Wednesday, 1 June 2011

40 + 40 = Fantastic Beer


1971 was a fine vintage year for a beer lover.

Not only did it mark the inception of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) but it also was the year of the beer birth of one of Glasgow's finest real ale pubs, The Bon Accord. Since then, both have been fighting the good fight, defending their corner and championing the cause of cask beer. Both seem to have been very successful in their quest.

In 1971, there were just over a 100 independent brewers producing cask beer but that number was on a downward trajectory. However, the formation of Camra halted that decline and, with their promotion, campaigning and advocacy for cask ale, has helped to raise the number of breweries to around 800.

In the West of Scotland, The Bon Accord has been flying, for forty years, the ale flag very high and has recently been at the forefront of a resurgent and re-invigorated beer scene for thirsty, knowledgeable and appreciative drinkers.

To commemorate and celebrate both of these anniversaries, The Bon Accord has put together a blinding festival that not only raises a glass to the past but also doffs their cap to those 21st century breweries who are currently creating a very exciting and interesting cask beer path.

From Friday the 17th of June through to Sunday the 26th, The Bon Accord will be holding their 40th Birthday Summer Beer Festival and it is a festival that has had a great deal of thought put into it by Bon Accord owner Paul and cellarman Russell. Over the course of the festival this 10 handpump pub will be showcasing beer and breweries from the glorious 40 years of Camra's and The Bon Accord's history. It promises to be one of the year's highlights on Glasgow's growing beer calendar.

The concept behind the festival is remarkably simple but one that requires a great deal of thought and efficient planning. Over the course of the ten day 40th Birthday Party, the beer board will be split into three years from the past forty and on show will be beers that were available during those years. The years are 1971, 1991 and 2011.

Some of the breweries available through the decades include:

1971 -  Lees, Holts, Elgoods, Robinsons, Holdens and the delicious Palmers Dorset Gold.

1991 - Orkney, Concertina, Oakham, Rebellion, Wickwar, Hop Back, Rudgate and Burton Bridge.

2011 - Blue Monkey, BrewDog, Dark Star, Fyne ales, Green Jack, Leeds, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool One, Peak Ales, Pictish, Thornbridge and York. 

And many, many more. The list is being added to on a daily basis and some of the beers still to be finalised are off the scale lovely.

So, as Bon Accord Russell says, "Why not sup your way through the last 40 years of British Brewing history and raise your glass to the birthday boys - The Bon Accord and CAMRA!"

Can't say fairer than that.


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