The Real Thing

pint of the real stuffI am a big beer fan if you hadn’t guessed already or havent seen any aley posts from me and this is down to first my dad taking us on a beer tour in Belgium before uni, secondly, joining the Real ale society at uni, thirdly, meeting my future hubby at said society, fourthly, he is now a brewer with his father and we’ve just opened a pub together serving lots of tasty beers. Yet i wasn’t always a ale lover, i use to drink lager and supped carling and stella (oh the shame). For me it’s not only the taste thats better but the whole process and industry of real ale that continues to have me drinking it, which may seem strange to some but let me explain.

Whats wrong with my Carlsberg or any other lager for that matter?

-Well for a start off it tastes like pants but i suppose that’s a matter of taste

-Most lagers in the UK are owned by massive corporations who own many more brands of beer then you think and have their fingers in many pies too including hotels, restaurants and pubs to name a few. All the money they make is going to a handful of shareholders while they put smaller competitors out of business with unfair pricing and forced product ties

– Lagers have additives and preservatives added to them which although has not proved adverse to health I would rather have a natural product that only has pure ingredients in it

– Many of the big brands are produced in one huge factory or in another country adding to their carbon footprint as the beer it has to be transported to pubs or shops across the country

Buy small and localI didn’t realise  any of this,  i just drink it! So is real ale better?

-Personally i think the taste is better and there are so many styles and flavours to choose from.

-It has been studied that real ale is the healthy choice as it only contains, water, barley, hops and yeast, and has a higher number of antioxidants then lager. Plus real ale drinks tend to drink less then lager drinks and obviously the main health issue is too much alcohol.

-There are many large corporations who produce real ale as well so go for your local small brewery when your choosing ales, that way your supporting the little guy and it won’t have been transported hundreds of miles. If your pub doesn’t have a local ale, ask them why and get them to join CAMRA’s Locale Scheme (link opens a PDF) which means your pub serves beer brewed from within 50 miles

– You could also choose to buy organic ales which don’t use pesticides on their barley or hops. Some brilliant organic breweries include Black Isle, scotland, Stroud Brewery, Gloustershire and Little Valley in Hebden Bridge

lovely German LagerBut i love my lager?

-Not all Lagers are bad, the traditionally brewed ones on the continent are their version of real ale but they use a different yeast. You can find some great shops and bars that stock mainly German and Belgium varieties.

-There are also several British breweries that make Lager and they are incredibly tasty. I love Freedom Brewery’s Freedom Four lager, tis gorgeous

I could talk forever on this topic (i did my uni dissertation on it) so it’s hard to explain all the angles and ideas in a short post so if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask. You can also visit CAMRA for more info on real ale and the pub industry.

Right, off for a pint!


x xxx


One thought on “The Real Thing

  1. Sad to say that though I live in one of the best U.S. cities for microbrews, I don’t know my beers. I need to get on the ball. Great post!

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