#apache-helpdesk meet

Just back from meeting some of my regular online colleagues in person. Specifically, from the #apache and #apache-helpdesk IRC channels on irc.freenode.net.

pctony, yango, noodl – great to put faces to the names (OK, I met noodl briefly once before). Not to mention yango’s lovely better half, Andrea, who is with him on a short holiday in Blighty.

Worth a mention: this was yango’s first exposure to trad. english warm beer. We had pints at two different pubs, of which the first was good and the second disappointing. If that second one had been our visitor’s first exposure to it, I suspect it might have been his last, leaving me slightly embarassed (again) to be a Brit. I wonder how many foreigners get a bad first pint and confirm all the worst they’ve heard about our warm beer?

Posted on October 12, 2007, in apache, beer. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Glad you found a decent pint.

    Part of the problem with British beer, or at least the places that serve it, is the fact that too many of them think it is ok to serve bitter at room temperature, hence the jibes about warm beer. That is simply wrong. Bitter (and most other British ales) should be served at cellar temperature, which is usually rather cooler than room temperature (unless it’s the middle of winter, the pub’s at 2000 feet and there are no customers and no heating!). A good cellar temperature is generally considered to be in the range 10 to 12 C (50 – 54 F) whereas the bar area of a busy pub is usually rather warmer than this even in winter! At this temperature range, a good real ale is the finest drink on earth…

  2. Indeed, both pints were not warm, just not as cold as one is used to drink beer. They also weren’t bitter, so warm bitter ale is a misnomer from the first two ways you can look at it.

    The first pint was really nice, the second was disappointing indeed but probably not because of the serving temperature.

    It tasted like when you store wine at above 25ºC for a couple of weeks, ie “broken”. It seemed like the storage procedure was not followed and probably the serving procedure sucked a bit too. But storage seemed to be the real problem.

  3. You’re right Yango. I guess I was simply responding to niq’s warm beer reference.

    The storage and conditioning of real ale are both vital to the taste of the finished product. Exposure to unduly high temperatures has the effect you describe. Also, whilst in the cellar, the carbon dioxide level inside the cask must be regulated to maintain the secondary fermentation process on which the flavour and slight fizz of the finished article depend – a small hole in the top of the cask with a simple peg-type valve in it (called a spile) allows this to happen. Regulating this is a skilled job that many bar staff do not understand. The life of the beer is short once the cask has been tapped, and it needs to be consumed within a few days if it is not to go flat and taste of cardboard.

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  2. Pingback: #apache-helpdesk meet (silicon valley) « niq’s soapbox

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