Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Beer Week redux #1

Sorry about the orange juice. You try setting up a picture at the
bar of a Spoons on a Friday night.
After enjoying the beer menu the evening before, the first night of Beer Week proper was pretty low-key. We started at WEST on Glasgow Green for a couple of glasses of their special dark lager, less alcoholic and roasty than their standard dunkel. It grows on you. Then back into the city centre. The Counting House, the vast cavernous Wetherspoons on George Square, was hosting a meet-the-brewer with Stewart Brewing. Stewarts are an interesting brewery, standing with one foot in the trad Edinburgh eighty-bob-supping milieu and simultaneously dipping its toes in the coconut porter and wheat beer pool [Please don't use such tortured metaphors again - Ed]. On this occasion the bustle of a Friday night in Wetherspoons was overwhelming and I'm not sure most people in the pub realised the brewery stall was there. Oh well.

Then round the corner to the Pot Still to see how their Cask King competition was progressing. The Pot Still, as the name implies, is mainly a specialist whisky pub (there are fewer of these in Scotland than you might imagine) but has sold real ale for as long as I can remember. Back then it was McEwan's 80/– and more recently Caledonian. More recently still they've started upping their game and getting in beers that are a bit more exciting. The idea of Cask King was to get a few guest beers in the pub over the course of the week, and let the punters vote on which should stay as a regular. We didn't know this at the time, of course, but Fyne Ales’ Jarl eventually emerged as the winner, which was not terribly surprising to its dedicated fans.

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