Ads not shown when logged in
Page 2 of 6 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 53

Thread: Where Has All The Ale Gone?

  1. #11
    Just Missed the Round Brainypool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Wigan
    Posts
    254

    Default

    Mixed bag around here. My local hasn’t served a drop of real ale since March 2020 whereas it previously always served 1 or 2, but it has always been a predominantly lager drinkers pub anyway. Another pub up the road has seen a considerable change in its clientele towards those who prefer gin, cocktails and Eurofizz. The older regulars simply haven’t returned.

    The more reliable ale pubs, however, are still reliable from what I have seen. And I have been impressed by the resurgence of real ale in the last few weeks on visits to Newcastle and Liverpool. As Bucking Fastard suggests, perhaps this is a specific London issue.
    Last edited by Brainypool; 24-08-2021 at 09:24.

  2. #12
    This Space For Hire Wittenden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Weald of Kent
    Posts
    1,783

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    Slightly off-topic, but I was there tonight and everyone is healthy and back at work, so the pub is open again.

    Blue Bee Five Hop Pale (Amarillo, Columbus, Centennial, Cascade and Mosaic, since you ask) If it had said Amarillo, Columbus, Centennial, Cascade and Mosaic on the pump clip I might well have gone for something else, but I trusted the brewer. This was the bitterest finish of any beer I can recall from recent years, but beautifully balanced. It's so refreshing (in more than one sense) to find American hops used in this way, rather than to replicate the flavours of tropical fruits. Hope you can find some where you're drinking.
    Sounds like my kind of beer.
    "At that moment I would have given a kingdom, not for champagne or hock and soda, or hot coffee but for a glass of beer" Marquess Curzon of Kedlestone, Viceroy of India.

  3. #13
    Just Missed the Round
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    287

    Default

    I have found that several Wetherspoon pubs seem to be struggling for guest ale. If you look on the app, pubs that used to sometimes do 5 or 6 guest ales are often showing just one, sometimes even none at all. At first some even seemed to be showing Doom Bar, Abbot etc as listed but out of stock. Not sure if this is a Wetherspoon specific issue - perhaps they are unable to source the same quantities they used to at what I imagine was a low price point - or whether they just scaled back when pubs were operating at reduced capacity and never bothered to build the availability back up again.

    Similar deal with Nicholsons pubs - they usually have two or three interesting guests on, but these seem to now be reduced to a couple of boring nationals and Nicholsons Pale Ale.

    I was out in Manchester at the weekend and frequented a few 'real ale' type pubs, and I'm pleased to report I was not confronted by a sea of barren pumps in those pubs.

    Initially, after Lockdown 1.0, I was of the assumption there were supply issues as many breweries had wound down their brewing activities or diverted resources into producing cans and bottles for retail sale. But there has been sufficient time for production to ramp back up since then, even with the various flavours of lockdown we have had on and off since, so perhaps there isn't much in that theory of mine.

  4. #14
    This Space For Hire
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Out West
    Posts
    1,956

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    And maybe those drinkers for whom variety and innovation are the thing should remember Camra's Revitalisation slogan: "Hey, some of this keg beer is actually pretty good, isn't it!"
    Yes. I have a hunch that this endorsement does little to help. Perhaps they should rename to CAMKA.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bucking Fastard View Post
    My view is that this is a London issue and COVID has accelerated a trend that was already evident beforehand..............much less real ale availability in general in the capital..

    Maybe not surprising given the advantages that keg holds

    Higher price point
    Longer shelf life
    Less cellaring skill needed to produce a consistent,good product.
    Easier for inexperienced bar staff to dispence.
    Hand pump image of old man's drink among younger drinkers.

    This reduction in real ale options is also impacting some former shining beacons on the London real ale scene,with the Euston Tap and Cask Pimlico both light on recent trips.
    Yes. I had considered most of the above.

    The Prince Arthur - a pump being used on the homepage, but all four pumps off on arrival. A Five Points keg at £5.70.
    The Jolly Butchers - seven pumps down to five with one ale but now ticking over at three.
    The Cock Tavern - 17 pumps with five delivering cider but just three ales, separated by nine nice shiny brass pump handles; a supposedly 'real ale Mecca'?
    The Pembury Tavern - no supply problems here as it's the brewery tap, so no surprises that all six pumps were in operation during my first lockdown visit. But a recent return with restrictions lifted and the three guest pumps are off and the remaining three have two of theirs and one guest - they can't even fill just three pumps with their own produce??? This observation was also made last night too.

    The Kilburn Arms - a pub in an area which isn't inner-city but equally isn't gentrified, fashionable let alone rich, but my Neck Oil was £6.40, so I suspect that keg is being peddled at a very high price due to all your observations above, but I think that keg may deliver a higher profit margin, especially if these Muppets charge a sum which ensures no return visit; with just five other customers, I don't see how it can survive. Mc Glynn's Bar over the road was doing a fine trade at the same time, but definitely isn't my thing and I doubt they do ale, but they have no problem pulling in the punters.

  5. #15
    Between pubs sheffield hatter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Sheffield
    Posts
    3,857

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mobyduck View Post
    Continuing the slightly off topic theme.
    A lot is made of too many beers lead to poor quality by certain factions of the real ale drinking community (and I don't mean you Will), which in many cases can be true, but certain "elite" (for want of a better word) seem to manage this with ease so not a problem in my book. I've not been to the KIT before but will remedy this next month, but nearer my neck of the woods The Nags Head in Reading on Quinnos manor manage 12 beers with no apparent problem and many other pubs manage it so to me it's not so much the number of beers but the competence of the keeper.
    I think the problem probably stems from a pub trying to break into that sort of market too quickly. If you look at the KIT and the Fat Cat, just around the corner from each other, you might assume somewhat naively, that having 12 beers on is the way to get rich. Wrong! You have to establish a reputation for good beer well kept, and keep it ticking over. You have to be meticulous. You have to be prepared to throw beer away, and you have to be prepared to think again and just have six beers on, or just four, or just two! You're right about the competence of the keeper, but that isn't learned overnight. Can you imagine how much work is involved in keeping 12 beers ticking over with never a loss of quality? I can't.
    Come On You Hatters!

  6. #16
    Still about Mobyduck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Out saving pubs and enjoying it.
    Posts
    4,946

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    I think the problem probably stems from a pub trying to break into that sort of market too quickly. If you look at the KIT and the Fat Cat, just around the corner from each other, you might assume somewhat naively, that having 12 beers on is the way to get rich. Wrong! You have to establish a reputation for good beer well kept, and keep it ticking over. You have to be meticulous. You have to be prepared to throw beer away, and you have to be prepared to think again and just have six beers on, or just four, or just two! You're right about the competence of the keeper, but that isn't learned overnight. Can you imagine how much work is involved in keeping 12 beers ticking over with never a loss of quality? I can't.
    Spot on.
    "Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer."
    -W.C.Fields

  7. #17
    Please give generously Quinno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Reading
    Posts
    2,579

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mobyduck View Post
    Continuing the slightly off topic theme.
    The Nags Head in Reading on Quinnos manor manage 12 beers with no apparent problem and many other pubs manage it so to me it's not so much the number of beers but the competence of the keeper.
    The quality has suffered, IMHO. The cask breathers are out I think - had a few cardboardy ones lately. The kids are drinking keg.

    The Allied in town has reduced its range severely but has been knocking out its best beer in years recently.

    Folks, cask (in the South) was bloated and far too prominent before lockdown - too many on not shifting. There is (and will continue to be) a long-overdue market retraction in cask offering south of Brum.

    I did all bar one of the Norwich GBG pubs the other week and quality was crap (honorable exceptions).

    We need consistent quality cask so people keep drinking it. I said before lockdown that 1/4 of cask could disappear from the pumps the following day and it'd be no bad thing. I stand by that!
    Last edited by Quinno; 25-08-2021 at 00:41.

  8. #18
    Still about Mobyduck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Out saving pubs and enjoying it.
    Posts
    4,946

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Quinno View Post
    1/4 of cask could disappear from the pumps the following day and it'd be no bad thing. I stand by that!
    Happy for Doom Bar and GK IPA to go.
    The problem is lack of interest , from punters (not enough getting out and about) and providers (keg/ craft an easier fix). Had excellent quality over the last couple of weeks in The Harp, Royal Oak (Borough) and The Dodo Micropub in London and my regular haunt The Alfred (see BOTW) a small locals community pub that turns over six ales at a time all the time and I can honestly say I've never had a poor pint in seven years of drinking there. The connection? All are well attended pubs and all have an enthusiasum for their product. Lethargy is the problem where it's going wrong.
    "Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer."
    -W.C.Fields

  9. #19
    Waterborne Beer Inspector Bucking Fastard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Oxford Canal
    Posts
    2,813

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mobyduck View Post
    Happy for Doom Bar and GK IPA to go.
    The problem is lack of interest
    Me too,but I would hazard a guess that these two along with London Pride are the largest available cask real ales in London.The takeover of Spirit Pubco,lots of central London outlets, by Greene King a few years ago didn't help. It's no wonder that punters,especially the young, are moving away from real ale.
    "Good people drink good beer" Hunter S Thompson

  10. #20
    This Space For Hire
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Out West
    Posts
    1,956

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mobyduck View Post
    Happy for Doom Bar and GK IPA to go.
    And Fuller's London Shame, which is available at every Remarkable Pubs Co branch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bucking Fastard View Post
    Me too,but I would hazard a guess that these two along with London Pride are the largest available cask real ales in London.
    Sadly I think you are right, with London Sh*te seeming to have ousted Gloom Bore. Had some lovely pints of Three Sods Old Normal at the Cock Tavern over the last few days, but then you wouldn't expect to see the above served there, thank God.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •