Friday, 26 April 2013

65 of the Best

To Glasgow, where news reaches me of a really exciting and rather touching story of a beer festival planned for June.

It’s a human story centred around one man, his love of beer and his desire to share that passion with the world and life’s experience is all the better for hearing it.

It’s the story of a barman. His name’s Ronnie. Ronnie Anderson. He’s just a barman. The guy who knows your name, pours your pints and clears up the detritus of your evening on the ale.

But, he’s more than just a barman. He looks after the cellar, selects the casks and ensures that the beer you drink is kept and served in the best condition possible.

Every proper real ale pub has a Ronnie.

My Ronnie works at the Three Judges in Glasgow. He’s 65 years old in June and as a recognition and celebration of Ronnie’s beer knowledge and craft, the manager of the Judges, Angela Bradley and pub owner’s Maclays have asked Ronnie to choose his top 65 beers, one for each year that Ronnie’s been thinking about beer.  Ronnie’s best 65 beers will be available in the Three Judges during the month of June.
Wunderbar! Ronnie in Bavaria

As you would expect, Ronnie is rather “chuffed” with the offer and said, modestly, that “it is nice to be appreciated”.

So, what beers and breweries is he planning on getting in for his ‘65 of the Best’ Beer Festival? When I spoke to him he was initially tight lipped, but after a few pints of Fyne Ales’ latest offering, Aonoch Mhor, he began to open up and, with a glint in his eye, he regaled me with a wish list of breweries and beers so delicious and delightful that my mouth watered.  Dark Star, Fyne, Hawkshead, Oakham, Mallinson’s, Bristol Beer Factory, Harvey’s…

The list went on and on and on and on. It read like a Who’s Who of the best beers and breweries of the past decade. Ronnie admits that “it will be a challenge” to get all of his 65 beers but it is one that he is relishing.

He is also planning to have a weekly Meet the Brewer events during June with local brewers in the Judges talking about their beers.

Ronnie’s ‘65 of the Best’ Beer Festival coincides with the West End Festival and runs from 31st May to the 30th June.

Now, wasn’t that a lovely story?