Is This Real Ale?

As found in the Parcmarket in Center Parcs Elveden Forest (why not Parcmarcet)?

Is This Real Ale?
Is This Real Ale?

I didn’t check the mini-casks carefully enough to see if there’s a ‘CAMRA Says This Is Real Ale’ logo on them but I very much doubt if this packaging would earn one. The casks themselves seem very similar to the type that breweries like Tring and Hop Back use to package their ales – although normall on an ‘on-demand’ basis, assuming that the beer is going to be consumed relatively quickly.

As these are being stacked on Center Parcs’ supermarket shelves then perhaps they’ve had some special ‘conditioning’ to ensure they don’t spoil.

But isn’t this exactly the sort of product that, in the broader sense, CAMRA should be championing. After all, Adnams are one of the leading ale brewers in the country and they are evangelists for cask conditioning (I’ve been to one of their ‘Meet the Brewer’ sessions with the transparent-ended cask used to demonstrate secondary fermentation).

If a bunch of people on a weekend away pick up one of these barrels rather than a platter of Kronenbourg 1664 or Fosters then that’s surely better? And while the bars in the place itself seem something of a real-ale desert then perhaps that’s better than massacring some local brew by not turning it over fast-enough in their bars — and it’s an inevitably sad fact of demographics that the real ale lovers will be the ones in these situations that are dispersed in the evening to their responsibilities in their holiday villas (don’t say ‘chalets’ or you’re frogmarched out of the perimeter fence) rather than hitting the Sub-Tropical night-time paradise.

5 Replies to “Is This Real Ale?”

  1. Yes. They had northern beers at Whinfell. And those Adnams beers are also from the same county as Elveden — Suffolk. They probably even meet the CAMRA LocAle criteria but the fact the beer is in a can probably rules everything out for real ale bigots — rather a rancid brew from someone’s garage.

  2. Great initiative by Adnams! Rebellion also has a home tap with 22 pints of ale
    which ‘offers the quality of real ale without the hassle of cellar management’ as they say (with an ‘e’ left out), including CO2 capsule, and a shelf life of up to three weeks.

    The CAMRA luddites only want us to enjoy a limited selection on offer and beer that stayed on for too long, and they apparently prefer lager if neither of these conditions is met.

    Good that breweries listen to their customers instead.

    Nice blog BTW

  3. Tring Brewery also do similar casks but I’m not sure if these meet CAMRA regulations better because they’re filled to order in the brewery rather than sent out to the likes of Center Parcs.

    I agree that some CAMRA strictures are more like those of an obscure religion than a consumer organisation.

    Thanks for the comment on the blog overall.

  4. I’m shocked and horrified that you people think that 35 years of CAMRA tradition should be thrown away just to have good tasting beer when and where you wish to drink it.

    You’re the kind of people who would drink in a pub that used a breather so as to offer greater variety and quality of ale than their turn over allowed.

    You’ll be complaining about Diacetyl, a natural byproduct of fermentation, next.

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