So last month we were sitting in Norfolk, in the sun, worrying about how the lack of rain was affecting the local barley crop.
Ah well, we thought, at least if it’s like this, we’ll have a great time in Cornwall next month – sun, sea, sand, seafood and a nice golden ale on the beach.
I didn’t realise we were planning on doing this the same weekend as Glastonbury and Wimbledon.
It was freezing cold, rainy, windy and unpleasant. Of course it was. I returned from the Baltic the day before, and there was no difference.
Never mind. We got to have a look around St Austell brewery. I’ve been a huge fan of Tribute ever since I went to Portland, Oregon in 2004, and learned that brewer Roger Ryman was in a sort of cultural exchange with the brewer at Portland’s Bridgeport brewery. Roger was teaching the Yanks about cask ale, and they were showing him the secrets of American hops. Many readers probably don’t think of St Austell Tribute as a particularly hoppy beer, but ten years ago there were few beers like it in the UK. It accounts for 75% of the brewery’s output, and has become a nationally recognised brand.
If you like Tribute, you’ll love Proper Job, a beer that truly cuts the mustard as a ‘proper’ IPA. In this moth’s style guide, we take a 60 second look at probably the most argued over beer style the world has ever seen.
Then we’re off down to Falmouth, in search of all that sun and seafood. We settle instead for a few beers in the Front, recently named Pub of the Year by Kernow CAMRA. It should be obvious why form the video, in which we try beers from Skinners, Chough and Tintagel breweries.
Next month we finally make it to Edinburgh, where we’ll be looking at the Caledonian Brewery and seeing why Scotland is the fastest growing cask ale region in the UK.
And after that, our final Vlog will be from the trade day of GBBF. If you’re going, bring along your ‘Hello Mum’ signs. And whether you’re going or not, if you think there’s any particular aspect of British cask ale we should be looking at there, let me know.