Dribs and Drams

Nuvo named the Broad Ripple Brewpub as one of the best fireplaces in Indy. John Hill's Wellington Pub also made the list.

Midwest Breweries gives us A Day at Broad Ripple Brewpub, on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.

Rita talks about that and Taxman of Bargersville, Daredevil of Speedway. Alse the 25th anniversary again and Tow Yard, Upland's Side Trail Series (maple syrup and coffee) and Bloomington Brewing.

Roger talks about Moscow as it was in 1987. Also the north European scene in 1985.

BTW, Roger lost in his election bid for New Albany's mayor. He's in good company. Tom Schmidt of Mishawaka brewing lost the South Bend mayoralty race back in 2003. Some brewers were mayors though - John Gaff of Aurora and Henry Berghoff of Fort Wayne.

We hear the old Zorn Brewing site in Michigan City will be repurposed - as a brewery.

Scarlet Land and Taxman are collaborating on Heaven and Hell.

A pub called Brewfest in the 8300 block of Kennedy Ave in Highland has self-serve beer taps.

Eric passes on info about Bell's Christmas Ale and the malt behind it. He also talks about Brite Eyes of Kalamazoo.

InBev (Bud) and SABMiller (Miller) are, indeed, merging. Over $107 billion. That would give them 31% of the world market. WORLD MARKET. (Heineken will be in 2nd with 9%). But MillerCoors will be sold to Molson. MOLSON.

Georgia death row inmate Marcus Roy Johsnon denied six pack as last meal.

NC judge charged with trying to bribe official with ‘couple of cases of beer’.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article42936522.html#storylink=cpy

Why Do British Pubs Have Illustrated Signs Outside?

Party Animal Bottle Pourers. $9.

Here's a Beer Knowledge quiz.

Woke up this afternoon to the first snow of the season. What's the Right Way to make a Hot Toddy?

An extremely good idea.
An extremely bad idea.

An extremely cute idea.


I'm off this afternoon to talk about Indiana Liquor Laws to the (aides of) about 50 Indiana Senators and Representatives. Here the talk:

Nov 20, 2015 – State House
Bob Ostrander

My bio is probably in order first. After 15 years in Data Processing I started a company, Public Brand Software, that distributed shareware mail order. On disks. 360K disks. It was Inc Magazine's 95th fastest privately-owned company in America; so when the Internet came around I sold to Ziff Davis, publishers of PC Magazine.

Three years later Ziff closed the Indianapolis operation but that whole internet thing seems to be working rather well.

Since then I've owned pieces of a bar and a brewery, helped some start-ups, and created the IndianaBeer.com web site and blog. I've also written Hoosier Beer, Indiana Prohibition, and the 4-volume Indiana Bicentennial. All available at Amazon of course. And I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

If you have any questions, just shout them out.

Let's start with a 5-minute history of the events in Indiana that led to two periods of Prohibition.

Way back when, the land this building sits on was inhabited by everything from squirrels to mastodons. Then the Ice Age covered most of northern Indiana but it went away and left rivers and hills to the south. Then came the first human immigration. Paleo-Indians roamed this far north from Mexico and left mounds scattered across the state.
The “Native” Indians that met the Europeans came from the east having been pushed out during the Beaver Wars in New England.

Then the French, Spanish, and finally Englishmen used the midwest as an endless source of meat, firs, cropland and wood.


The English gained control and the Indiana Territory was formed in 1790. Territorial Governor William Henry Harrison had complete quasi-military control of the state. He immediately instituted the first Prohibition law in Indiana, prohibiting furnishing liquor to Indians and soldiers.

This was a year before the federal government put a liquor tax into effect (which was the U.S.'s first tax rather than excise on imports). That, of course was the basis of the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania. Something that we out in the hinterlands didn't even notice. Oh, and the soldiers went back to wet status in 1795.

Jean Jacques Dufour moved to Vevay and started growing grapes In 1798. His was the first successful winery in the U.S.
Maybe it wasn't great wine but people did buy it at $2 per gallon. It would be 200 more years before true two-buck chuck came to Indiana. Dufour's book The American Vine-dresser's Guide, Being A Treatise On The Cultivation Of The Vine, And The Process Of Wine Making” is still in print.

Harrison put in other rules before leaving when Statehood came in.
1805 – No liquor could be sold within 30 miles of any meeting with the native tribes.
That same year came licensing of taverns. The county courts sold these licenses at $12.
1806 – The area within 40 miles of Territorial Capitol, Vincennes, was declared dry to Indians.
1807 – Sales to minors was prohibited. A minor at that time was under 16 years old.
1810 – Militia officers were forbidden to furnish alcohol to enlisted men. This might have been because the men voted on who would be their officer. Or maybe it was just that officers were cheap.


Statehood in 1816 saw a new power base in Indiana in the form of Jonathan Jennings and the original 43 men who wrote the Constitution. 
The state immediately started licensing breweries. Two got licensed that first year - one by Ezra Boswell of Richmond and the other by the New Harmony Colony – which had been making beer, whiskey and wine for many years as part of the Utopian society's income.

Prohibition of Sunday sales also popped up right away. To get a license, taverns had to have 12 petitioners (free white males) that would affirm the licensee was a person of good moral character and that the inn would be for the convenience of travelers. This, of course, didn't slow down new tavern starts but the $500 surety bond needed took inns from the front rooms of roadside farm houses to specialized businesses. By 1819 an inn had to have rooms to let. This changed the landscape from roadside rests to what passed for hotels in the day.

A few more breweries opened early on and most of these quickly failed. Jacob Salmon in Madison did have one that lasted until the civil war as Greiner's. Edward Mason in Fountain City was run out of town by his fellow citizens. New Harmony shut down production in 1826 then sold to teetotaler Robert Owens the next year. Boswell's Richmond brewery closed in 1831.


This might be a surprise but the first statewide Prohibition in Indiana was in 1855.

Alcohol was very contentious after the Civil War. There were more distilleries and breweries but the temperance movement had lots of wealth and attracted crowds for the preaching extravaganzas.

That no person in this state shall drink any whisky, beer, ale, or porter as a beverage, and in no instance except as a medicine.

This was passed by the Senate 29-18 and the House 51-41 in 1855. It was completely a push by the Democratic Party who had control of both houses (– 26-24 and 57-43). Note that wine and cider were still allowed.

The law allowed medicinal alcohol and set up a state agency to stockpile and sell it to distributors in the drugs trade – those are the people who had the distribution lines to the pharmacists. They got paid $1,000 each for this task.

Many lawsuits followed., by distributors, breweries and distilleries. Appeals came from both sides, commerce and constitutional (you've heard this story before, right?) In the end the Supreme Court of Indiana found the law unconstitutional. The state government lost about $100,000 dollars directly on this effort – does anyone want to estimate how much that would cost now?

Prohibitionists were not amused but went on to other things including Anti-German terrorism in Cincinnati, Louisville and Chicago. Tipplers were not amused by the prohibitionists and staged The Lager Beer Riot of Chicago in 1855 to protest an Illinois dry-Sunday law. This resulted in one death and 60 arrests.


It took 50 years but Prohibition did come around in 1918. During the interim:

There were 56 breweries in Indiana at the start of the Civil War. The Feds put a $1 per barrel tax on beer for funding. The number of these small breweries dropped a bit but after the war bounced back to 67.

In 1872 the National Prohibition Party was formed, getting 2,100 votes for President.

“Baxter Laws” came around in 1873 and were about the most onerous the Republican Party could put into place.

A tavern license had to be supported by a petition of half of the voting-eligible inhabitants (still white males). A $3000 bond had to be financed. Taverns needed to close at 9pm. No sales were allowed on Sundays, election days, to minors (still 16), and habitual drunkards. Who determined the status of habitual drunkard? The wife or family of any person could tell a landlord the person was one and on that word the landlord had to shut off the taps to him.

This and other instances of overkill were too much for the average person and they voted the Democrats into both congressional houses in 1880. Being the ex-opposition party, they put different rules in place. Not necessary wetter or drier, just different. Not toothless but still needing some dental work.

Closing time went to 11pm. Public intoxication became a crime. The age of majority raised from 16 to 21. Minors buying liquor became a crime for the buyer rather than the seller. The “habitual drunkard” part of the earlier laws, Sunday and election day sales restrictions were all kept.


Temperance campaigns started up big time then. Rallies in dozens of cities, small and large, attracted crowds and contributed to the coffers of the Womans Christian Temperance Union, the Anti-Saloon League, the the Prohibition Party. Smaller efforts were the red ribbon campaign, the blue ribbon campaign, the Youth Temperance Alliance of America, the National Temperance Society, the International Reform Bureau, the Catholic Total Abstinence Union, the Order of the Sons of Temperance, the National Christian Board of Temperance, the Dry Democratic Organization and the Indiana Dry Federation.

Even the Klu Klux Klan of Indiana supported prohibition. They were instrumental in putting Indiana Secretary of State Ed Jackson and U.S. Senator Samuel Ralston in office. The KKK was anti-alcohol as well as anti-Catholic, anti-Jewish anti-Black and anti-gambling. Then, in 1926, it all unraveled when Indiana's Grand Dragon, D.C. Stevenson, outed government Klan members and was convicted of abduction, rape and murder.

The largest of the dozen dry campaigns was carried on by Indiana's own Billy Sunday who preached to millions in temporary wood gathering halls in towns from Boston to Kansas from his home in Winona Lake. These halls usually held about 20,000 people and Sunday often received the entire collection plate. His most famous sermon was called The Water Wagon and “get on the water wagon” became a rallying cry for many prohibitionist organizations.

“I am the sworn, eternal and uncompromising enemy of the Liquor Traffic. I have been, and will go on, fighting that damnable dirty, rotten business with all the power at my command.”
Sunday was pro-women's suffrage, against child labor, capitalists, Jim Crow, dancing, immigration, theater, evolution, cards and novels. He became quite wealthy of course and the call for dryness did not end with Prohibition or even Repeal. The Prohibition Party Convention was held in Winona Lake in 1948 and they got 103,489 votes nationwide.
(In 2012 the Prohibition Party Convention was held at the Adams Mark Hotel at the Indianapolis Airport and the slate got 519 presidential votes. Total. Nationwide. Their convention for 2016 has been canceled.)


The Republicans were back in charge in 1881 when they and the Methodist Church tried again with constitutional amendment that went nowhere due to the opposition of State Senator John Hill who was an investor in the Madison Brewing Co.

Other state laws allowed cities to collect brewery taxes and taxes from distributors. That was declared unconstitutional in two years.

In 1895 the Nicholson law allowed remonstrants against tavern licenses to file objections to any license. This resulted in 167 townships and 6 cities going dry.

The Moore Amendment allowed not only specific objections but let white adult males put in an ongoing objection to all liquor licenses. In effect this made a “NO” result standard that each tavern would have to fight by getting out the vote. 24 counties, 32 towns and 18 cities went dry under this rule. This could be expensive to impossible since the rules required no check on the signatures on remonstrances.

There were some cases where breweries tried to stay open by shipping their output across county lines. The Huntington Brewing Company was the focus of a local-option raid in 1911 where the owners were not jailed as “they employed a number of men about their plant who would be thrown out of employment if [the owners] were deprived of their liberty” - Indianapolis Star, June 13, 1911.


Governor Frank Hanly was the Governor from 1904 to 1909. He and the Republicans were voted in on an anti-alcohol, anti-gambling platform. He immediately called a special session to pass local options. (Sen 32-17, House 55-45 along strict party lines.)

By 1907 counties could vote themselves dry – something which 70 did (but 43 rescinded). By the time Prohibition came around in 1920 there were ten states with county-option dry areas: Idaho, Indiana Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon and South Dakota.


It's worth a breath about Terre Haute in the early 1900s. City candidates routinely handed out business cards that could be exchanged for a glass of beer at any tavern in town.
The 1900 Census noted 14 houses of prostitution in just one block of Second Street. Mayor Donn Roberts was convicted of election fraud in 1915 and went to prison. 7 breweries made Terre Haute the largest beer culture in the state. 5 large distilleries had been going since before the Civil War. A very interesting town to investigate.


The US's 18th amendment started in 1920 but Indiana already had a Prohibition – since 1918.

The Republicans took over all the major state offices in the 1916 elections. The Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer were all lost by the Democrats as well as control of the House. The Senate ended up a tie when the Democrats lost 24 seats.
The Anti-Saloon League gave the legislature a petition with 250,000 signatures and newspapers around the state cried “DRY” in big headlines. Indiana was dry with a vote of Sen 70-28, House 38-11. Governor Goodrich signed the law immediately and April 2, 1918 became Dry Day.

During Prohibition, people, of course, were out of a job in distilleries, breweries, wineries, and pubs. We don't have good counts for this but we can count during Prohibition, 40 breweries closed their doors and 18 reopened afterword.

Have you noticed that Prohibition was and still is the only Constitutional Amendment that takes away rights from the people?

Indiana was the 35th state to ratify Prohibition. Nebraska was next, three days later, giving the 36 needed for the amendment to take effect.


The National Volsted Act set down rules for everyone, but several states instituted their own more onerous laws.

In Indiana the Wright Bone Dry Law was an omnibus that took effect in 1925. It called for:
  • $500 fine and 30 days in jail for possession of any alcohol
  • Empty bottles and even the smell of alcohol were evidence of guilt.
  • Alcohol in a vehicle was a felony. The owner, driver and passengers of a car were guilty if a rider even had a flask.
  • Local prosecutors were given a personal $25 bonus for each conviction.
  • Medicinal sales were outlawed.
  • The law went so far as to ban the sale of cocktail shakers and hip flasks. With the jazz age coming on strong, these were fashion items but at least they didn't outlaw garters.
There were 250 arrests the first week the Wright Bone Dry Law went into effect. Statistics aren't available but many historians estimate 10,000 arrests in Indiana alone resulted before Prohibition ended.


The effect on workers was staggering. Not only breweries, distilleries and the few wineries laid off people but the taverns (most of them anyway) closed up putting thousands of men on the street. Yep, men only – women could not yet work at a bar.

Obviously thousands ended up in jail. The KKK and the Horse Thief Detective Association (which both had a history of post-war lynchings) took it on themselves to anoint 20,000 “constables” who raided gambling houses, arrested people in parked cars and generally carried on a pogrom of harassment. Most of their arrests (or kidnappings) never made it to court simply because their badges were completely bogus. These “constables” were also never arrested for kidnapping, false arrest, or impersonating a law enforcement officer.

But then, as now, rank had its privileges. Governor Ed Jackson's wife was treated by a doctor with alcohol. Attorney-General Arthur Gilliom treated his wife and 3 sons with alcohol. The head of the Anti-Saloon League, Reverend Shumaker, was found to have a daily elixer, Busho Tonic, that was 23% alcohol, He also treated his wife and 1 son with Busho.
In the end of this, Reverend Shumaker was convicted of libeling Attorney General Gilliom and was pardoned by Jackson.

The Indiana State Medical Association petitioned for a repeal of the non-medical use portion of the Wright Bone-Dry Law and it was removed in March, 1933, just in time for repeal.
There were some positive aspects of Prohibition. Drinking overall dropped by 30% and deaths by cirrhosis dropped by 64% by 1929.


Various companies around the state saw their business drying up since producers didn't need their wares. Uhl Pottery of Huntingburg had made beverage glasses, Root Glass of Terre Haute had made bottles, and dozens of large cooperages shut down.

Root Glass, by the way, did just fine because their design for a new Coca Cola bottle was accepted, resulting in those fluted bottles we are still familiar with rather than the straight-sided bottle Pepsi uses.

We also need to look at how some producers tried to stay in business during prohibition. Many tried to make soda pop (orange, grape and lime were popular). Some made “near beer” a non-alcoholic beverage that tasted somewhat like beer, maybe; I haven't tried it. Others made various food products from grain and a few made “baking yeast” or Malt Syrup which actually came with instructions to not introduce yeast to the syrup for fear it would turn it into beer. Obviously this was a popular product but the results evidently produced poor results.

Others hooked up with mob interests such as George Remus in Cincinnati who transported booze mainly to Chicago under a federal permit to make medicinal alcohol. His venture became Fleischmann which, yes, makes yeast and also makes “neutral grain spirits” sold to what are called rectifiers who add flavorings, bottle, and put out boutique brands. Remus himself went to jail for killing his wife, Imogene, in 1927 after she testified against him in a trial for violations of the Volsted Act and mobster activities. She had sold their home and took off with the money.

It's not easy to document these times because no records were kept, bootlegging being illegal and all. Sort of like the Underground Railroad which is now claimed by many old farms, barns, churches, warehouses.
  • The Hammond Distillery sold their raw whisky to George Remus until at least 1923.
  • The Lawrenceburg and Aurora distilleries were effectively run for the benefit of Remus.
  • The Hoham brewery in Ply mouth was sold and the new owners built a vary large “fruit cellar” that turned into a brewery, speakeasy, beer garden, bordello, and inn. They were raided in 1928 arresting 35 customers. The place was padlocked for one year. The family says the fruit cellar was used in the Underground Railroad and notables including Zeppo Marx were caught in that raid.
  • Muessel Brothers in South Bend sold their beer to the Detroit mob of Giacamo Tocco and Al Epstein.. This same organization fixed up the selling of Muessel to Drewrys of Canada in 1936.
  • T.M. Norton of Anderson made some full-strength (5%) beer along with their soft drinks and ice products. Two truck drivers were arrested while taking 29 barrels of beer to Cincinnati – probably George Remus but the court records don't say.
  • Paul Reising Brewing of New Albany made Hop-O and Hop-O Dark near beers, but some batches had as much as 7% alcohol. In 1922 three men from Reising were caught by T-Men who hid in a closet listening to price negotiations and logistics with a Louisville distributor. Then-president Michael Schrick lost his job but was then named the Senatorial campaign manager for James Watson.

Gosh, this wasn't even a contest. The U.S. Congress passed the 21st Amendment by 63-21 and 289-121. In just 9 months it was fully ratified and went into effect.

Once the 21st was ratified, the Indiana legislature immediately repealed the Wright Bone Dry Law and Governor Paul McNutt emptied 982 people from the jails.

Continuing restrictions were many. Lots of favoritism went on (or buying votes, if you will). A fight with Michigan changed national law. It went this way:

Distributors in Indiana got a new law to deal with in 1933. “Imported beer” (being from another state) required a separate $1,500 license and a $10,000 bond. Only 13 were sold. Michigan countered with a tax on beer from Indiana. Their law got upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court as the 21st amendment said states had full control on liquor. Missouri and Ohio got into the act with taxes (port of entry fees) on Indiana beer and finely an accord was reached for everyone to kill all those self-defeating regulations in 1938.

1939 – The Alcoholic Beverage Commission was formed to establish rules for alcohol. They raised the excise tax on beer to 4¢ per gallon This and license permit costs, of course, are raised quite often.
1940 – Terre Haute Brewing Company put brewing dates on their labels. This is the first anywhere. Note this isn't an expiration date. Nor is it a legal mandate.
1941 – Tavern licenses were limited to one for every 1,000 people in the county – except for Lake County next to Chicago where it was 1 for every 500.
1947 – Taverns have to serve food in order to serve alcohol. This is still basically on the books.
1948 – Sales were banned on the day after each holiday.

There were 11 Hoosier breweries in 1950. This tumbled due to mergers, wider transportation and mainly television advertising, especially those aimed at sports fans.) Only 4 breweries were still open 1960. The count went down to 2 in 1980 but is now 104.

Now let's talk about the rules you people put into effect that allowed this tremendous growth. Thank you and your predecessors from about 80% of us Hoosiers for the sensible laws that are now in the books.

1963 – Cold beer and wine were allowed to be sold in liquor stores. This continues to the present day and while groceries may not have chilled product, taverns and breweries may also sell cold beer to go.
1973 – State liquor laws were completely rewritten which put everything together as Article Title 7.1 If you are interested in seeing the latest iteration of the law, go to the Indiana Government web site at iga.in.gov.
1976 – Approval of the artwork on wine and beer labels was necessary. This is now done basically by the Feds's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – why have duplicate effort?
1979 – The ABC allowed exclusive territories for liquor distributors. This let the more powerful distributors slice up the state into duchies and effectively set up monopolies. It became known as the “Beer Baron” rule.
1979 – Permits became required for bartenders and store clerks. The rule requiring a permit for dancing was abolished - except for nude dancing, which continued to be prohibited.
1984 – MADD got the 21 year old drinking age passed in every state. Younger than that and you couldn't buy alcohol or display it in public – not a total ban.This or the state lost 10% of its highway funding. The result was country wide of course with Indiana being one of 7 that put in a full drinking ban.
1984 – Package stores were allowed to give wine samples.
1984 – A lawsuit allowed sales of warm beer and wine at grocery stores and gas stations.
1988 – The familiar health warning on bottles and cans was instituted at the Federal leval. No studies have been made on whether this has ever been read.
1989 – A repeal of the “Beer Baron” rule was killed by Evan Bayh's veto. In 1979 there were 200 distributors; by 1989 there were only 80.
1994 – Drug stores were allowed to sell liquor.
2001 – Governor Frank O'Bannon let the Beer Baron rule die. Now distributors usually set up territories by contract with the producers and importers.
1999 – Mail-order purchase of beer and wine was allowed by a federal court decision. The state appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court which confirmed the lower court.
2004 – Grocery stores may sell alcohol (warm).
2005 – Liquor stores can provide samples to customers.
2010 – Photo ID must be produced to buy alcohol.
2011 – Photo ID must be produced to buy alcohol unless the purchaser appears to be older than 40 years of age. (Most grocery stores and some liquor stores still check ID.)
2014 – As of 2014 but breweries could only sell directly to pubs and stores if they made less than 30,000 barrels of beer per year. Bigger than that and they must use a distributor, can't have a brewpub, and cannot sell or give away samples at their place of business without providing food. Luckily food trucks do count as food so many places work with the temporary trucks for sausages, pizza, and other food availability, often on a regular weekly schedule. Better than a can of soup on a hot plate as in the old days.
2015 – There were three breweries that bumped up against the 30,000 barrel limit: Three Floyds in Munster, Upland in Bloomington, and Sun King in Indianapolis. A bill this year expanded this limit to 90,000 barrels. Thank you.

Thanks for coming. You'll find more at indianaprohibition.com or in my book at Amazon.

Picking in the Hop Fields

Our friends, the Lees (really) live in Beer, Devon, England. Frances sent along her memories of working in the hop fields when she was a kid in Kent.

"I used to go to beerfests in Belgium years ago for some reason. This was in the 1960s when our generation were the first to take package holidays abroad. We used to go for a few days with Young Conservatives. I didn't take a lot of interest in the beer but I loved the dirndl dresses. Would you believe it was the first time I ever ate mayonnaise? Seems unbelievable now but none of us had. In England we ate salad cream which we still do but we also eat mayonnaise. We had it on chips that came in paper cones and we also got paper cones of mini hot doughnuts, the baking powder type with sifted icing sugar on top. They were both delicious especially when you ate them outside walking around in the cold.

"I was interested in the hop picking because Kent was a big hop picking area when I was a child. Everyone used to go. When my mother was a child instead of the summer school holidays being in August she says they would be in September so that everyone could go hop picking. My stepfather always took a fortnight off work in September for the hop picking because you could earn such good money then. It often started before we went back to school depending on the weather and then the whole family would go.

"We would pick into a big open sack like the one in the drawing the child made. Whole families would go from the baby in its pram to old grandparents doing their bit. Children who were too small to reach over the sides of the bin would pick into open umbrellas.

"The fields where the hops grew were called Hop Gardens. The hops grow in bines rather like a vine only instead of grapes it has hops. The hop flowers are green with lots of yellow pollen which is what gives beer its bitter flavour. The bines have a rough green stem that easily cuts your hands and the pollen in the hops has a particularly pungent aroma which is fine from a handful but becomes very noxious and penetrating when you are working with it. Added to which it stains clothes badly and any clothes used for hop picking are useless for anything else afterwards!

"I have mixed feelings about hop picking. It was great on a hot day with everyone picking cheerfully round the bins but not nearly so appealing when the rain came pouring down and the earth underneath (clay in Kent) became a yellow soup. Parents became irritable, children cried and shoulders slumped. We always wore wellies wet or fine, the children played hide and seek between the rows and made things out of clay. For some reason I always associate the smell of hops with sandwich spread sandwiches. Do you have that? Its little bits of crunchy vegetables mixed in salad cream. Mother always made those for hop picking as well as cheddar cheese and hard boiled eggs. Alternatively when I smell sandwich spread I'm back in the hop fields as well.

"The children used to play in the barns when it rained and in the oast houses. The men who worked there were amazingly tolerant. Children wouldn't be allowed to nowadays for fear of accidents. Leading off the big barns were the oast houses. These were round buildings on two layers. The hops that we picked were placed there on a huge piece of sacking covering a gridded floor. On the ground floor was a furnace which was kept fired up all night to dry out the hops. Someone would have to sit with the hops whilst they dried to make sure that the furnace  temperature did not drop. My stepfather did this sometimes as well as driving the tractors to and from the fields with the hops. One night he fell asleep. When he woke up the needle on the dial was dropping! In a panic he piled on more and more fuel but couldn't understand why the needle was rising so slowly. Suddenly he realised that actually it was going round the dial for the second time! Hope the hops weren't burnt.

"Usually one oast would be cooking whilst another one was cooling. This meant that there was always something for the men to do. When the hops had dried they would drag out the sacking with the hops on it into the top of the barn. (the oasts opened out of it on the same level so it was easy.) In the middle of the barn floor was a big round hole. Into it was fixed one of those big screws that you saw in the museum. A huge hop sack was inserted into the hole. It wasn't very wide only about two feet across but it was very long, probably about eight feet. That part would hang down into the bottom of the barn. Men would shovel dried hops into the top of the sack which was fixed to the opening with clamps. When it was full a man would pull out a huge thick needle and very quickly and deftly would sew up the top of the sack, open the clamps and let the sack fall into the bottom half of the barn. That was the only part of the barn where children weren't allowed in case one of the very heavy sacks fell on them. Two men below would stand up the sacks at the side of the room. Sacks are called pockets for some reason.

"Money earned from hop picking was very important. It meant new clothes for the children and Christmas presents, oranges and a fresh chicken. Chickens were expensive then. We only had one at Christmas. We didn't have turkeys in the 1950s. They came to England later.

"Later hop picking machines came in. No one picked in the fields any more but stood at a conveyor belt in a barn in the dry. At first people felt it was better because you could work whatever the weather but then they realised the disadvantages. It was noisy was the main one! You had to shout to make yourself heard. Children weren't allowed in. You had to stand all day to pick out the leaves and twigs. No longer a sitting down job meant that it was too much for some grannies and grandads and those with bad legs or feet. Children still played in the other barn and roundels or round the farm but gone were the merry family gatherings round the bin sharing sweets and swapping sandwiches. Workers would stop for breaks and chat but something had changed. We didn't realise it at the time but our generation was the end of an era!

"Oh dear I have rambled on,

By the way if you want to seeing a good hopping site there is www.thehopfarm.co.uk. This is a hop picking museum at Paddock Wood in Kent. This old farm with EIGHT oasts has now been turned into a hop picking museum. It shows you what hop picking was like and it also has memorabilia to do with making beer and a collection of old cars and vehicle. It also has some of the big old shire horses that they used to use to pulls the drays. (Oh of course you won't know that eight oasts is remarkable. Most farms would have more like one or two oast houses.)

More about Beer and the Beer Head beach can be found here, here and here.

Beer in and from Speedway, IN; Daredevil now in cans!

Daredevil Brewing continues to grow with a tap room selection of 7-10 beers as well as beer in cans. Lift Off IPA has been in cans across Indiana again since 2013 and has been joined in the Speedway Tap Room of Daredevil by seasonal specialties which included Vacation Kölsch in July, and now features 16 oz cans of Muse, Belgian style golden ale, and J.W.P. American Stout, with Rip Cord double IPA coming in December. The Daredevil teams hopes to expand seasonal beer can sales to distribution points in Indiana during 2016.

Lift Off IPA is their flagship beer with six seasonals rotating through the year: Slip Stream Pale, Vacation Kölsch, Muse Belgian Golden Ale, Carnival Saison, J.W.P. Stout, and Rip Cord Double IPA. With the large Speedway facility Daredevil has been able to slip in some special beers on tap such as a Märzen lager-style beer, and a German style Pils, also a lager-style.

The Daredevil Brewery & Taproom is located at 1151 Main Street, Speedway, IN with the taproom open Tuesday to Thursday: 3 to 9 pm, Friday: 3 pm to 10 pm, Saturday: 11 am to 10 pm, Sunday: 11 am to 8 pm (closed Mon.)

Daredevil opened their Speedway brewery on June 17, 2015 to a packed taproom and featured their inside as well as outside patio space. This brewery gave them substantially increased production over their previous location east of Indianapolis and a recent addition of equipment is providing them with 40% more capacity than they had at their June opening. When asked about the choice of Speedway as the location, co-owner Shane Pearson told Indianabeer, "The new location is much easier to access for our wholesale distribution business and we have worked very hard to create a welcoming taproom and patio experience which is only a few minutes from downtown while being easily reachable from anywhere in the metro area by car, public transit and a future trail and bike path that will be adjacent to our property." Pearson added, "A major factor in our acquiring the 2.0-acre site was that it provides us room to grow the production facility over time. We fully expect that the next phase of expansion will be even larger, add even more jobs and might only take a few years to happen if we continue to grow anywhere near our current pace."

They held their second-ever charity event in late August, their Hops and Flip Flops beer festival which raised money to benefit local charities and service organizations including Brackets for Good, Speedway Lions Club, and Speedway Trails.

Meanwhile, there will be a nearby brewing neighbor making Speedway a new beer destination! Big Woods Brewing broke ground in September just down Main Street in Speedway. Big Woods Speedway, which will feature a 7,500-square-foot restaurant and 10,000-square-foot beer garden, is the third Big Woods location in Indiana. Co-owner Jeff McCabe says it will take the best of what it has developed in its Nashville and Bloomington locations to create a destination experience for residents and the millions of visitors who come to Speedway annually.

Years Back - England part 2

November 10 - December 13
More beer. So many beers, such a short winter. All these Real Ales went down my throat in the last month.
  • Abbey Ales Chorister
  • Ansell's Mild - Dark mild.
  • Archers Best - Creamy and bland.
  • Archer's Ghost Train - Black mild.
  • Badger Tanglefoot
  • Badger Festive Feasant. ESB 4.5%.
  • Bartrams Captain's Stout - 4.0%.
  • Draught Bass
  • Beowulf Finn's Hall Porter. Quite a smokey accent. 4.7%
  • Blackdown Ditch Water - Made special for the Canal Inn in Wrantage.
  • Black Sheep Special Ale - Last pint in cask. Was fruity and old. Barman resisted my suggestion that it was bad. Won't be back there.
  • Brakespear Bitter.
  • Branscome Vale Branoc
  • Burton Bridge Thomas Sykes - Barley wine. Alcoholic and sharp. Not matured. Still, it went down quickly. 10.0%
  • Butcombe Bitter - Quite bitter.
  • Butcombe Double Header - Was off and immediately replaced by another beer.
  • Caledonian Santa's Little Helper - Almost black. Malty start with balanced finish.
  • Cotleigh Barn Owl - "Premium ale". Caramel. Good balance to the malty side. 4.5%.
  • Cotleigh Tawny Bitter - 3.8%.
  • Courage Best
  • Courage Directors
  • Crouch Vale Brewers Gold - Champion Beer of Britain at the 2005 GBBF. This is simply an American IPA. They say "honey-toned golden ale with grapefruit sharpness offest by suggestions of melon and pineapple". 4.0%. (D)
  • Exe Valley Bitter - All-around light. 3.7%.
  • Exe Valley Devon Bitter - Rich, almost winey. Thick mouthfeel. Plenty of balancing hops. 4.7%.
  • Flowers IPA
  • Frankton Red Oak.
  • Fuller's Chiswick Ale
  • Fuller's London Pride
  • Gwatkin Blakeney Red Perry. Hazy, almost greenish. Very tart coating on teeth and tongue.
  • Gwatkin Stoke Red Cider.
  • Glastonbury Black As Yer At. Black roasty stout. 4.3%.
  • Glastonbury Hedgemonkey
  • Goffs Camelot - Malty sweet with plum notes. 4.9%.
  • Highgate Old Ale - Dark brown dark-fruity. Excellent.  5.3%
  • Hook Norton 303AD - Their new ordinary bitter. Short, clean aftertaste. 4.0%
  • Hook Norton Double Stout - Lighter body than many. Chocolatey.
  • Hook Norton Old Hooky - Made with crystal malt. 4.6%.
  • Hook Norton Treason Tipple - 5.0%.
  • Hook Norton Twelve Days - Dark, rich porter. Tending to the sweet end.
  • Hop Back Odyssey Best Bitter
  • Hop Back Pickled Santa - Best of show winter ale. Lots of ruit, malt, and alcohol. 6.0%.
  • Hydes' Inspiration - 4.7%.
  • Jenning's Sneck Lifter - Bitter coffee bean finish in back of throat. Not roasted. 5.1%. That's a sneck over there to the right. The bar that's lifted to open a latch.
  • Lamb & Flag 450th Anniversary Ale - Brewed by Palmers. Nice bitter. Slightly richer than Palmer's Bitter.
  • Loddon Ferryman's Gold - Styrian Goldings hops. Quite like an American IPA. Cascadey hoppiness.
  • Loddon Hocus Pocus - Almost black. Very malty. Too thin to be a stout though. 4.5%.
  • Marston Bitter
  • Marston Owd Rodger - Strong ale. Nicely married. Fully malty with lots of balance. 7.6%.
  • Marston Pedigree
  • Millstone Three Shires - 4.0%.
  • Mole's Rucking Mole - 4.5%.
  • North Cotswold Blitzen - Winter Warmer. "Everything that goes into a Christmas pudding is in this beer except eggs, flour, and a sixpence". Very complex. Sultanas, plums, spices. 6.0%.
  • North Cotswold Hung, Drawn, and Portered - Treacle porter. Very black. 5.0%.
  • North Cotswold Stour Stout
  • North Cotswold Winter Solstice - Very sweet. 4.5%.
  • O'Hanlon's Port Stout - Light taste and full body.
  • Old Swan Christmas Cracker - Very strong. Edges. Excellent barley wine normally sold only at their tap house on Christmas day but evidently some casks held back for festivals. 10.5%
  • Otter Bitter - 3.6%.
  • Otter Mason's Ale - Brewed special for Mason's Arms in Branscombe.
  • Oxford Ales Marshmellow - Off.
  • North Cotswold Winter Solstice
  • Palmer's Bitter.
  • RCH Santa Fe - Brown porty bittersweet winter warmer. 7.3%.
  • RCH Steming Santa. Golden Ale. 4.5%.
  • Ramsbury Bitter - 3.6%.
  • Ridley's Rumpus Thick, creamy, sweet, malty. 4.5%. Ridleys has been taken over by Greene King and the original brewery closed but this is still fine stuff.
  • Ridley's Old Bob - Caramelly and vineous. 5.1%.
  • Robinson's Robin - Watery. 4.5%.
  • Ruddles Orchard - Apple fruitiness. 4.2%.
  • Sharp's Doombar - First pull of the day. Decidedly sharp. 4.0%.
  • Sharp's Own - Smooth. A+ stuff.
  • Stanway Lords a Leaping - Seasonal. Dark roasty ESB. Served from a tight sparkler.
  • Stanway Superior
  • Teginworthy Old Moggie - "Under Brewer Ale" 4.4%.
  • Thatcher's Heritage Cider
  • Theakston Mild
  • Theakston Old Peculier - Ruby. Milder than in the bottle but the same flavor.
  • Thwaites Liberation.
  • Timothy Taylor Landlord
  • Titanic Last Porter Call - Effervescent. Black like a porter but very light. 4.9%
  • Titanic Wreckage - Incredibly complex fruity winter ale with citric and nut notes. 7.2%. (D).
  • Triple FFF Brewery Gilbert White - A bit smokey which was unexpected in a golden ale. 6.0%. (D).
  • Triple FFF Brewery Stairway to Heaven - Light color with lots of Styrian Goldings giving it a floral NW US style. 4.6%.
  • Uley Pigs Ear - Made with German lager malt.
  • Ushers Winter Storm - Not a winter warmer unfortunately. 4.4%
  • Vale Haddas Winter Solstice - Off. (W).
  • Wadworth 6X - "from the wood". Much longer finish than from aluminum.
  • White Horse Xmas Ale - Darkish red. Well done. Very flavorful ale. 4.8%. (W).
  • Wickwar Cotsold Way
  • Williams Red - Malty. 4.5%.
  • Wizard Apprentice - Creamy mouthfeel. Fresh wort taste. Light alcohol but not a mild. 3.6%.
  • Wizard Druids Fluid - Dark red. 5%.
  • Wizard Mother-in-law - 4.2%.
  • Wizard One for the Toad - Golden Ale. 4.0%
  • Wood's Bonfire Brew - Dark, sharp, caramel, sticky sweet, still hoppy.
  • Wye Valley Butty Bach - Nice ESB. 4.5%.
  • Wye Valley Bitter - Quite bitter.
  • Wye Valley Dorothy Goodbody's Golden Ale
  • Wye Valley Hereford Pale Ale - 4.0%
  • Young's Bitter
  • Young's Champion
  • Young's Christmas Pudding - Lots and lots of plum, raisin. Some cherry. Cakey. 5.5%.
  • Young's Kew Brew - Hops from Kew Gardens.
  • Young's Special London Ale - Very very good. Rich dark. 4.7%.
  • Young's St. George's English Ale - Stronger ale. 5.5%.
  • Young's Waggledance - Honey comes through. Golden ale.
  • Young's Winter Warmer - 5.0%.
  • Welstones Cloudy Cider - Made for 60 years.
  • Weston's Old Rosie Cider. Tongue and lip drying. A cloudy scrumpy. 7.3%.
  • Black Rat Cider - Didn't catch the producer's name though.
  • Julian Temply Cider Brandy - Distilled apple cider. Known as Calvados elsewhere. Very strong alcohol. Very little apple.

More pubs:
  • Alderton - Gloucestershire - Gardener's Arms
  • The Barringtons - Gloucestershire - Inn for All Seasons*- 16th century coaching inn. Beers from the wood (of course wood casks now imply plastic liners.
  • Beer - Devon (Yes, there's a town named Beer)
    - Dolphin Hotel
    - Anchor Inn
    - Barrel O' Beer
  • Bretforton - Worcestershire - Fleece* - National Historic Trust building.
  • Branscomb - Devon - Mason's Arms* - Deven CAMRA Food Pub of the year.
  • Broadway - Worcestershire
    - Crown & Trumpet* - North Gloucestershire Pub of the Year, 2004.
    - Lygon Arms
  • Broadwell - Gloucestershire- Fox Inn* - Donnington BB is £1.90, cheapest we've seen.
  • Brockhampton - Gloucestershire - Craven Arms (bad name).
  • Burdrop - Oxfordshire (unfortunate town name)
    - Bishop Blaize* - Came in just as a wake was starting.
  • Burford - Oxfordshire
    - Cotswold Arms - Jazz pub with music on Monday and Wednesday.
    - Royal Oak* - Wadworth pub that was out of beer on all four taps on a Monday.
  • Charlbury - Oxfordshire
    - Rose & Crown* - 6 real ales, 4 change every week.
  • Charleton - Oxfordshire
    - Tite Inn* - North Oxford CAMRA Pub of the year. £5 dinners on Wednesdays.
  • Chedworth - Gloucestershire - Seven Tuns*
  • Cheltenham - Gloucestershire
    - Kelham Brewery* (not a brewpub).
  • Chipping Norton - Oxfordshire
    - The Blue Boar
    - The Chequers*
    - Stones - Complete with wifi!
  • Churchill - Oxfordshire - The Chequers
  • Cirencester - 12 Bells* - 6 taps always with 6 guest ales.
  • Ford - Gloucestershire - The Plough*
  • Great Rissington - The Lamb
  • Great Tew - Oxfordshire - Falkland Arms.
  • Great Wolford - Oxfordshire
    - Fox and Hound* - Quiz nights on Wednesday. 100+ whiskies available.
  • Gretton - Goucestershire - Royal Oak - Free house full of yuppies.
  • Ilmington - Warwickshire
    - Howard Arms* - Food pub: quail, squid, hummus, honey poached figs.
  • Little Barrington - Gloucestershire - The Fox
  • Long Borrough - Gloucestershire - Coach & Horses.
  • Lower Oddington - Gloucestershire - The Fox
  • Moreton-in-Marsh - Gloucestershire - Bell Inn - Town center pub that was a 200 year old coaching in. 6 handpulls.
  • Northleach - Gloucestershire - Red Lion
  • Oxford - Oxfordshire
    - Angel & Greyhound* - Young's pub.
    - Eagle & Child - A hangout for J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.
    - Lamb & Flag*
  • Salford Hill - Oxfordshre - Cross Hands
  • Sedgeberrow - Worcestershire - Queen's Head - Renovated and all new inside.
  • Shilton - Oxfordshire - Rose & Crown
  • Shipton-under-Wychwood - Oxfordshire
    - The Shaven Crown* - 700 year old inn. Very busy on weekends.
    - Swan Inn
  • Stretton on Fosse - Warwickshire
  • Todenham - Worcestershire - Farriers Arms - New landlords a week ago.
  • Upper Oddington - Gloucestershire - Horse & Groom
  • Whichford - Oxfordshire
    - Norman Knight* - Home of Wizard Ales (below).
  • Winchcombe - Gloucestershire - The Corner Cupboard - Friendly laid back local.
  • Withington - Gloucestershire - Puesdown Inn - Came in just as a fox hunt was ending.
  • Woodstock - Oxfordshire
    - Bear Hotel
    - Star Inn - High street pub.
    - Woodstock Social Club
  • Wrantage - Somerset - Canal Inn* Somerset CAMRA Pub of the year.
* CAMRA Good Beer Guide pub.

The Barrel O-Beer - Beer, Devon.
Bad name. Good pub.

Fleece - Bretforton, Worcestershire.
National Historic Trust building. Low ceilings.
Ever-changing selection from 6 handpulls.

Keith has reportedly been at the bar at the Fleece since the building was built.

The Tite Inn- Charlington, Oxfordshire.
Tite is an old word for a spring (water coming from the ground).

Howard Arms - Ilmington, Warwickshire.
The home of the Morris Dancers.

The Plough - Ford, Gloucestershire.

Seven Tuns - Chedworth, Gloucestershire.

Moreton-in-Marsh - a Marston's pub.

Fox - Broadwell.

The Star Inn - Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

In November the powers that be in England decided to allow pubs to be open anytime they wanted. No more national closing time. The TV news went nuts. "There will be binge drinking. Rioting in the streets. Loutish behavior at 3am. The jails will be full." Of course that didn't happen. Local councils still had to approve extended opening times and in rural areas that just isn't going to happen.
A couple of hundred pubs applied for 24-hour openings and a few thousand for longer opening - many of them asked to open earlier than the 11am standard. Only one pub in this neck of the woods even asked for later closing - 1am (11pm is the norm).

Hook Norton brewery is picturesque - and smells good since they empty the used grain into the white tank in front of the building to be loaded onto a truck. Yum. It's a Victorian brewery run by a steam engine located in the middle of the ground floor. Pullys and belts run the paddles, pumps, etc. and the steam supplies all the heat. The steam below is coming through the ever-open cupola slats above the hot liquor tank.

Local deliveries by horse-drawn dray.

There's a small museum also but the maltings are gone.

This is a capping glove, used to screw on caps. A repetitive strain injury just waiting to happen.

For some reason I like taking pictures of wort chillers.

John Pilling owns another brewery in the area, the North Cotswold Brewery on the south border of Warwickshire, which he bought just a year ago. With a 10-bbl system, he produces Pig Brook session ale and a seasonal beer each month. In 2006 he hopes to market 20 different beers for the 50 pubs that carry his beers as guest ales on their hand-pulls.
NCB recently got permission for off-license sales (carryout) from his tasting room and Jon bottles some of each of his beers for this purpose.
Coming up are a lactose stout, a smoked maple porter, a nut brown, an American IPA with Chinook and Willamette hops, and Bumblebeer - a honey ale.
The 4.5% Winter Solstice is now on tap and is a almost black, quite sweet beer. Blitzen winter warmer at 6% is just out and Resolution at 4% which has a very raisiny aroma.
The hops he usually uses are dwarf varieties grown in Hereford that are so new they don't have names yet. Each batch is named after the person who picked them.

Years Back - England part 1

Continuing our European year 10 years back. We spent the winter in southern England and loved it. Saw snow once. Here's the diary.

About British beer. It's warm. It's flat. It's bitter. It's good. We're of course drinking only real ale - draught beer drawn by suction or gravity from casks where the beer is still fermenting. Of course Stella Artois, Budweiser, Becks, lager shandys, and other alcopops are around but who cares?
Three weeks on this side of the channel and we've had quite a few beers. Many of the bitters are quite similar - you could really throw a (large) blanket over the whole Ordinary Bitter style.
  • Adnam's Broadside
  • Archers Lost The Plot - Seasonal Guy Fawkes Day special. Bready. 4.0%.
  • Arkell's 2B
  • Arkell's 3B
  • Arkell's Kingsdown Special Ale
  • Badger Tanglefoot
  • Banks's Original - Weak mild.
  • Bateman's Blackbeerd - Sweet porter. Chocolaty. 3.6%.
  • Bateman's XXXB
  • Caledonian Golden Promise - Golden Promise hops. Earthy, spicy. Still smooth.
  • Cottage Whipper Howling Ale
  • Deuchars IPA
  • Donnington BB
  • Donnington SBA - Fruity mild.
  • Everard's Beacon
  • Exmoor Wildcat - 4.4%.
  • Fat Cat Best - Brewed by Norfolk Cottage Brewery.
  • Fat Cat Madcat - Brewed by Norfolk Cottage Brewery.
  • Flower's Original - Too warm and maybe a bit old.
  • Fuller's London Pride
  • Fuller's Mr. Harry - 4.2%.
  • Fuller's Vintage - Full strength  8.5%.
  • Gales Trafalgar 200 - Rich, buttery
  • Goacher's Best Dark - Very bitter with fruity aftertaste. 4.1%.
  • Goffs Tournament - Monthly seasonal. Fruity and full. 4.0%. First pull of the day. The barman washed 2 pints through, drew mine, tested it himself, warned me off as it was too fruity, headed for the cellar and came back with a fresh one.
  • Gold Label Barleywine (Inbev, Luton) - In 180ml bottle. Strong and fairly raw yet not overpowering. Mass produced. Some carbonation. 9.5%. £1.40.
  • Green Jack Ripper - Barley wine. Fully matured. Light color. Quite sweet aftertaste. 8.5%.
  • Greene King Abbot
  • Greene King IPA
  • Hampshire Arthur Pendragon - Hoppy. 4.2%.
  • Harveys Trafalgar 200 - Licorice notes. 10%.
  • Hook Norton Hooky Bitter
  • Hook Norton Old Hooky
  • Hopback Old Red Devil - A little toasty. 4.5%
  • Hop Daemon Skrimshander - They say cherry, I say not. 4.5%.
  • Moreland Old Speckled Hen
  • North Cotswold Brewery Pig Brook - Made in Marston-on-Marsh. 3.8%
  • North Cotswold Brewery Winter Solstice - Dark porter. Big creamy head through a tight sparkler. Tingly. Sweet finish. 4.5%
  • Old Canon Best Bitter - Quite hoppy. 3.8%
  • Old Canon Gunner's Daughter - Less hoppy ESB. 5.5%.
  • Ringwood Best Bitter
  • Robinson's Unicorn - Very very light.
  • Sarah Hughes Ruby Mild - Yummy. Dark and plummy. 6%.
  • Shepherd Neame Autumn Red
  • Shepherd Neame Masterworks
  • Shepherd Neame Spitfire - 4.5%.
  • St. Austell's Tribute - from Cornwall.
  • Stanway Stanney Bitter - Floral hop aroma. At £2 about the cheapest.
  • Stonehenge Great Bustard
  • Theakston's Black Sheep - Floral with a big aftertaste.
  • Theakston's Traditional Mild - Dark, bitter, sharp.
  • Thomas Salt's Bitter - 3.8%.
  • Titanic Night to Remember - Northdown, Fuggles, and Goldings hops. Crisp edges.
  • Usher's Autumn Frenzy - Fruity and Rich - Bob's favorite. 4%.
  • Wadworth 6X - Not as bready as we remember. Now in metal casks instead of wood. 4.3%.
  • Wadworth Henry's IPA
  • Wadworth JCB - John Bartholomew Carnes (whoever he was).
  • Wadworth Malt & Hops - Seasonal. Dark golden. Much hoppier than 6X. Foral. Green Kent Goldings hops are used the same day they are picked.
  • Whitstable Oyster Stout
  • Wickwar Bob - Terry's favorite.
  • Wolf Woild Moild - Dark and rich. Coffee. 4.8%.
  • Wychwood Hobgoblin - Dark red.
  • Wye Valley Dorothy Goodbody's Wholesome Stout - Creamy but very mild. Good balance.
  • Young's Bitter
and a test of some homebrew that might become a house beer at the Bell Inn in Lacock.

The traditional British pub is a marvelous place. It's a center for entertainment but has no TV or even music. Conversation is easy. Quiz nights are fun - knowledge contests for teams. Food, pub grub. And of course beer.
The first thing we did after hitting the white cliffs of Dover was to get a tour book and a CAMRA Good Pub Guide. The Campaign for Real Ale publishes an 800-page book with details about the best pubs in almost every town in the UK. How better to find where to eat?

The towns near Stow-on-the-Wold offered many choices.

  • Bourton on Water
    - Duke of Ellington
    - Kingsbridge Inn
  • Bristol, Gloucestershire
    - ZeroDegrees *B
  • Broad Campden
    Bakers Arms *
  • Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk
    - Old Canon Brewery *B
  • Canterbury, Kent
    - Bishop's Finger
    - Phoenix *
    - Unicorn *
  • Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
    - The Restoration *
  • Chipping Campdon, Gloucestershire
    - The Volunteer *
  • Derry Hill, Wiltshire
    - Landsdown Arms
  • Devizes, Wiltshire
    - White Bear
  • Evesham, Herefordshire
    - Old Swanne Inn *jdw
  • Hodson, Wiltshire
    - Calley Arms *
  • Kington St. Michael, Wiltshire
    - Jolly Huntsman *
  • Lacock, Wiltshire
    - The Bell Inn *nw
  • Mildenhall, Suffolk
    - Maids Head
    - Queens Arms *
  • Moreton-on-Marsh
    Inn on the Marsh *
  • Naunton - Gloucestershire
    - Black Horse *
  • Norwich, Norfolk
    - Belgian Monk
    - Fat Cat *Nat
    - Sir Garnet Wolsley
  • Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire
    - Garrick Inn *
  • Wellingborough, Northamptonshire
    - Locomotive *
    - Old Grammarians Association *
    - Ye Golden Lion

And in Stow-on-the-Wold in Glouchestershire:
  • Bell Inn - Free House. John Entwhistle's old local. He's a friend of the landlady and lived down the street at one time. 106+ years old.
  • Grapevine - Free House - Best Western Hotel. At least 120 years old.
  • Kings Arms - Greene King Brewery. King Charles I stayed here on May 8, 1645 during the English Civil War.
  • Queen's Head * - Donnington Brewery has owned this pub for over 100 years.
  • Royalist Hotel - Free House. "Oldest inn in England" according to the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest inn in Britain. They date it to 947AD. It was known as the Eagle and Child in the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries. But in the late 1800s it was not a licensed property so it can't be called the oldest pub.
  • Talbot Inn - Wadworth Brewery. Dates to at least 1856.
  • Unicorn Hotel - Hook Norton Brewery. A 17th century coaching inn.
  • White Hart Inn - Arkells Brewery. Built in 1698.
* - CAMRA GBG pub
*nw - Northwest Wiltshire's Pub of the Year
*Nat - CAMRA's National Pub of the Year
jdw - One of the JD Wetherspoon chain.
B - Brewpub
JD Wetherspoon is a chain of some 600 pubs that all have real ale at about 50p less than normal. Food is also cheap also but the selection and quality aren't really there. Greasy fish and frozen chips. But right now there is a 2-week Autumn Beer festival at all JDW outlets - they are rotating through 44 ales from all over the isles.
The selection of Scotch in country pubs has improved considerably in the 12 years since we've been in Great Britain. Back then, Bells, Glenfidditch, and Famous Grouse were about all you found in most pubs. Now, the whole Classic Malts series is in many pubs including Lagavulin, Oban, and Talisker. Many also have other single malts such as The McCallan, Glenlivit, Tobermory, and Glenmorange.

There's also a lot of cider in Britain. We've had bottled cider (actually won a bottle at a quiz night) but the traditional cider, on the handpull, is the most interesting. Also quite rare around mid-England. More are available in the south and in Wales we understand.
  • Cheddar Valley - Quite tart of green apples.
  • Thatcher Heritage Cider - Green yellow color. Mild tartness.

We've stopped many times on previous trips at the Calley Arms in Hodson. Big Les is now retired and living 2 doors away. When anyone bought him a beer he would draw one, down it in one gulp, and express his thanks. We'll miss him.

The Calley Arms - Hodson, Wiltshire

Landsdowne Arms - Derry Hill, Wiltshire
Once the home of the Landsdowne Arms Precision Drinking Team.

The Fat Cat - Norwich, Norfolk
CAMRA's two-time National Pub of the Year

Selection at the Fat Cat

Volunteer Inn - Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire

Wadworth Brewery - Devizes, Wiltshire

The ZeroDegrees brewpub in Bristol is in the Good Beer Guide but it's not clear why. When we were there no real ale was in evidence, neither were there any handpulls sitting idle. It's a ultra-modern downtown technopub and restaurant with pizza, mussels, and pasta on the menu. In other words, easy fixing food.
The brewery is downstairs with 9 horizontal serving tanks upstairs. 5 beers were on tap, all served quite cold by CO2 pressure.
  • Pilsner - Saaz hops.
  • Pale Ale - American style with Cascade and Centennial.
  • Black Lager - "Roasted & carmelised malts, Czech style". Creamy with some coffee notes.
  • Wheat Ale - Americana wheat. OK but not notable. They rotate wheat's between this, a German hefe, and a Belgian wit.
  • Mango Ale - Seasonal. Very sweet.

The overhead supply pipes are architecturally interesting.

Got to go to the Norwich Beer Fest for a day. Over 200 ales direct from the casks. Ciders, 50 Belgian beers.
Here's how a British beer festival works: CAMRA members get in free (£5 to non-members). You pay £4 for a commemorative glass (half or whole pint, your choice). Then buy beer as you like; 1/2 pints for 90p to £1.20, pints ran £1.80 to £2.40 (as much as in many pubs).
This fest was held in an ex-church which was quite a spectacular setting. It went from Tuesday through Saturday with sessions from 11am-3pm and 6pm-10pm each day. That's a lot of volunteer effort.

We had set up for a week at a local holiday cottage and ran into our landlords which caused a stop at a pub afterward.

The cider bar.