I write as the Real Ale Girl. I am a member of CAMRA, I tick off every ale I drink in my Good Beer Guide and cask ale is my drink of choice 99.9% of the time. If you have read any of my previous blog posts, you will undoubtedly be aware that I'm just a little bit keen on real ale. So, yesterday, I moseyed on over (well, ok, I took the Northern Line, but moseying sounds more jolly, it's raining out there, we need cheering up) to the brand new Euston Tap: an ingeniously renovated architectural beauty stocked to the very atmospheric rafters with beers. Beers of such variety, origin and type that even a very hard to please Real Ale Girl had her mind well and truly boggled. Of course, we started on the cask ale. We tasted the wares of Bristol Brewing Co., Marble, Bath, among others and we compared the 10% Brew Dog Paradox to the very limited edition 9% Thornbridge Bracia and decided the Thornbridge boys won hands down. And then we moved on to the rest; a rather marvellous rest; huge accessible fridges stocked with the rare gems and firm favourites, and witty range of taps (indescribable- you'll have to go), serving an intriguing mix of draft beers from around the world. When I say we moved on to the rest; we actually managed about 5 more between us, it was a Sunday after all. Darn it, we'll just have to go back.
After The Why Cask Ale Rocks collaborative posts, we got many comments about why we stuck to cask- 'isn't it just a method of dispense?' etc. My response to this is that Belgian/ Czech etc etc beers don't need promotion, they don't have an image problem in the way real ale does in this country. However, overwhelmingly, it seemed from people's comments that there is an assumption that being passionate about Cask Beer means a deep hatred and spurning of all other types of beer.
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post featuring the Draft House bar in Tower Bridge. A respected blogger and hugely experienced real ale drinker posted a comment saying it was disappointing there was only one real ale when he went to visit. On my own visit I experienced this too, but took it as a great opportunity to try something different and have become a little addicted to German Rauchbier ever since.
Real Ale Husband plays football 3 times a week. But he also loves a good tennis session and is rather good at cricket. Real Ale Brother used to DJ and loves house music. But he can also regularly be found watching The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and saw Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and Paul McCartney this summer.
And occasionally, I like to drink beer that isn't cask.
Cask Beer is not always good beer. It's not a secret that I find several of Greene King's beers quite undrinkable and would rather have a vodka if they are all that's on offer. The pub I frequent most Friday afternoons with colleagues does such a bad job of looking after its cask beers that I usually, embarassingly, end up on Strongbow. Good beer is good beer. Well kept beer is well kept beer. Cask beer is cask beer. That is all. Sometimes, those three happen simultaneously and the result is orgasmic. But sometimes, just sometimes, even a Real Ale Girl can find joy in a bottle that has travelled halfway around the world and tastes of pumpkin, not a cask in sight.