate causative organisms can technically be excluded out as haze, or, over a period of time, as beer stone. from beer. Fortunately, beer is an unfavourable Finally, if starch is ineffectively broken down during environment for most microbes, for they will encounter a low mashing, some may persist into beer and cause haze. Daft as it pH (3.8-4.5); ethanol (toxic); a restricted range of nutrients may seem, from a brewer’s point of view there is invisible haze (giving poor growth); and hop bitter acids (antimicrobial). (pseudo haze), which can only be detected by haze meters. If detected, it serves as a warning for brewers. There are three forms of non-biological haze, the most important of which is caused by the interaction of certain proteins (polypeptides) and certain polyphenols (tannins) Since 1977, when it was discovered that a and is normally called permanent haze. proanthocyanidin-free barley mutant gave This can be one of the most serious problems facing the rise to beer with excellent haze stability, brewer and much of a modern brewing process is aimed at intensive breeding has been carried out to reducing the overall levels of the proteins and polyphenols obtain improved lines. As a result, there involved and preventing their interaction. are now a number of commercial varieties When beer is cooled to below 0°C (32°F), a chill haze is available, such as Galant, which allow formed, which will disappear when the beer is warmed to 20°C bright beers to be produced without many Ian Hornsey is (68°F) (ie it is reversible). The interaction of protein and processing aids. In summary, by careful an academicpolyphenol here is such that the product persists as a soluble selection of raw materials, control of turned-brewer, complex and forms small particles of 0.1-1.0 µm diameter. brewhouse technology (eg eliminate oxygen) who can also With permanent hazes, these soluble complexes soon convert and an adequate beer storage facility, the lend his hand to insoluble complexes (1-10 µm diameter particles) with a brewer can largely overcome haze formation. to beer writing It is said most consumers drink beer with their eyes ,

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Brew’s company... Phil Lowry encourages home brewers to collaborate and share ideas – like his friend Simon Siemsgluess has done with British brewers right in front of me, and happy and almost jealous of the obvious joy on the faces of frequently as ‘awesome’. What inspires me everybody working there. This experience is what comes from friends – that really didn’t change my career path just yet, but it makes me up my game and try new things. did stick with me in the back of my mind.” One of those who has challenged and Simon stuck with his international inspired me is Simon Siemsgluess. I first relations studies and then looked for a job. met German-born Simon when he was “Sadly, it wasn’t coming about, but while brewer at the Zerodegrees brewpub in I was in Berlin looking for a job, I heard Blackheath, London. I’ve never been to brewing school, so I’ve about this six-month brewing certificate at VLB. Remembering what I experienced in always built on the ideas of contemporaries Canada, I thought, while here, I might as through brewing. But Simon had. He’d well just give it a couple of weeks and if it’s been to the VLB school in Berlin. He’d really something I like, I’ll stay, otherwise worked for Paulaner. It was always brilliant I’ll just continue to search for the job in spending time in his company. Middle East politics. Well, turned out that Sitting in a pub together is sadly rare after the first day I decided to stay. now and Simon’s globetrotting habits The rest is history!” mean we spend more time on “Kernel, Simon’s travelling is one Skype and email than sharing Redemption, a few pints down the pub. and Windsor & Eton of the reasons we’ve become Simon says he was hit with were doing amazing friends – we both pick up beers, and on influences from other the brewing stick in Montreal, much less fancy countries and cultures. Canada. “At the time, I was equipment” “Of course, in terms of already intrigued by brews from brewing, Germany was a major places like Dieu de Ciel!, and I influence, as I made my first steps in enjoyed strong, tasty Belgian-style beers brewing there, and I’m happy enough like Fin du Monde and Maudite from the I learned it at one of Germany’s top Unibroue. I was on a weekend trip to Vancouver and one of the things I did there brewing schools and one of Germany’s most was a tour of the Granville Island brewery. I amazing breweries, Paulaner in Munich. “London, however, is right on top in didn’t know much about brewing back then and although I liked them, I don’t think the having influenced me. I was happy to be brewing on what I see today as being a beers struck me as extraordinary, but I do quite luxurious, fully automated 15hl BTB remember I was amazed by the simplicity brewing kit from Germany, and I like to and transparency of the organisation, think my beer was quite well received. excited to see the set-up of the brewery But I knew that, among others, Kernel, Redemption and Windsor & Eton were doing amazing beers, and they were doing Phil Lowry – home brewer, beer aficionado, manager it on much less fancy equipment. Oh yeah, of beermerchants.com, Fuller’s beers also weren’t all that bad…” founder of London Brewers’ It’s not hard to imagine how different an Alliance, currently building a new home brew system experience brewing using British mash tuns

‘Innovation’ is a word banded almost as

must have been: “When I first observed a floating mash, I thought it was some kind of problem. I thought it strange they couldn’t afford a stirrer, and I think at the time I was asking Andy from Redemption the best way to prevent that from happening! “Pretty soon I started to see the beauty in this approach and it all made perfect sense. Suddenly I understood the typical pint in a British pub. It’s the logical conclusion of a process starting with British weather, malt, single-infusion mash tun, open fermentation, casks and maybe a few pragmatic Brits as well! There was just no way it could be cold, carbonated and foamy. Impossible! It was an amazing feeling to have cask ale from then on. “The years in London have had an incredible impact on me. I think I have learned the most important part of beer is its soul. It is what’s lacking in most commercial beers these days. “You need to engage with the cultural background of a beer style, its source and roots. And what better way than to get involved with the people making it, meet with and talk to your fellow brewers. I think this interaction is what really inspires me in brewing and this is also why we all enjoy these collaboration brews so much.”

60 BEER SPRING 2014

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PHIL LOWRY | home brew

“I think I have learned the most important part of beer is its soul. It is what’s lacking in commercial beers these days” Like Simon, I think brewing camaraderie is something to celebrate. I’m worried the over-celebration of collaboration devalues what sharing ideas is all about, but let’s be honest, a day with friends, brewing and the banter that ensues is brilliant. I find innovation comes from working in teams. I think this is why you can, in general, see faster innovation in home brewing circles. This is why I would challenge you to get out and meet brewers.

If you’re just starting out, check out Basic Brewing Radio. For the more advanced home brewers (and it comes with a good slice of adult humour) is the Brewing Network, The Jamil Show and Dr Homebrew. These shows have been a massive influence on my brewing along with the book How to Brew by John Palmer. If you’re looking for places to meet fellow brewers, the Oxford Brewers, London Amateur Brewers and Bristol Brewers are great evening meet-ups.

Citra rye ale Rye ale is a classic – and usually top-fermented – beer style that was popular in Germany and elsewhere in Europe during medieval times. This was mainly due to the relatively robust growth characteristics of rye compared to barley, making rye by far the most prevalent crop. With the introduction of purity laws, and the subsequent rise

of brewing barley, rye almost disappeared from the brewing scene. This is regrettable as rye tends to give a unique spicy flavour coupled with big mouthfeel, tartness and, if you are lucky, a nice ruby colour. Furthermore, using clean, topfermenting yeast, these malt characteristics tend to work very well with highly aromatic hops.

Recipe for rye ale 25L brew scaled from 10hl (82% efficiency) London water. Hard. Blackheath. Carbon filtered. Mashing Rubber Rest (rye malt only with maybe a bit of lager malt) – 30-60 minutes at 40˚C (104˚F) After that heat and mash in of the rest – 10 minutes at 57˚C (135˚F) Proceed as in standard infusion mashing, for example – 60 minutes at 65˚C (149˚F); 10 minutes at 72˚C (162˚F) Boil 75 minutes Yeast US-05 fermented at 21˚C (70˚F) and being a German, he fermented at 19.6-21˚C (67-70˚F) for three days and ramped down to a 30-day cold hold (lager) for 1-2˚C (34-36˚F). › Batch size (L): 25 › Wort size (L): 25 › Total grain (kg): 5.32 › Anticipated OG: 1.052 › Plato: 12.94

› Anticipated SRM: 10.7 › Anticipated IBU: 39.1 › Brewhouse efficiency: 82% › Wort boil time: 75 minutes

In fact, another reason for the fringe existence of rye beers is also that production tends to be a nightmare when it comes to lautering and hopes of a smooth run-off. Rye grains, like wheat, not only lack a decent husk, they also contain and happily release copious amounts of betaglucans with a nasty tendency to give your mash properties

Pre-boil amounts › Evaporation rate: 15% per hour Grain % Amount 46.9 2.50kg 35.2 1.87kg 11.7 0.62kg 4.7 0.25kg 1.4 0.07kg Hops Amount 25g 10g 37.50g 18.75g

similar to that of a Swiss fondue. A rest specifically for breaking down beta-glucan of rye does help (but not with all grist because the long rest will likely destroy the body and character of the beer). But no matter what you do, if you want to brew with plus 50 per cent rye, make sure you have good nerves and a lot of time, because you will need it.

› Pre-boil wort size: 30.77L › Pre-boil gravity: 1.043 SG 10.60 Plato

Name Origin Rye Malt Germany Lager Malt (2-row) UK Munich Malt I Germany Cara Red Germany Carafa Special II Germany

Name Bramling Cross Bramling Cross Citra Citra

Form Whole Whole Whole Whole

Alpha 7.00 6.00 13.50 11.50

Potential 293.20 309.07 309.07 292.36 250.59

IBU 22.1 7.1 10.0 0.0

SRM 4 1 6 20 430

Boil time 75 minutes 60 minutes 1 minute Dry hop

SPRING 2014 BEER 61

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get

PUB QUIZ ¦ competition

Does great taste pair with great general knowledge? The only way to find out is to tackle our beery brainteaser... 1 Which brewery in Shipley,

West Yorkshire, has beers named Triple Chocoholic, South Island Pale and Amarillo Gold? A

2 What s the connection between politician David Miliband, film and stage director Sam Mendes and author Zoë Heller? A

3 Which football team was once known as Small Heath? A

4 In which film does Geena

Davis turn from housewife Samantha Caine into blonde assassin Charly Baltimore?

Compiled by James Daly. The quizmaster s decision on correct answers is final when choosing the prize winner

A

5 Gorgonzola and Roquefort are both blue cheeses sharing which other characteristic? A

6 What is significant about an

early Austrian car with the number plate A 111 118? A

Winter answers

1〉 Ring my bell ‒ Anita Ward 2〉 Frank Lloyd Wright 3〉 Captain Darling 4〉 The Gilbert Islands 5〉 10 6〉 Teacher s Pet 7〉 Elbow 8〉 Derventio brewery 9〉 Terry Alderman 10〉 Rebel 11〉 Strawberry 12〉 An order by president Jimmy Carter made during the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979 that allowed the freezing of Iranian assets held within the United States 13〉 Arturo Toscanini 14〉 Redwing 15〉 A fear of clowns 16〉 Norman Lamont 17〉 Venice 18〉 Triangular 19〉 1965 20〉 Buddhism

Winter winner

Mr R Baker, Newent, Gloucestershire

63 Quiz.indd 1

7 What is the word used to describe abnormally low blood pressure? A

8 Which late 1960s American sitcom starred Hope Lange as widow and Edward Mulhare as a poltergeist? A

9 When did the Stock Exchange

decide to admit women members? A

10 In Shakespeare s A Midsummer

Night s Dream, by what name is Robin Goodfellow referred to?

14 Which choral anthem has been

performed at the coronation of every British monarch since 1727? A

15 Who auditioned for the part in National Velvet that went to Elizabeth Taylor? A

16 Which small group of islands lie offshore of Galway Bay? A

17 Who was the last of the seven Roman kings?

A

A

11 What type of bird is a widgeon? A

12 Seamus Heaney won the 1999 Whitbread prize for his translation of which famous Anglo-Saxon work? A

13 What is genuphobia a fear of? A

WIN!

18 Which coat, without shoulder

seams, has sleeves to the collar? A

19 In Greek mythology, who was the god of flocks and herds? A

20 Which play contains the

characters George Hastings, Kate Hardcastle and Tony Lumpkin? A

Two mixed cases of beer from The Real Ale Warehouse The first correct entry to be drawn will win two mixed cases of beer, courtesy of The Real Ale Warehouse. Send entries to Quizzic-ale, BEER, CAMRA, 230 Hatfield Road, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL1 4LW, by 28 February.

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SPRING 2014 BEER 63

13/01/2014 16:28


heritage | RAIL ALE

FIRST-CLASS REFRESHMENT

For many people, interest in railways

and real ale are closely linked, as Susanna Forbes proved (BEER, Winter 2013). A perfect way of combining these is through truly historic railway pubs and bars. The stimulus for this article comes from the recent addition to CAMRA’s National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors of the Sheffield Tap on platform 1 at Sheffield station, and also a new book, on sale through the CAMRA shop from March, Unusual Railway Pubs, Refreshment Rooms and Ale Trains by Bob Barton (£16.99, CAMRA members £14.99 plus £2 p&p). This book is not only a celebration of drinking establishments associated with the railway network, but also explains how railways transformed the distribution of beer in the 19th century and enabled seasonal workers from London to go to the hop fields of Kent in their droves to pick that vital brewing ingredient. But back to the Sheffield Tap, which

is a wonderful place to enjoy a pint or three of real ale. Originally built in 1904 by the Midland Railway as a first-class refreshment room, it had been suffering many years of neglect until being reopened in 2009. Now its wonderful Minton tiling, joinery and bar fittings can be enjoyed once again (many fittings have now been carefully replicated). To make matters even better, the brilliantly lit, first-class dining room, containing various original features, was reopened as a part of the premises in 2013. Further north, a visit to the Centurion Bar at Newcastle Central station is quite an experience. It was also originally the

Following last issue’s exploration of great railway drinking venues, Geoff Brandwood gets chuffed about some of our most important historic railway refreshment rooms and hotels Photographs Mick Slaughter

first-class refreshment room, built in 1893, and has a rich array of ceramics, mirrors, murals and fine woodwork. This tall, majestic space had been seriously neglected in the years of its British Rail ownership, but, like its Sheffield counterpart, is now a credit to its city. Needless to say, not all station bars

and refreshment rooms emulated the magnificence at Sheffield and Newcastle. Two, on opposite sides of the Pennines, which feature on CAMRA’s National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors for their intactness, are the station buffets at Stalybridge (Greater Manchester) and Bridlington (East Yorkshire). The Stalybridge Station Buffet was part of the 1885 rebuilding of the station and consists of a conservatory and highceilinged main area and a fine, marbletopped bar counter. It’s long been a favourite destination for real ale drinkers. The Bridlington Station Buffet came later, dating from 1912. It has two separate, unaltered rooms and was listed at Grade II after representations by CAMRA’s Yorkshire Pub Heritage Group (this is surely the only occasion when

CAMRA got a whole station listed as a result of its campaigning!). Stalybridge and Bridlington are on the mainline system, but that at Horsted Keynes, West Sussex, is situated between platforms 3 and 4 on the preserved Bluebell Line. It is a real time warp. The station, as a whole, aims to recreate the world of the 1930s and the buffet fits perfectly; the details of the bar-back suggest it was perhaps refitted in the 1920s. Another couple of unaltered station buffets worth a look are at Bangor (Gwynedd), probably dating from a fitting out in 1927, and Leamington Spa (Warwickshire), platform 2, from a rebuild in 1939. All the buildings mentioned so far

are actually integral parts of the stations they served. Of course, many pubs and hotels grew up close to railway lines to serve the travelling public. One of these was the Queens Arms, Eccles, Greater Manchester, opened in 1828 to coincide with the opening of the LiverpoolManchester railway, and catered for excursion traffic from Manchester. As such it may be considered the world’s first railway pub, although the fittings illustrated here are no doubt later Victorian additions. Another famous historic railway hotel, much used by CAMRA members, is the Victoria, Beeston, Nottinghamshire, beside the station on the DerbyNottingham line, and built in 1899 by Ind Coope. There was a major makeover in the 1930s and so now much of the pub is a combination of its late Victorian origins and the reworking in the 1930s.

‘This tall, majestic space had been seriously neglected in the years of its British Rail ownership, but, like its Sheffield counterpart, is now a credit to its city’ 64 BEER SPRING 2014

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‘The station, as a whole, aims to recreate the world of the 1930s and the buffet fits perfectly’ CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Victoria; Sheffield Tap (and next); Queens Arms; Horsted Keynes; Bridlington; Stalybridge; Centurion

SPRING 2014 BEER 65

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last orders | GETTING OUT

SUPER HOPS

Supergrass co-founder Mick Quinn reveals how life on the road helped him develop a taste for cask beer, and his secrets for making cider

ILLUSTRATION: NOMA BAR; PHOTOGRAPH: WWW.RETROPHOTO.CO.UK

When you’re in the blur of touring you experience

your environment through food and drink. Travelling with Supergrass exposed me to lots of beers around the world. Touring the States in the 1990s, there was a microbrewery revolution. We had fantastic beers there. They’re packaged as if they’re something new, then you find out it’s a 100-year-old IPA recipe. We liked Shiner Bock, a Texan beer. And in Los Angeles we drank Sierra Nevada. We were developing sophisticated tastes. So when we got back to England we didn’t fancy reaching for a Foster’s. Sometimes you’re out in the sticks, reliant on the promoter to provide decent beer. But in Glasgow they produced a huge range from BrewDog – its IPAs are incredible. Equally, we could be somewhere exotic and be given something that’d blow our minds. There were lots of heavy nights and feeling awful the next day. Towards the end of Supergrass we were into The Big Lebowski and drinking white Russians every night. I’ve got more into real ales over the past 10 years. I enjoy the flavour and variety. I like good food and it goes hand in hand with that. If I drink cheap lager I can taste the preservatives. I make my own cider at home. I’ve tried adding nitrates, but if you kill the natural yeast, there’s less character. My dad used to brew beer when I was 16. My brother and I would nick it and thought it was awful. We were into Woodpecker back then and didn’t have the taste. But, judging by my dad’s cooking, it probably was really bad. He made wine, too. One day we heard this big explosion and ran out to the shed to have a look. The cork had gone through my brother’s bass drum! A lot of Oxford pubs from the early Supergrass days

have changed or gone. But the Star, on Rectory Road, hasn’t really altered. And this pub [the Harcourt Arms, in Jericho] is much the same. There’ll always be a hard core of unfashionable people supporting pubs. Buying a bottle and drinking at home has no social context. It’s nicer to experience it in a different environment. I like getting out. You never know what to expect. You

Mick Quinn’s new group the DB Band’s EP Loosen Up is available via the website www.dbband.com

meet like-minded people and talk nonsense. And you feel you’ve solved the problems of the world by the end of the night. Growing up we had the King & Queen in Wheatley – my first local when I reached drinking age. It was fantastic – great beers, a great jukebox, live bands. It had a huge impact on me. We did our first couple of Supergrass gigs in that pub. In New York we discovered small bars in Greenwich Village that were like pubs. Although we were in a huge city, there was this smaller community of people. Coming from somewhere like Wheatley and going to New York, we suddenly realised it wasn’t that different – another bar with great beer and a great jukebox – it even had the Buzzcocks on it.

‘Buying a bottle and drinking at home has no social context. It’s nicer to experience it in a different environment. I like getting out. You never know what to expect. You meet like-minded people and talk nonsense’

66 BEER SPRING 2014

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Crisps as they should taste. www.piperscrisps.com Pipers 067_BEER_Spring14.indd Camra ART.indd 1 67

@Piperscrisps

Piperscrisps 16/09/2013 13/01/2014 16:54 10:49


on the

For a truly British brew, drink T.E.A. – Traditional English Ale. Made with flavoursome English malt and local Fuggles hops, right here on the Hog’s Back, for over 20 years.

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13/01/2014 10:49

Beer - Issue 23  

Spring 2014

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