Well I ask this question, because not for the first time, I have come unstuck whilst having a pint of local brew.
First and foremost I enjoy cask beer or real ale, whatever you want to call it. If I visit a pub or bar and there is some on the bar I will choose to drink it. I was in Cumbria very recently and visiting a local country boozer I was delighted to see cask ale on the bar. Great I thought and ordered up a couple of pints for myself and my mate. Now the thing is, being a stranger in a strange land so to speak, you have no idea if the local brew is any good. In this case it was horrible. Ok it was fresh beer, well served but it was just so ordinary and dull.
Anyway cutting to the chase, this is not the first time myself and other friends have been disappointed when drinking cask ale. It seems a bit of a lottery whether you get a decent pint or not. In this case I am not blaming the landlords for poor cellar husbandry, but rather the small brewers for producing beers that may not be up to scratch.I know cask ales are the only growth area in the beer sector these days, and that people should support small local brewers, but, and it is a big but, is the standard of cask beer in the UK up to scratch. Just because a cask ale product ticks all the boxes, local, traditionally brewed and served, does this in anyway guarantee that this product is a quality product?
Perhaps we have all been seduced by the consistent product standards of keg beer, with it’s guarantee of a perfect pint every time, be it in Cumbria or London. I beg the question do the real ale brewers need to raise their game. Will mediocrity be the downfall of the resurgence of cask beer? I wonder.