I quite like Rugby. At school I somehow got on with it better than the other game the boys liked to play. I think it was something to do with the fact I didn't get stuck in defence when we played Rugby in PE. I could join in a lot better and despite being a small kid, seemed to hold my own. I guess mainly I ducked between legs and then grabbed at ankles of the big boys, who seemed to fall easily.
There has been a Rugby club in Millom for 140 years. Both the Union and League versions of the game lay claim to being the first club back in that year, 1873. I refuse to get drawn into the arguments about these facts, other than to say that according to my research neither Union nor League existed back then. It was just the game of Rugby.
Never-the-less, the Millom Rugby League Club, widely acknowledged as the oldest in the world, asked us to make a beer for their 140th year. Of course, why not?
But, what I wanted to do was make a beer that they all loved, or at least all the ones that will have a go at something different. I know our beers are all a bit well hopped and generally are a bit more colour than is the fashion. It's all very well trying to make contemporary craft beer that appeals to a niche and might get above average scores on Ratebeer, but once in a while it's nice to get the local people to understand we can also make stuff they like, should we put our mind to it.
So, we brewed a beer. A blonde beer because we thought that might go down quite well. No dry hops, fairly low bitterness and just a sprinkling of new world hops to give it that certain zing. Last Friday we put a firkin in the club and they served it at The Challenge Cup Draw.
I had two pints. I'd have preferred two pints of Azimuth. Failing that three pints of Continuum. Still, on making my way to the bar for the third, just after eating my pie and peas, at around 7:30pm, one drinker said "Best pint I've tried for a while there Dave, but you needn't bother going for another" I was baffled, did he somehow think I'd had too much? "It's all gone, you should'a brought another firk lad"
Well, it might not win any praise on Ratebeer, but it sure hit the spot with the rugby fans. Good show, beer to specification, job done. The beer had been on the bar for less than 2 hours. It's not a big club.
There are a few more firkins. I'm not sure Millom will get through them all in the next couple of weeks. Anyone know a rugby club that wants to buy some beer?