Beer stories

A particular friend tends to pick up beer related things he thinks I might enjoy.  Recently he brought a handful of pump clips from a car boot sale.  I selected the four below as having some special meaning for me.

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Tribute is the second best ale from St Austell brewery, and a reminder of many happy times in the far SW, most recently in April in Liskeard, Penzance and the Isles of Scilly.  Summer Lightning was one of my favourites in the days before the rise of the aromatic hops of the new world.  Crouch Vale is one of the newer breweries that have explored the US hops, and its also a brewery I visited in the company of dozens of volunteers from the Sussex Beer festival some years ago.  The assembled drinkers had awarded Crouch Vale the best beer of the festival status, and the reward for volunteering to run bars and drink free beer was a trip to the brewery.  I had to board a coach at 8am and was standing in an Essex industrial estate by 10 o’clock with a pint of the festival winner in my hand.

Old Baily is a different tube of giraffe (as Viv Stanshall once said).  It was a beer I drank in Hull on infrequent visits back in the 1980s I think.  It was the Mansfield Brewery’s premium bitter, named after their initial investor, and has no connection to the law, not something you might assume from the image on the clip.  Their other beers included Wards Bitter and North Country Beer.  Ward was the name of the brewer who established a brewery in Hull in 1782, which became Hull Brewery in 1887.  North Country was named after Northern Dairies – the north of England dairy and food group which bought up Hull Brewery in 1972, before selling it to Mansfield who closed it down in 1985.  I was familiar with all three bitters, but Old Baily was the best.  There was one other beer we drank at home before I left Hull in 1968 – canned beer from Hull Brewery that dad used to buy in big flat cardboard boxes (this was before shrink-wrapping plastics).  Found the picture below on the web.

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