View Full Version : Northern Beer Blog - Pubpaper 718 – Beer, the social glue

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21-07-2013, 14:51
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There is a great benefit of writing that nobody knows what you look like, so you occasionally get hear frank feedback from people who don’t realise they are talking about someone in the room. *The feedback is generally positive, with some people telling me to lighten up sometimes, particularly after a bout of Greene King and Enterprise Inns ranting. *The most amusing feedback I’ve overheard was whilst sitting in the Ship Inn at Brighouse on a Wednesday night having a couple of nice pints. I suddenly hear my name mentioned from the corner of the pub. *Looking over I see two bearded men reading a copy of Pubpaper. *The conversation went like this “Who’s this Sean Liquorish” “what” *“This thoughts from the taproom” “what about it” “He writes a right bunch of shit”. *Just last week I was at a meeting of Holmfirth pub landlords and one of representatives knew me by name from Pubpaper.
However someone who gives me regular feedback is one the locals at my local The Cock and Bottle. **Someone I shall call Paul (for that is his name), I have known since I moved to Southowram in 1999. *He’s been one of the pubs steadfast customers through the stewardship of George and Margaret and latterly Michael Cawood who relaunched the pub just under 3 years ago. ***It is always interesting to chat to him, with stories about pubs and drinking going back decades, as well as about the editor of this esteemed publication. *With him now retired, I get recommendations from his pub days out to other Yorkshire towns undertakes occasionally.
I was chatting to Paul on Saturday and we were talking about beer. *He was telling me he was a lifelong Tetley cask drinker, however as soon as production got moved to the West Midlands, he stopped, it just didn’t taste the same. *There is a simple reason for this, the vast majority of beer is made up of water, and the beer takes some of its flavour profile from this. *Water will taste slightly different according to what minerals it has soaked through to hit the water table. **This geological makeup is different across the country with Yorkshire being a particularly mineral rich region. *So when they moved to the West Midlands which is not exactly known for Limestone outcrops, you change the water make up dramatically. *Over the decades of drinking the same beer your taste buds get used to it to the point of even a small change being instantly noticeable, and just that small thing can put a lifelong drinker off.
Nowadays he drinks a variety of beers and styles, the loyalty that dominated most of his drinking life now subject to day to day whims. *Such loyalty to a certain brew was not unusual going back to recent history, when breweries had a strong regional link to an area it was not rare for someone to be an “Everards” or “Banks’s” man if you were a Leicester drinker. *The same is true for the Northern regions, Boddingtons had huge loyalty with drinkers, most of which was destroyed the day they mothballed the Strangeways brewery, Tetley had the same emotional link with Yorkshire drinkers when Brewery Wharf was the beers home, that loyalty went with the shutdown of the plant.
For most drinkers beer is more than just a mix of hops, barley and water, it is something which is part of their lives from the age of 14 to the day death knocks on the door and tells your time is up. *It is intertwined with the major events of our life, all the significant birthdays, our graduation ceremonies and weddings as well celebrating achievements be they at work or sport related. **We regale times when we drank too much for years afterwards. *There is an emotional link which lasts until the very end when you life is toasted by the clinking of the beer glass by your friends and family. **One memory that will stay with me forever was at my Grandmas wake about 13 years ago, after a long session in the back room of the pub, many people were a bit worse for wear when my cousins stool decided to obey rotational physics and go parallel to the floor taking him with it, however not a drop of beer was spilt. *The reaction in the room was “she would have loved this”. *Beer is a social glue which brings us together and long may we enjoy it.

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