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15-09-2015, 15:11
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I read with interest Boak and Bailey's blog here (http://boakandbailey.com/2015/09/artyfacts-from-the-nyneties-1-lemon-ale/) about a range of ales produced by Whitbread in the nineties. They concentrate on Colonel Pepper's Lemon Ale and while I remember it, it was as B&B say, one of many special ales produced at that time to increase interest in cask beer. Collectively they were called "The Cask Connoisseur's Challenge". I drank them in the Dusty Miller here in Middleton when it was a Whitbread pub run by a mate of mine, Charlie Ashton.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-I8QxrzhEKEI/VfgwGOhcyKI/AAAAAAAAGOw/QVuWU5783u4/s400/caskconnoisseur.jpg (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-I8QxrzhEKEI/VfgwGOhcyKI/AAAAAAAAGOw/QVuWU5783u4/s1600/caskconnoisseur.jpg)
Charlie then was a cask man and Whitbread were pushing cask. The Dusty became a cask ale house of some sort - there was a brand which I don't recall - with guest ales and of course, real ales from the Whitbread empire. I know they sold cask Trophy and Chester's Mild and Bitter as staples. I was an eager customer and remember drinking the beers, but not only that, when the beers came out, you could acquire (I'm not sure how exactly) T shirts to go with each beer. Charlie told me not to worry about such qualification as was deemed necessary by his bosses and that he would "Sort me out." When the promotion ended, Charlie presented me with a carrier bag full of T shirts representing each of the beers. Over the years the T shirts have slowly but surely died a death, but I still have three, pictured on this blog, as well as a show card for Murphy's Oyster Stout. That was bloody good stuff too.

Of course the T shirts don't fit me any more. Wonder why I haven't thrown them out? You'll also be glad to know, nearly 25 years later, Charlie still manages the Dusty Miller having somehow survived pub company after pub company, as his pub pinged around between them. It doesn't sell cask though now, but I still see Charlie around Midd now and then.

I hope B&B will forgive me hopping on their backs over this one, but hopefully this will add to the tale they tell.

I can remember the Lemon beer but that's as far as it goes. Can't remember at all how it tasted, but I do remember the Christmas Pudding was bloody good.

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