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    Monday, 21 May 2007

    The Lure Of The Pub

    For me the best place to drink beer is in the pub. Don't get me wrong, beer festivals are great and I love them too, but they are just a bit clinical with entrance fees, glass hire, often inadequate seating and toilets, and, for the most part, an advertized beerlist which we can peruse before attending and more or less decide what we are going to drink before we set off for our day's imbibing.

    Good pubs on the other hand are a mystery. You don't know what's going to be available before you get inside and study the pumps or the beer board. Good pubs serve guest beers and guest beers mean you could find anything, from a brand new micro to the most common of national or regional brewer's beers. These pubs may have their regular range but the guest beers usually outnumber them meaning more intrigue.

    My local The Malt Shovel in Northampton has up to seven guest beers alongside three regulars and two additional beers from Great Oakley Brewery and these guests might come from anywhere in the UK.

    So it's much more fun and much more off the hoof to find new beers in this way, and after July 1st (you knew I had to get that in), it will be even more fun.

    Of course some pubs have actually taken to sticking their beerlist on their web page. But The Wellington in Birmingham's page really is taking it to another level. And in any case their pumps go through so many different beers so quickly, this will have changed by the time you get there!

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