I hope folks reading our new San Diego Craft Beer and Brewery Tours Blog are enjoying the snippets of information that we’re able to provide from our exhaustive research (yeah, yeah, I know.. tough job, but someone’s got to do it.. huh?).
I thought before I go much further that I’d better try and introduce myself and kind of explain my background so far as beer drinking goes, if you’ll permit me? I was born in 19.. never mind that.. I was born in London and moved to the midlands in England with my parents and younger brother when we were just ‘nippers’ or kids as you call’ em here. The midlands – or particularly the Burton upon Trent area is steeped with ale and beer brewing history.
As a teenager I soon found that out. The pub-legal age in Britain is 18 see? Anyway, I started as a ‘Lager’ drinker. Yes; the fizzy amber stuff, but eventually I was seduced to the dark side. In my twenties I discovered ‘Real Ale’. Wow.. what a revelation that was. To be precise, ‘Real Ale’ is best understood by reading Camra’s guidelines at www.camra.org.uk/en_US/faq but for the sake of brevity I will say that generally in England, real ale is understood as beer that is drawn from the keg by a manual ‘beer engine’ a.k.a. a hand pump.
Most of the small decorative handles that you see here in the U.S.A. to denote a beer type are smaller models of the handles that the British or Irish ‘bar-maid’ of old hand pulled your pint with. And yes, they still do.. in real ale pubs! Over the years I have switched from drinking Lagers to Bitter to Stouts.. and back.. many times. Maybe it’s the unpredictable English weather? Whatever the reason, the fact I have tried nearly every major U.K. beer means I can vouch that the brewing guys and gals here in San Diego and the So Cal area in general have learned their trade well from wherever that may be, and are keeping the traditions started back in Blighty thousands of years ago well and truly alive!
God bless the brew, and watch this space..
English Billy Whiz