Sunday 27 September 2020

Postmodernism - is it bollocks?

 I read with interest Lily Waite's recent blog post about beer and postmodernism. It's well written (even if some of the history is wrong) and I was able to follow the point being made. But at the end, to sound a little crass, I couldn't help but think so what? Beer might be described as hyperreal or a simulacra but if I've got a pint in my hand why should I care? Postmodernism might by sceptical towards reason but my reason tells me to be sceptical towards postmodernism. 

Wednesday 23 September 2020

Keep it real

Back in the days when a brief glimmer of hope flickered for festering plague pits, I mean pubs, I visited a few with my friend Tim. He did all the planning while I just tagged along so lets see if I can work out where we went and what I drank from the pictures. 

The first one is easy: Boxcar brewery where I had a pint of keg Best Bitter. In these ecumenical times I couldn't tell by looking if it was evil keg, or if it was served from a CAMRA kosher key keg. I can speak infallibly when I say it would have been better on cask though. 

I think it was this one next: a pint of murky cask beer: 


Again our Mother Church provides no help with this one, being neutral on the use of isinglass finings. I can't help but think that not using them is slightly blasphemous though. Surely the fact that the swim bladders of certain tropical fish make an ideal raw material for clearing yeast from cask beer is so improbable it must be proof of the existence of god, even more so than bananas?

The beer was the best bitter from that London brewery all the crafties like. The name escapes me at the moment though. Five Points maybe? And even if it wasn't fined it still tasted fine. 

If I've got the order right it was something a bit different next: Ayinger Kellerbier. 

This was also served from the keg but I had no fear for my immortal soul here. They have different brewing traditions on the continent so I wasn't risking eternal damnation, I was in fact showing how cosmopolitan I am. Not sure what the pub was though.

Excellent choice of what to photograph in the next pub saved me from more embarrassment as this must surely be The Carpenters Arms. 

This was a Krays pub apparently, though a mate who lived in the East End did point out they'd probably been in most pubs in the area. I'm not going to forget what the beer was here as it was lovely, lovely Landlord, which is probably the best beer in Britain and therefore the world. 

I think it was the Well and Bucket next. We clearly went there as I've got the evidence to prove it:

We did end up in another keg only emporium at one point and this could well be it. When I were a lad confronting such a horror would have made me turn tail and take my custom elsewhere but I'm a bit more laid back nowadays. And I hadn't done the planning. It looks like more murky keg. If I remember rightly this was from Magic Rock and was a bit cheesy. I notice that a lot in beers loaded with lots of American hops but it doesn't seem to bother anyone else. 

Tim had sensibly factored in a beigel in Brick Lane before our final stop, which I'm sure you can all recognise from the special feature:

Two of my mates did when I sent them the picture anyway. Perhaps you're confused that due to refurbishment it was moved from the corridor to the gents? Anyway, it was of course The Pride of Spitalfields, one of my favourite pubs.

It was back to beer served as god intended here, with no hint of blasphemy you'll note. I think I had a Pride and an ESB, though the ESB was a bit of a waste as I was too far gone to taste much difference by then. 

We had started our research trip at midday when pubs are perhaps not their busiest but I was sad to see how empty most of them were. The only one that was at all crowded was The Pride, which I might add had the biggest cask beer range. Which just shows that for pubs cask beer is where it's at.