London Drinker – June/July

London Drinker JuneJNow I like the London Drinker, it’s very CAMRA, low production values and basic artwork but it is a good read with interesting content, and as we all know, content is king. Nevertheless, it does provide a few giggles.

TH writes that young people are asking for dimpled mugs and that these are common in Antic pubs. He then goes on ‘If young people are drinking beer…’, well yes they are TH but you never see them because they are drinking modern beer made in ways that CAMRA does not recognise as real ale.

We learn that GT ‘reacts badly’ to Cascade hops, yet professes to like hoppy beers, though it sounds as though this does not include dry hopping.

The price of a pint rears it’s ugly head when RC visits Tap East (makers of the brilliant Coffee in the Morning) and has to pay £6.80 for a pint of porter. Although he recalls it saying four pint something on the tablet I can only see their Smokestack Porter at 6.5%. Well that’s why they tell you the price before pouring it, and RC declined. Products sell on quality or price or a combination. Without trying it or understanding the ingredients and brewing process it went through I can’t see how he could possibly comment on the price. Pssst RC, don’t go to The Rake! Isn’t it amazing how all these pubs selling expensive, modern, innovative beer are doing so well and the ones selling the same old best bitters at crucial price points are struggling?

BL went to Colombia and discovered the Bogotá Beer Company whose beers ‘were certainly better than the normal ones available in Colombia but they were not a patch on real ale’. That’s a relief then.

On microbreweries you just have to read the whole BO letter and RP rebuttal, this why people turn away from CAMRA (or love it).

MC is confused. ‘I have no interest in going to pubs which only sell beers from microbreweries and having to drink beers I’ve never heard of and no idea what they are like even if they are LocAles. This also applies to some CAMRA beer festivals. In short I want choice’. OK, so that’s a choice of beers that you know what they taste like from large breweries that you have heard of, simples. I’m sure he didn’t mean to imply that the bar staff were unable to tell him what the beer tasted like or too mean to give him a sample.

Reporting a theft

The Procrastinator has nearly done for me. All I can say in my defence is that I have tried hundreds of beers, and sometimes I have been eating at the same time. My Untappd account will vouch for that but is locked from anyone in the personal insurance or medical professions.

Memo to self, remember to tell them about a good stout with sticky toffee pudding sometime.

From a stumbling start we are now up and running, hurrah! Now I need a drink – to write about of course. Signature Brew at The Long Room, then Ilkley at the Hack & Hop.

My Dinner with Richard

(Well, lunch, to be exact, and I’d rather a rerun of that tasty, thought-provoking interlude than what I sat through thirty-odd years ago at the Ritzy in Brixton. But a post needs a title.)

“You’re talking [for he is too polite to say ‘pontificating’] about cooking from scratch using locally sourced ingredients, but you’re swilling it down with French wine?”

“Perfectly paired French wine,” I venture, “and I can recommend some lovely, local English wine* too.”

“What’s wrong with local beer then?”

“Beer? Beer is for…quenching your thirst, drinking with friends, packets of crisps…isn’t it?”

So here’s where we are. Richard is going to educate me about beer. I am going to open my mind. We’ve strenuous work ahead of us: hundreds of beers to taste, sample dishes to cook, pairings to document. Will you come back and see how we’re getting on?


*A caution: if you are not an Olympic cyclist do not attempt a whole case of Denbies on your handlebars on the A24.