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Ancient inn sticks up for beer choice

Ancient inn sticks up for beer choice

Christo Tofalli has turned beer sales round at Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in St Albans -- officially Britain's oldest pub -- and now serves more cask beer than keg and lager. He specialises in beers from smaller independent breweries but his landlord, giant pubco Mitchells & Butlers, wants him to concentrate on such brands as Doom Bar and London Pride. Who will come out on top?

Added: Wednesday, April 22nd 2015

Feature

'Woodies' on the rise in Yorkshire

'Woodies' on the rise in Yorkshire

The "beers from the wood" quiet revolution is spreading. It started in the Junction pub in Castleford, West Yorkshire, where owners Neil Midgley and Maureen Shaw have now bought the neighbouring pub to spread the woody word. They plan to install a micro-brewery -- with vessels made of oak. In Leeds, Andy Yuill at the Duck & Drake offers beers served in both oak and metal. Pictured, Neil Midgley (right) with cooper Alastair Simms

Added: Friday, April 10th 2015

Feature

How to get well cut in a Merseyside pub

How to get well cut in a Merseyside pub

Scouse wits say you can get half cut in Gallaghers' pub in Birkenhead without touching a drop of booze. Frank and Sue Gallagher (pictured) are professional hairdressers who fancied running a pub. When they took over the derelict Dispensary pub they not only restored it and changed the name but added a barber's shop as well. Now you can enjoy local cask ales and have a short back and sides.

Added: Wednesday, March 25th 2015

Feature

A liquid lunch with Melissa Cole

A liquid lunch with Melissa Cole

How well does beer match food? Roger Protz helped devise a beer menu for Lussmann's restaurants in Hertfordshire and he invited fellow writer Melissa Cole to join him for lunch in St Albans to see how the beers measured up to the dishes on the menu

Added: Friday, March 13th 2015

Feature

Say 'Happy Birthday' to a great barley

Say 'Happy Birthday' to a great barley

Maris Otter, the barley variety favoured by craft brewers, celebrates 50 years in 2015 since it was first grown in Norfolk. It's in great demand even though big farmers and maltsters attempted to phase it out in order to grow more profitable "high yielding" barley. At Crisp's in Norfolk the malt is still produced by the time-honoured "floor malting" method

Added: Thursday, February 12th 2015

Feature

Going wild over spiced-up ale

Going wild over spiced-up ale

Richard Osmond, with a one-barrel 'nano brewery' at the Verulam Arms in St Albans, pays homage to medieval times with Gruit, ale made with the addition of herbs and spices. The beer matches the food in the pub, which uses ingredients foraged from the surrounding countryside.

Added: Sunday, February 8th 2015

Feature

Brewing is bouncing back in Bruges

Brewing is bouncing back in Bruges

Bruges had 20 breweries in the 20th century but most were taken over and closed by a giant lager group. But the brewing tradition is being restored. Halve Maan reopened in 2005 and has a smart new brewhouse while both Bourgogne des Flandres and Bryggja will start brewing this year

Added: Friday, January 30th 2015

Feature

It's time for tea at Manchester's Marble

It's time for tea at Manchester's Marble

Marble Brewery is a stalwart of the Manchester brewing scene and among its large range of beers Earl Grey IPA, made with the addition of bergamot, is a major talking point in the region. Pictured are Matthew Howgate (far left) and his team at the brewery. The beers are widely available and can be supped in splendour in the Marble Arch pub just yards from the brewery

Added: Monday, January 26th 2015

Feature

Bruges: paradise just got better

Bruges: paradise just got better

Bruges -- Brugge in Flemish -- has long been a beer lovers' treat. But now it has a new Beer Musuem while the main museum, the Historium, has an elegant beer cafe sponsored by Duvel Moortgat (pictured). Brugs Beertje remains one of the world's great beer bars but now there's added delight from Rose Red while Timmermans has opened a beer shop in the city and plans a new brewery to produce the renowned Bourgogne des Flandres ale

Added: Monday, January 19th 2015

Feature

Great beers that left their mark in 2014

Great beers that left their mark in 2014

Beers ranging from classic English bitter to revivalist IPAs, ancient Audit Ales, ale aged in Scottish whisky casks, strong milds and stouts and a London interpretation of Berliner Weisse stand out from the crowd. But top mark goes to Chiltern Brewery's Flanders Pale Ale, a British-Belgian beer that commemorated the links between the two countries forged during World War One. The beer was brewed by Tom Jenkinson (left) and Dave McGovern (right) with a little help -- and hindrance -- from the writer

Added: Wednesday, December 31st 2014

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