OK, so 99.9% of it consists of boring people telling the world stuff that they either know already or don't want to know, but occasionally it throws up nuggets of usefulness.
Earlier today the White Horse in Parson's Green (aka the Sloaney Pony) tweeted that this evening they would be featuring something very rare indeed, and a few hours later I was there, drinking the stuff.
It interested me as a beer ticker looking for rare scoops, but this wasn't just any old one-off, special beer. It was an unfiltered, unpasteurised cask version of Pilsner Urquell
While the vast majority of output from the Czech brewery for decades has been fizzy keg beer, at which I'd turn up my nose, I applaud them for at least making gentle movements in this direction. Let's not forget that they are a part of the International SABMiller group, which has hitherto done fuck-all for real beer. It's a bold step.
|A bitter Pils to swallow...|
I actually purchased a half of keg Pilsner Urquell just so I could compare the two side by side, and there was no contest. The cask version was fresher, hoppier, and just, well, infinitely superior in every way. I'm not known for being a huge fan of Czech lager, but I'd happily drink this all night. With a curry it would be quite magnificent.
Surely they have to admit that they're not doing it because keg beer tastes better, but because it's easier to produce and manage and more profitable - the exact same reasons all the big breweries tried to eradicate real ale in the 1970s. The same big breweries that Brewdog love to criticise.
It would also allow marketing departments to stop misleading the public so brazenly. Kronenbourg might actually resemble the way it really was back in 1664 if they did it in cask to an original recipe, rather than the result of a reboot 300 years later when keg dispense came along.
The whole purpose of CAMRA was to save cask beer from an encroaching tide of inferior keg. Without that focus, it's a subjective beast at best.
I've long acknowledged that, yes, a good beer in keg form is better than a bad beer in real form, and it doesn't matter one jot for the purposes of this argument. The point is that the same beer is always at it's best when in good condition from the cask.
Meanwhile, I got the impression that quite a few casks have come over from Pilsen and the promotions team will be going around several pubs, so take the opportunity to try it if you possibly can.
It might be the best pint of lager you ever drink.