Tuesday, 19 April 2011
P is for.......Pubs
Being married to someone who works for CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) one quickly learns that frequent visits to public houses may become a necessity! (all in the interests of research, you understand!)
British pubs are so varied that the CAMRA 'Pub of the Year' awards often produce quite an eclectic short-listing! Quaint, thatched-roofed 'country' pubs jostle with inner city hostelries and Victorian 'watering holes'! However, the 'ambience' is only one criteria on which the contesting pubs are marked - after all, it is the ale in question that is supremely important. Quality and variety of product has to be of the highest standard, along with with the manner of service and a welcoming attitude.
Along with visits to pubs my OH travels to many of the regional CAMRA Beer Exhibtions (you could say he gets paid to go to beer festivals!) - and though it's an onerous task I sometimes have to accompany him. It is, indeed, a hard life! ;-p
Aside from encouraging pubs great and small aound the UK, CAMRA is priviledged to run what has been termed the 'biggest bar in the world' when it holds its annual Great British Beer Festival at Earls Court, London, with over 700 ales from the UK and some from abroad!
Our latest beer festival trip was yesterday - our favourite 'local', The Merchants Inn, is running a themed event called 'On The Farm'. Not only have they decorated the whole of the pub floor with real grass (yup, turf freshly laid yesterday morning! see pic)
but they painted the exterior like a Freisian cow!
And the beer names have an 'agicultural' tone - including 'Reservoir Hogs', 'Ploughmans Bitter' and 'Pig in a Bottle'. Totally mad - but fun!