For our current Big Project we’re trying to get in touch with people who remember drinking in real ale pubs of the 1970s.
We’ll unpack that term a bit: before about 1975, there were pubs that sold cask-conditioned beer, AKA ‘traditional draught’, but it was usually whatever was local and the choice might consist of one, two or three different beers.
After CAMRA got everyone stirred up some pubs began to tailor their offer to appeal to Campaign members by offering four, six, eight, or even eighteen different beers from the far ends of the country.
If you read Brew Britannia you’ll remember that we covered all of this in Chapter Five, ‘More an Exhibition Than a Pub’, but now we’d like some fresh testimony for a different take.
What were these pubs like to drink in? If you were used to mild and bitter from the local brewery in your home town how did it feel to suddenly see beers from several counties away?
If you worked in or owned one of these pubs, what was that like, and were you aware of being part of what the press called ‘the real ale craze’?
Based on scouring old editions of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide here’s a list which might help jog memories:
- The Anglesea Arms, South Kensington, London
- The Barley Mow, St Albans (covered at length in Brew Britannia)
- The Bat & Ball, Farnham, Surrey
- The Brahms & Liszt, Leeds (ditto)
- The Bricklayers, City of London
- The Duck, Hagley Road, Birmingham
- The Hole in the Wall, Waterloo, London
- The Naval Volunteer, Bristol
- The Sun, Bloomsbury, London (now The Perseverance)
- The Victoria Bar, Marylebone Station, London
- The Victory, Waterloo Station, London
- The White Horse, Hertford
But other nominations are welcome, as long as they’re from this early phase, from 1975 up until about 1980–81.
Please do share this with any pals you think might be able to help, on Facebook or wherever.
If you’ve got stories or memories to share comment below if you like but email is probably best: firstname.lastname@example.org