Cask-focused UK Beer Blogs

In an article for All About Beer, American writer Jeff Alworth said: ‘If you read the English beer blogs, you’ll find mention of cask ale is nearly absent.’

He’s reading the wrong blogs, then, we thought, and came up with this reading list of people who mostly write about cask-conditioned beer consumed in the pub.

Before we get to the links, though, it’s worth noting that we do think Jeff might be broadly right: the bloggers we’ve suggested below are all on the… erm… experienced side, and while younger bloggers do write about cask-conditioned beer, it does seem that it’s not often what that gets them excited.

Tandleman

A long-time Campaign for Real Ale activist based in Manchester, Tandleman is proud to say that he rarely drinks beer at home, and rarely touches keg beer when he’s out. With experience in pub cellars and managing festival bars, he understands the technical ins-and-outs of cask ale better than most, and a recurring theme on his blog is the generally poor condition in which he finds it in London pubs.

Tandleman screenshot.

Sample quote: ‘There is nothing more vexing than coughing up the best part of four quid for a pint in London (or anywhere to be fair) and then finding it warm enough to poach an egg in.’

Paul Bailey (no relation)

While not dogmatic about cask vs. keg, Paul has been a CAMRA member since the 1970s and writes frequently about his memories of drinking cask-conditioned beer over the course of four decades, as well as providing first-hand commentary on the contemporary scene such as this piece on Doom Bar.Paul Bailey screenshot.

Oh Good Ale

Another Manchester-based blogger and CAMRA loyalist, Phil is an academic by day and so knows how to string a sentence together. He is outspoken in his praise of cask-conditioned beer and, despite repeated efforts to ‘get’ what it is people see in it, an intelligent critic of modern kegged craft beer, and especially the way it is priced and marketed.

Sample quote: ‘The answer to the question, I honestly believe, is “because any given beer is better from a cask than a keg (or bottle, or can)”.’

7 thoughts on “Cask-focused UK Beer Blogs”

  1. Pingback: Oregon Beer Life – A Grab Bag of Interesting
  2. Thanks for the mention, you two. I like the term “On the experienced side”!

    ps. I echo Mudge’s concern about RedNev. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the CAMRA Members’ Weekend (AGM) in Norwich, back in 2013. We haven’t heard from him for some time, although he did have a previous episode of extended silence due to computer problems.

    Hope he’s OK, us “experienced” Bloggers need to look out for each other!

    1. We were worried and asked Tandleman about Nev a while back, so he texted him: he’s fine, but his computer is indeed broken again!

  3. If nothing else, the post seems to have caused some passionate discussion among a few folks over there. I got two extremely gentle dissents from a gent at the Kernel today. It reminds me how, err, passionate Americans usually are.

  4. Cheers!

    It’s true that I first discovered beer a long time ago – some time in the mid-70s – but I feel like I’ve discovered it again several times since then – when I first tried Chimay (circa 1990), when I first tried these ‘ere new-style pale’n’oppy beers (circa 2000), when I actually got into the said pale’n’oppy beers (circa 2010)… Perhaps around 2020 I’ll get into these ‘ere newfangled craft keg things, but for now I still feel like I got it pretty much right the first time (London Pride and Buckley’s Bitter).

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