October 4, 2008

The Brewhouse is in BRITAIN!

Filed under: NEWS — Matt @ 9:33 am

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Well, I finally made it across the other side of the world from my hometown of Melbourne, Australia to the United Kingdom, and my current place of residence, the magnificently historic town of York.

I was intending to write reviews on the beer that I have tried whilst over here, but in that  I think I will fail. Certainly not because of the lack of good beer, but rather because of the sheer abundance of excellent brews available. With around 2000 years of history under it’s belt and sitting smack bang in the centre of the resergence of traditional brewing AND beer delivery (at the pub) techniques, York is an amazing place to be.

I have been here exactly a week now  and have sampled so many different beers that I’m going to have to carry a small note pad with me to jot down bits and pieces. You could go into one pub, have a pint of lovely traditional Bitter, then travel to another pub within a stone’s throw and other than Guinness stout, not see a single tap beer the same as the last pub’s.

This is a beer lover’s paradise!

Yes, the beer is usually what 99.9% of Austalians would consider ‘WARM’, but it’s not. It’s called CELLAR TEMPERATURE, and it’s THE way to drink the traditional hand drawn cask ale brewed here. And it’s not ‘FLAT’ as such, it just hasn’t had the hell carbonated out of it!

The Campaign For Real Ale (or CAMRA) has really livened up the brewing industry again here and has done nothing but good in aiding a veritable explosion of micro-brewed traditional ‘Real Ales’ hand pumped from the cask (which is now generally stainless steel instead of oak) into your pint glass with a wonderful quiet hiss and a slow settling of millions of tiny bubbles into a perfect British brew served at the appropriate temperature.

The Brits are also really big on Foster’s Lager here, but we won’t hold that against them too much! It’s brewed in Britain and I must say they have certainly improved on the flavour from when I last had some in Australia - not that  you can actually get it anywhere in Australia now. If it could get over the stigma (in Oz) of having been such a terrible tasting beer when it was brewed there, I think Foster’s would sell quite well, as long as it was brewed in Britain!

I think that comment might actually constitute High Treason in Oz, but I stand by it.

Anyway, I will go into a bit more of a description of beers I try, and what exactly REAL ALE is in future posts. I have a good ‘net connection at the moment, but that may change soon, so I’ll post as I’m able to.

Cheers and good brewing.


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