Time & Place

“I dreamed about killing you again last night and it felt alright to me…..”

(“Via Chicago” – Wilco)

In only the very loosest sense of the word is this a “Beer” post….

This is my vent space. My safe place where I can say things I rarely will in person. The trick is….. to find the words to begin. But I’ll give it a go, however inadequate.

I found myself on Friday in a rare place, quite firmly ensconced within my “cups”. Drink had been taken. A lot. I was (in the words of Rowley Birkin QC) “Very, very drunk…” I ranted a bit – not nasty, that’s not in my nature – but got a bit embarrassing (apologies guys, you know who you are). And rather strangely, slightly defensive at one point.

About music. Which – as I’ve said before – as passionate as I am about Manchester and its beer, matters more. The thing that truly keeps my spirits up.

About my favourite ever concerts (I’ve never “got” the word “gig”).

You see, my favourite ever concert was U2. And – to be perfectly clear, I’m not a massive U2 fan.

At Salford University’s Maxwell Hall in 1981. Over 36 years ago.

You can have your opinion about that band, but in that night and in that place, they were transcendent. Absolutely magnificent.

I remember one particular moment amongst many in particular. I think it was during “I Will Follow”, when – momentarily – I stopped leaping.

And the floor moved. Like a wave. The floor was actually moving. Up. And down.

Obviously, this could have been disastrous. Like the 1831 “Marching In Step” bridge collapse, that sense of oneness, that joyous leaping in time could have been catastrophic. But it wasn’t. It was a special moment. Unforgettable.

Time & Place.

My second favourite concert was Gary Glitter & The Glitter Band the next year (I think).

Whatever became later public knowledge – the despicable abusive monster that Gadd (Glitter) was – at that time and in that place (again Maxwell Hall) the evening was something I’ve never forgotten. 2000 people. Bouncing to one of the great 70s bands. Together. In a 1st floor hall. In Salford.

Time & Place.

(Not every night was great there – I walked out of New Order on the Low Life tour. The last time I’d allow them to take the piss.)

I find myself reflecting more, recently, on those “moments”. Those times of enjoyment. Release. When I can laugh and smile. Without embarrassment. No self-reproach. I allow myself those moments.

There’s one such coming up on Thursday when I go to see Jeff Tweedy live. With a dear friend with whom I think we’ve formed a mutual support group. He helped me following our tragic loss. Then recently his dear wife passed away. And I’ll say it. My life would be much poorer without him.

He knows that I’ll cry like a bastard to “Via Chicago” (The above line of which a very young Fionn sang in the car once when I played it – making my jaw drop). He won’t judge. He knows also that I’ll dissolve to “California Stars“, a song forever associated with my dear departed friend, Phil. You see, Phil introduced me to Wilco (via Mermaid Avenue).

Time & Place. Again.

Be kind to one another. Jx

Manchester Beer and Cider Festival 2018 : The Hit List

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A chance to meet up with good friends should never be passed on.

Festivals like MBCF bring together those from within the (what people forget is a rather tiny) beer bubble of enthusiasts – you say nerds, if you like – and those more usual drinkers that get occasion, once or twice a year, to try something a bit different.

And this Goliath of a beer event certainly brings choice. With more keg than before seemingly pointing in the direction that the ongoing CAMRA “revitalisation” might be headed. Towards a greater inclusivity on beer dispense.

It has almost become a personal tradition to have a look at the beer list – vast though it is – and try to figure out a route map, a plan, a way to navigate myself between the bars to access those beers that to me are unmissable.

To me, that means avoiding the family brewer bars. Going independent.

And – with the odd excellent exception – that means Northern.

So – without further (in alphabetical brewery order – but with the bar noted)…

Abbeydale (Funk Dungeon)Imperial Brett Saison – 9% abv – The Font Bar

Jim and Laura Rangeley graciously agreed to host a presentation and tasting at #ISBF4 and the focus was on beers from their “Funk Dungeon” project. And with this Sheffield brewery being more noted for session Pale Ales, my eyes were opened.

A palate refresher for later in a session maybe, but I won’t miss this.

Bexar County BrewingTexas Pecan Coffee Mild – 3.6% abv – Bar 1

Steve Saldana is a bit of a one-off. Ploughing his experimental beery furrow in Peterborough. And WOW does he make good beer.

I had an iteration of this a couple of years back on a Road To Wigan Beer Festival and – amongst some simply outstanding beers, this was just, delicious. Exceptional.

I mean Pecans & Coffee? In a Mild? But oh ohh ohhhh does it work! Utterly lush. I need another. One for early on.

Five Towns BreweryWarzsawa – 9.1% abv – Bar 1

In three of the four years of The Independent Salford Beer Festival, beers brewed in Malcolm Bastow’s shed in Outwood have reigned supreme to be voted by the drinkers – think about that, the drinkers – as Beer of the Festival. My abiding memory of our bash last October, was of Steve and Andy walking towards me, early on the first session, with a beer in hand. Giggling. “This is going to be Beer of the Festival”

It was “Always Crashing In The Same Car”. A beer that Malcolm and I had brewed especially for #ISBF4. A one-off. That Malcolm decided to brew again having been overwhelmed by the feedback.

That was a Belgian style Tripel infused with rhubarb. Fermented with yeast from the legendary Brasserie Orval.

With a fresh batch of that legendary yeast available, Malcolm went again. But with cherries.

I’m drooling.

Hophurst Brewery2 Rounds of 6 Before Breakfast – 3.5% abv – Bar 2

I crave refreshing session beers. And am not one to be frequently swayed by the opinion of others. But someone had a word with me last year about Hophurst. Someone I trust.

This looks like an early session beer. Citra, Chinook & Cascade. In a low abv pale. My boxes are ticked.

MallinsonsStouted Caramel /Amarillo – 4.7% abv /4.2% abv – Mallinsons Bar

I’m torn. A rare excursion into The Dark Side from my Yorkshire friends or to pander to my Amarillo addiction.

Decisions, decisions.

I bow to none in my love of the Pale Ales brewed by Beer Jesus and the Cocktail Twins, but that Stout!

I may have to have both…..

Marble / Hawkshead / Burning Sky3 Threads Porter ‘Young’ – 6.5% abv – Bar 2

A beer that formed part of the Year long collab frenzy to celebrate 20 years of the mighty Marble Brewery. I had a version of this on keg at their 20th birthday celebrations.

I wouldn’t miss this on cask for all the tea at Betty’s!

I mean. A blend of Porters from Marble, Hawkshead & Burning Sky? SERIOUSLY?

I’m on it.

Neptune BreweryMosaic – 4.5% abv – Bar 2

Les O’Grady hit the ground running with Neptune. I started with his Stout Abyss and worked through the Pales. Simply lovely beers.

The best compliment I can pay is that when I see the Neptune clip on a bar, my decision is made. That good.

And it’s a session Pale. With Mosaic. 1+1=2.

North Riding/Beer CentralFudge Brownie Stout (Ski Sundae Edition) – 7.4% abv – Bar 2

Take my “Beer of the Year” from 2017. Tweak it with Raspberries and Vanilla. And serve cool in a pint glass.

The original Fudge Brownie collab with Five Towns was immense, like a big Stouty cake in a glass. In bottle it won my heart, from a wooden cask on NYE it simply blew me away.

And then Stuart – along with Sean Clarke from Beer Central in Sheffield – twisted it. It sounds amazing.

Pictish BreweryBrewers Gold – 3.8% abv – Bar 2

Sometimes – rarely for me – you just want the beer equivalent of comfort food. Something you can rely on for excellence. Consistency. Something like Pictish Brewers Gold.

Paul Wesley’s Single hopped Brewers Gold is a bit of a local legend. Rightly revered. And I want some. Simple.

Pig & Porter v Rivington BrewingLair of the Baubai – 9.1% abv – Pig & Porter Bar

A beer created and brewed especially for #ISBF4, I only got the slightest of tastes of this fruited Baltic Porter. And it was simply glorious.

But I want more. And the fact that both Sean Ayling & Ben Stubbs were both ecstatic about it just reinforces that need.

Pomona IslandPorter – 5.7% abv – Bar 2

My love of dark beers is well-known. So when a new Salford brewery hits the ground at a sprint with excellent Pale Ales, I want to be all over their dark output.

Like with this. If this is even in the same ballpark as their Pales, it will be lovely.

RedwillowFaithless 76 – 4.3 % abv – Bar 2

Again, for breweries from this area, when I see Redwillow clips, I point.

Simply consistent excellence. So when I see a double dry-hopped Pale at that session strength, I’m on it.

Redwillow / ElusiveMore or Less American Brown – 4.9% abv

The combination of two fabulous breweries. A beer style I go weak at the knees for.

I don’t see enough Elusive on cask.

What’s not to love. Unmissable.

Rivington Brewing / MBCF / TryanuaryYou Have To Call Me Nighthawk – 5.6% abv

From a rising star of a brewery fairly local to me that just gets better and better.

Described as a hopped Export Porter.

Sold.

Torrside / GRUBGrubby Bastard – 6% abv – Bar 3

I had this at the weekend at the GRUB Winter Beer Festival. I would feel guilty if I didn’t flag it up.

A simply luscious dark chocolatey beer with a nice hint of smoke. Rich yet delicate. From the local masters of smoked malts.

Treat yourself.

Wishbone / Neptune BreweryDouble Abyss – 6.8% abv – Bar 3

A merger of two dark beers that I love from two superb yet seemingly underrated breweries.

Promises to be dark, rich, luscious and chocolatey.

Well. I’ve got my work cut out over the next few days, but I intend to try all of these liquid works of art. Call them “recommendations” if you like. And enjoy the festival.

Drink responsibly for me – and come say Hi. I’ll be the one with a tub of Andrews to hand.

Be kind to one another. Jx

“Political Correctness Gone Mad”? The Sea Is Due West. Walk On. 

I am the guy who banged on that #BeerPeopleAreGoodPeople. My predictive text still predicts that hashtag, even now.

In many respects, I still believe that. The people I have met through beer are some of the most caring, kind, generous and supportive people I’ve met. Many of them kept us above water, when the waves were crashing over our heads. Those people didn’t do that because I’m a beer blogger. Nor because I organised a beer festival.

They’re simply decent and lovely people.

And that’s something, because I’m not the easiest of people sometimes.

Since that fateful day 16 months ago, I find myself “changed”. More tolerant of petty foibles than I ever was previously, but simultaneously more reactive to bullshit. From going nose to nose with newly empowered racists on the last bus (trying to get an elderly African lady off it) to calling out knuckle draggers of a different – beery – stripe…

That thread was – to put it mildly – a bit of a tangent on a post about minimum alcohol pricing in Scotland on a Facebook Beer Forum. And, being fair to the admins, one of them called it out.

But you can’t unsee some things…..

To give credit where it’s due, this post from David kind of prodded me into action

OK. I’m no spring chicken. I’ve got a few years under my belt to put it mildly, so I simply don’t buy that some of the reactionary bullshit that goes on online is an age thing. It isn’t.

Some people – whatever their age (and irrespective of gender) – are resistant to change. They don’t like that their “funny pump clips” with prominent cleavage being called out, criticised, condemned.

And rightly condemned.

Such clips – actually – aren’t funny. Such “branding” is lazy. And cheap. And thoughtless. And demeaning. Especially the latter.

Am I the only person in Bolton who cheered and shouted “about ******g time” when Bank Top Brewery discontinued the brewing of Old Slapper?

And I’m led to believe that some pubs over ordered it so they could keep it going… For. Fucks. Sake.

Tits on a Clip aren’t funny. Full. Stop.

Comments about tits at a beer festival aren’t funny.

Abuse of (perceived) power isn’t funny.

Come To Daddy” isn’t funny.

What all these things ARE is offensive.

Freedom of Speech is all well and good in theory, but it’s a qualified right. It is most certainly NOT the freedom to offend. 

One of the things that had heartened me over the last few years is lessening of the average age at beer events. And seeing more women of all ages getting involved in beer. Drinking, writing, brewing. Groups like Ladies That Beer, building communities. The beer world is FULL of talented women, writers like Melissa Cole (who was more of an influence on me than I can ever describe), friends like Tara, Elaine, Michelle – some of the most talented brewers I know.

And do we really need to go into the history of brewing on these islands? Because it sure wasn’t men who ensured that the family had something safe to drink….

The striving for equality obviously threatens some. For others – especially on social media – they see it as an opportunity to vomit misogynist bile. I’ve followed some of the “adventures” of Melissa on Twitter, NOBODY should have to put up with the shit that she does. Nor any woman who puts their head above the parapet. This shouldn’t be viewed as bravery, it should NOT be exceptional. There shouldn’t be a parapet in the first place.

Equality of treatment is something I’ve fought for as a trade unionist for nearly 30 years. It’s something I care passionately about. I could be treated like shit, but as long as you are too, I have no argument. Of course, I’d rather we were all treated well, with respect.

Yes, I come from a position of privilege. I’m a white, heterosexual, male. In that respect, I have to put up with none of the shit that some of my friends do. In some respects, I’m lucky.

Like I said, I’d like all to be treated with respect. To accept differences. All differences. Physical, emotional, intellectual. I’m obviously a naive Utopian.

Also, like I said earlier, I’m far less tolerant of bullshit than I was 16 months ago.

Be kind to one another. But if you can’t, be prepared for challenge. Because I will for sure, I’m sick of the nonsense.

 

The Secret Life of Buses

In a social sense, I consider myself fortunate. The Lovely One and myself have a core of close friends that are precious and fiercely loyal. They close together in times of crisis & tragedy. They behave the way communities used to. Like glue, we stick together.

I’m also incredibly fortunate in that in the nearly 6 years – is it REALLY? – that I’ve been wittering (generally) about beer and pubs, I’ve made some incredibly lovely friends and acquaintances. This accelerated with the adventure that was The  ISBF and a band of brothers and sisters came together that now regularly plans trips to further flung beery destinations (next up North Riding Brewpub on 9th Feb).

They are Good People. Lovely in fact.

The thing is, that an awful lot of this would not have been possible without reliable public transport. And where I live, that means buses.

In particular, First Buses Manchester.

My social life totally relies on the bus. I’m approximately 1 1/2 miles from the nearest regular train service (my local station, Farnworth, being closer, yet with virtually no evening service) and the return journey – without a bus – involves a 1 1/2 mile walk. Uphill. In the cold.

The bus service is – therefore – essential to my social life.

I work 20 miles from home at Manchester Airport. I found the constant commuting by car to be soul destroying. Getting stuck on the M60 Barton flyover at 4pm was like Groundhog Day. With added sewage stench.

So I explored the possibility of commuting via public transport. And purchased a System One County Card monthly. £113. That can take me all over Greater Manchester on the train network.

And never looked back.

OK. I’m out – generally at 5:45am. Yes, there ARE 2 5:45s. You lot are mostly asleep no doubt. This journey involves a bus to Piccadilly, Metro to Piccadilly Train station, then a train to The Airport. And I love it. In that 1 1/2 hours I have read more books, listened to more tunes than I can count. I’ve even learned to love Spotify.

On the return journey, it’s mostly train to Bolton. On those 40 minute journeys were written most of the ISBF Web posts.

The train gets in to the new Interchange with a footbridge across to the new bus station. It’s a lovely facility. Let down by the bus services that it’s supposed to facilitate. In short, unreliable. From day one. I’ve also lost count of the number of tweets to the First Buses Manchester account that I’ve sent.

The theme (generally) being “If you can’t keep to a timetable, create one that you can”.

When I’m on my own, it irritates. Personally, I can deal with that. But twice in the last week, I’ve waited for an evening bus with The Lovely One. Only for a service not to appear. Apparently cancelled. With no possibility of notice, given the lack of bus stop information service.

An hour. Stood in the cold. This shouldn’t happen.

This – the 37 from Manchester to Bolton – is a half hourly service in the evenings. Or at least it SHOULD be. (On the advice of The Daughter Thing, one downloaded the UK Bus Checker app – live tracks some services….less wasted – cold – waiting around)

The timetable is seared into my memory. Too many times have I rush-stumbled from The Brink, crossed Bridge Street and caught the 11:44 last bus. On some occasions falling asleep and waking in Bolton.

Luckily, there’s a taxi rank….

Last night, The Lovely One and I ventured into Mancunia to see some dear beer friends, Beer Jesus and The Cocktail Twins (I’ve registered that band name). A lovely evening. Utterly spoiled by a cancelled bus service. The 22:40. A bus that simply failed to show. We were stood waiting – again – in the cold.

It simply isn’t good enough

I don’t work for the bus company. I have no appreciation of what their issues may be. But something needs to change.

Cities like Manchester function in the evenings, stay alive socially (especially this month), because of public transport. Without a reliable service, people will stop travelling to socialise.

If this service gets any worse, that “option” will become more viable.

Back soon – J

Piccadilly : Let’s Go For A Walk – A #Tryanuary Impulse 

Whims. Funny old things. The older I get, the more likely I am to concede.

There is a tendency – call it laziness – to stick to the tried and tested. The familiar. The places where you know you will get fabulous beer and a warm welcome. A comfort blanket. Something that has been (for want of a better word) a godsend these last 16 months.

But sometimes….. You just want something else.

Thursday evening, on the way home from work, I just had a yen. That impulse. To go for a walk. A beer or two. Follow the Tryanuary spirit, do something I’d not done for a while.

So, with a co-conspirator (Jock) secured, I donned the cans (Bluetooth – not Carling) and caught the 37 into Piccadilly – an area I’d not consciously crawled before…

The Jolly Angler : Ducie Street

From Piccadilly station, walk down the Approach and turn right onto Ducie Street and keep walking – heading right at the eventual fork. There you will find a previously heralded (by me at least) Mancunian gem.

A single room. A single cask conditioned beer. But a whole lot of Mancunian Soul. Something that I find increasingly important as tempus fugit.

I entered in this chilly and slightly windy Manchester evening to the warmth of a blazing real fire. A pint of Hydes Original in hand, I settled down to enjoy the start of an evening of entertaining conversation with Jock (being a boring old toss pot myself, Jock provided the wit).

Hydes Original. I love this beer. A paler shade of Amber reflecting the glow of the fire, an orangey flavour washed around my mouth and all felt right on this “school night”. A sign of a leprechaun above the bar indicating that offensive language wouldn’t be tolerated was a nice touch….

A cluster of obvious regulars at the bar indulging in jovial chat, I could focus on the charm of this place. It isn’t gentrified. It is almost anachronistic – considering the pace of development just yards away. An old fashioned street corner style Mancunian boozer – warm, welcoming, friendly. Just doing the right things.

And doing them so well.

Not enough people wax lyrical about places like this. I now consider that MY job.

Even with the photographs memorialising United legends (with Blue tinges) lining the walls, I still adore this place. Almost the embodiment of the phrase “Use it, don’t lose it”.

Just give the Piccadilly Tap the slopy shoulder. And enjoy something real. And Mancunian.

I took our glasses back. Thanked the barman/landlord. And headed off – although I could happily spend an entire evening in “The Angler”…

Back down Ducie Street, across “Piccadilly” (as the road is actually called) across Aytoun Street and past the magnificent Minshull Street Crown Court onto Richmond Street. At the end of which (Just before the junction with Sackville Street) you’ll find…

The Molly House : Richmond Street

I’ve had some lovely evenings here, but realised that it had been a long while since I’d last been. Way too long in fact.

There is a stripped back charm to this place. Set up over two floors (“The Company Bar” underneath – I’m told – being a separate club venue), upstairs also has a full bar and is where the unisex toilets are located.

Being fond of the odd euphemism myself, the venue is named from an old slang phrase for a brothel, but don’t let that dissuade you from experiencing this lovely place.

I’ve always had good beer in here, tonight was no exception with a new brewer (to me) having two beers on the bar (Rossendale Brewery), two from Howard Town and one from Beartown (a regular outlet).

The Rossendale “Halo Pale” was superb, hoppy and refreshing. And sessionable.

Lots of wood, stripped back floors, a few tables, some window seating, friendly bar staff, a simply MAGNIFICENT selection of spirits and a good reputation for the food (there’s an “open” kitchen in the downstairs room). This is a relaxing place for a beer or three with a very mixed custom reflecting the feel of the place.

And you can’t leave Richmond Street without a shot of the fabulous “Muriel” (sorry Hilda!) that graces the outside wall….

It won’t be so long before my next visit….

Back onto Sackville Street turning right onto Portland Street and across Piccadilly Gardens onto Lever Street. Across Stevenson Square and turn right onto Faraday Street, you will find a little known new place that Tryanuary should draw you to….

The Peer Hat : Faraday Street

The Arch Nemesis brought us here a few weeks ago following a visit to Fairfield Social Club. Tucked away between Lever Street and Newton Street, it was a complete surprise!

A bar cum live music venue (in the basement, something I’m yet to explore), this is a spacious two roomed pub. Friendly, with plenty of seating for old bones like mine!

If you enter from the Little Lever Street entrance, you walk past the mini music shop. If only I had a turntable….

Yes. Nice local music theme here, but it’s the beer… Skirting the Verdant on keg – YOU shouldn’t if you go – Curse Of Mexico by Black Jack hit the R Spot, nice and punchy sharp for a session beer. Just what Dr ordered.

Like this place. It’s Tryanuary, give it a try. Well worth the effort. It just has a Mancunian feel, my kind of place.

To finish off the evening – it WAS a “school night” after all and I was back out at 5:45 – yes, there IS a morning one…..

Back left onto Faraday Street and cross Lever Street (it’s a long walk this….) back onto Faraday Street and look right….

Pie & Ale : The Hive, Lever Street

Technically, Faraday Street – if you’re looking on Lever Street you’ll miss this. And that would be a a shame.

4 separate areas cleverly divided to give different feels, the name is kind of a mission statement. Pie. And ale. And – from personal experience, very good pies indeed.

Other than the fire alarm, a relatively quiet night. It was 10pm when we got here I suppose. Despite its “tucked away” location, this modern bar can get deceptively busy.

With a mix of high tables, diner style setting and bar seats, the bar has a rotating beer range with one reserved for an eminently missable house beer. With beers from the likes of Turning Point, Brightside, Tickety & First Chop (a very – and welcome – Northern line up), that’s easy.

The “Seven Waves” by Brightside maintained the perfect strike rate tonight. Full flavoured, punchy, with a moderate bitterness, it finished off the night (for me at least) perfectly. A lovely beer.

For the more price conscious, Tuesdays look good….

The “points” of tonight were various. To avoid the simple, the easy. Drinking in Manchester can become a magnificent Groundhog Day. Clichéd. If you let it.

I’m as prone to that as anyone. I have my favourites too. And they are very obvious. But there is so much more to Manchester than the classics. And the trendy.

Sometimes, it’s just time for something different.

And it’s Tryanuary.

So do just that. Try something different. Go give a hug and a kiss to somewhere you’ve never been before. Go with a friend (Cheers Jock), treat them, Share the love.

You won’t regret it.

Back soon. J x

The Road To Wigan Beer Festival 2018

RTWB Bus

It’s easy to get bored with beer festivals. Same old, same old. Well. OK. I’M easily bored.

It takes something special to get my attention, to fire my enthusiasm. The Road To Wigan Beer is one of those. A special thing.

The Arch Nemesis and myself have been going on this jaunt for over 5 years now. It ticks all of my boxes.

  • Great beer – Sourced by Team Allgates.
  • New breweries.
  • Great company (+ me)
  • Great pubs.

And add a 70 seater bus to take you round 7 of them.

It was the first beer event I went to after our World fell apart. And it didn’t feel strange. It felt like a warm beery comfort blanket.

In short, I can’t praise this highly enough. One of only two unmissable events this year for Jaz &  me. (The other being East West Fest)

Some simply lovely proper local pubs. With excellent beers. And one of my favourite pubs of all in the Crooke Hall Inn – on the bank of the Leeds – Liverpool canal. 

Last Easter, finally, some of our Mancunian beer friends decided to give it a whirl. And had an absolute blast. Ask them. (And they are all waiting for the date so they don’t miss out!)

The actual “festival” is spread across 10 or so days and 7 or so pubs. And on one of those days (the first Saturday of the event) a bus is booked to take a bunch around all of those pubs. As I said, we call it the “fun bus”.

The bus stayed “in depot” last October. Disappointed doesn’t quite cover it. But there was a promise made to take to the highways and byways of Wigan Borough again in early 2018. It’s great news to see that David has kept his word.

The date for the bus? 21/04/2018. The day after the 33rd occasion of my 21st birthday. If you’re lucky (!) I’ll even let you buy me a beer to celebrate!

For tickets – contact Harley on 07796 048239

Come and join us.

#Pintgate : Bureaucracy & Common Sense. The Lack of… 

Common Sense. Wherefore art thou?

A couple of weeks ago, a little Mancunian corner of Twitter lit up. Just a little corner you understand. About a word. 

Pint. 

A measurement. An “Imperial” measurement. How some hark back to those glorious days, when there was an empire upon which the sun never set…. 

568ml. 

I’m an ardent modernist. I kind of like millilitres. (They make me feel I’m drinking in smaller amounts – until the morning….) 

So. Manchester. Marble Brewery, beloved of many, decided to package Pint – an exceptional session Pale Ale – in a can. An industry standard size can. 500ml.

And. One. Single. Person. Complained. 

To Trading Standards.

We live in a world where people cling to the past. Where they hark back to a pre-European idyll, to Imperial Measurements? REALLY?

IS THIS REALLY SO F*****G IMPORTANT?

So. Because a product – a beer – has a name “Pint”, it would appear that it would be ill advised to sell it in 1/2 litre cans. Because ONE PERSON reported it as being potentially misleading. Because its name was in bold – and the measurement information was in the same size as most other canned beers.

So. Change size or rename an iconic Mancunian Pale Ale?

Judging by the Marble response to this, it looks like you may not have the chance to drink “Pint” much longer. I don’t know if that will be in small pack, or a complete rename. 

If it’s the former, so be it. The lesser of evils. But if it’s the latter, I’d like the numpty who reported this to Trading Standards to reveal him/herself. And explain the thought process that leads to a small business having to change something so special to me – and many many others. 

There was no deliberate deception. No attempt to hoodwink. No dark sleight of hand. 

Pint. A Manchester classic. 

Idiot.  Did you not actually consider that – with the Northern preference for a foamy collar – that there may be less beer in your “pint” glass than in the 500ml can? 

And for Trading Standards? Why don’t you spend more time prosecuting those who sell shoddy counterfeit goods. Rather than such honestly displayed low hanging fruit.

Do your jobs in other words. 

Back soon – hopefully not ranting.

(Thanks to Tim Rowe for the image – completely used without permission!)