Tuesday, 10 March 2009


Many years ago a young man, probably slightly before his 18th birthday, discovered a drink called Old Peculiar. It was probably 1982 and the pub was in a well known Lakeland Valley. This young man had on several other occasions disgraced himself drinking far too much fizzy Scotch Bitter to only be subsequently calling out on the great white telephone. OP was found to be quite therapeutic and provided many a jolly evening of convivial socialising in this classic Cumbrian pub and little ill effects suffered except for a thick head the next day.

Thinking it was bitter that was the problem and that dark beers were OK a Guinness drinking career ensued for many years. Unfortunately this young man did not understand the difference between real ale, bitter, old ale, stout or keg beer.

A little while later a small up and coming brewery in Cumbria found this pub to be useful as an outlet. Yates brewery, started by the late Peter Yates, found this pub to be ideal for promoting his beers. Yates beers have been sold there ever since. Possibly, without the likes of this type of establishment, the little brewery would never have got going. Drinking OP, and remembering about Yates, contributed significantly to the young man in this story and his fascination with beer.

The young man is a little bit older now and is of course me. I run a real ale pub and micro brewery and my introduction and understanding of the trade was helped significantly by my time drinking and working at the above mentioned pub.

In a recent local CAMRA branch meeting Yates and Robinsons were both commented upon. Yates is a Cumbrian microbrewery. Robinsons is not. Which do you think the branch likes. Yes, your right, Yates. It's a damn good beer and much better then Robinsons. But the sad ending to this story is that Robinsons have bought the aforementioned pub. The end of Yates in one of the first pubs to support the brewery. Now do my readers understand where I'm coming from when I object to the tie?

Please excuse the rubber bands in the picture. The Landlord is quite rightly demob happy. I wish him all the very best in whatever he does. He's a good guy and I don't blame him one bit. I hope the incoming lessee can make it work - I doubt it personally, he'll be paying too much for the beer.

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