Real Ale Appreciation Group
|Summary||Monthly meetings, days and times to vary|
|Venue||Breweries, unique pubs and beer festivals|
|Contact||Lawrence Devaney - Telephone details are in the paper/email copy of the newsletter|
|email@example.com with 'Real Ale Appreciation' as the subject|
The primary aim of this group is to expand members knowledge of the brewing process through visits and talks; to investigate the spectacular growth in micro pubs/breweries; to experience the phenomenal range of beer products and to have the opportunity to socialise with like-minded members. Short to medium term our Group visits breweries, unique pubs, and beer festivals on a monthly basis that are accessible with local public transport. However, long term aspirations cover visits to further afield aided by commercial coach operators. This is an all-inclusive group and so any Bramhall U3A member will be very welcome to join.
Despite the malt Disley being the furthest destination in our brief beginnings it was well attended. The logistics did not appear to cause any problems with regular trains direct to Disley and 17 U3A members had a busy sociable afternoon enjoying the company and refreshments. Lauren the owner had laid on a few Christmas nibbles which went down very well and at least one hungry U3Aer pronounced his purchased pie to be excellent. As anticipated the establishment received high praise for its decor, ambiance, beers/ciders and a special mention was made about the fresh flowers in the ladies toilets. The meeting was a great success with several of us vowing to go back on a regular basis.
A very chatty group of 11 of us visited this new and unusual 'Brew Pub' to sample a few of the excellent and interesting beers and ciders on offer. The beer range went from very pale Pale Ale to a deep and Dark Oatmeal Stout produced in the pubs own mini brewery and very drinkable it was too. A few of us arrived early and enjoyed a pleasant lunch before the official meeting my own choice of a Pannini was well made with plenty of flavour.
Our visit was illuminated by a talk from Neil Bates the bar manager who detailed the background to the original concept of the 'Brew Pub', its position and the somewhat random process in deciding what to brew. The head brewer has a fantastic position as he can experiment without the stress of knowing that several thousand pints will go unsold if the brew is not successful. This has led to some amazing beers although Neil did admit they had produced one or two less popular brews.
As with the two previous outings the occasion proved to be a highly sociable one mixed with some interesting refreshments.
On Thursday the 28th September thirteen of us visited the Petersgate Tap in Stockport. In the upstairs lounge area, we listened to Alan Gent (co-owner) detailing the family discussions that led up to the decision to open a Micro Pub. Alan's talk illustrated just how serendipity does work as from limited if any previous professional experience the pub was born, designed, fitted out and opened. Exactly one year on to the day from opening the doors of the Petersgate Tap it is thriving and has built up a reputation for good beer at reasonable prices. Recognised by the campaigning beer group CAMRA whose Stockport and South Manchester branch awarded it the coveted 'Pub of the Month' for September. Alan described the trials and tribulations for pubs today; both traditional and the modern Micro Pubs, the service and product that he wants to provide for their customers and the special issues for a Micro Pub. i.e. limited stillage (storage) and just 6 hand pumps for cask ales but the Petersgate Tap still manages to have a range from the palest of cask pale ales to rich stouts and porters. Keg beer drinkers are not forgotten with quality beers and lagers also available. It wasn't just a one-way dialogue, members were happy to ask questions make their own observations and of course enjoy the excellent beer.
The first meeting was held at the Mounting Stone in Bramhall and proved to be a
successful start with the venue proving to be very positive and hospitable towards
us. A good range of Real Ale and Cider (Rhubarb I believe) was available and
Andrew the manager enhanced the visit by educating us on the process of receiving,
conditioning, keeping and tapping the beers. Illuminating his words with two key
technical bits of equipment, namely two wooden pegs! Feedback from those present
was positive with keen interest being shown about our next outing on the 28th
September. For further details contact the Group Coordinator
December 2017 Report: View
This group was created in August this year with immediate interest shown by existing Bramhall U3A members. To date, two visits have taken place to 'micro' pubs, both award winning establishments despite being opened as recently as 2016 and a third is planned to a new 'brew pub'. Our short term aspirations have been purposely limited to relatively local businesses and exploring the joys and difficulties of opening and running this modern phenomenon of the 'free' (untied) mini pubs with talks by owners. In the longer term, we hope to increase active membership to a achieve a critical mass leading to more distant visits by coach to many of the new Craft breweries. To enable this ambition the group is opening the group to the North East Cheshire U3A Network. Lawrence Devaney
This document last modified Sunday April 15, 2018
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