Out Inn the Wide World

Real Ale and where to find it

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Have you ever been planning a trip overseas and wondered if you might find some decent beer? We have, and a frustrating task it is too! So many web reports are thin in useful detail and the research takes you forever. Websites bang on about the food, the service and the number of "taps" but neglect to mention whether there is decent cask beer.
Out Inn Cheshire, on behalf of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale is now bringing you a new facility. We will bring together in one place all the reliable information we can find on "Real Ale" wherever it is to be found in the world.

What do we mean?
"Reliable"
This means confirmed information from people who have been into a pub and had some, or from the people running the pub. Some of these reports are from our own globetrotting investigations. Where availability is hit and miss, we will tell you, and you may care to telephone ahead to avoid disappointment on arrival.

"Real Ale"
We use the CAMRA definition (after all, we invented the term!) which refers to beer made and served without pasteurisation or the addition of any gas.
Most often, you will see this served by a traditional hand pump (sometimes called a "beer engine") although occasionally you can find casks of beer being served by gravity before your eyes, just pouring out of a simple tap.

We exclude from this definition the vast majority of beers brewed by large and small breweries and brew-houses around the world, as so many of them fail our specific test, and will pasteurise or filter the beer or serve it with CO2 or Nitrogen gas. They may find this commercially desirable and good luck to them, but this is a site for Real Ale and that is all we will list.

"wherever …in the world"
No limits. Our first sightings include Germany, Canada, Alaska, Seattle, New Zealand and Japan. We have visits planned to Buffalo and New York City. Although of course we will not include the UK in our listings, as it is already massively well covered by countless sites and books, including CAMRA's own Good Beer Guide.

Culture
The approach to real ale differs widely around the planet. In the UK, it is a significant part of the market, available in most pubs in most parts of the country, although quality, choice and geography can be against you.
In Germany, availability is highly localised, and the real thing may only appear at particular times of year.
In Canada and the US, the micro-brewing scene is thriving, but you will often find that the cask beer is only available sporadically, and many brewers have not embraced the CAMRA doctrine of "no gas".
In other parts of the world, the concept is closely linked to the expatriate community, with themed pubs. These offer a taste of the old country to the homesick and this can occasionally include real beers, local or imported.
Many pubs offering cask ale only do so for part of the time, and calling ahead may be useful.

Real Ale in a bottle
A new concept to some, this can be your saviour in some places. This is beer which is still alive, with a yeast sediment permitting the beer to mature in the bottle, creating a sophisication of taste. It is worth checking out suppliers to see whether there is any reference to sediment or "secondary fermentation". With suitable storage and serving (see our guidance on this site), these cultured ales can brighten up many an evening in what otherwise would be a "beer desert".

More reports please!
We strongly encourage the travelling public, expats, locals, brewers and pub owners, members of CAMRA and other consumer groups and any beer lovers at all, to tell us what you know.
We will add these to our guide as fast as we can. Just remember; cask beer only, please.

How to do it? Easy, just e-mail the webmaster or editor with a brief written report of the name and address of the pub, names of beers, confirmation that it is real ale, and any additional descriptions or comments you may wish to provide. Pictures are welcome, but please attach these to a separate later e-mail so we can vet you for viruses before we open the attachments!

If the pub has its own web-site or you are aware of descriptions or reviews on the web, please let us know.
We rely on you the reader to let us have this information. We will then burn the midnight oil spreading the good word to the rest of the Wide World!

Cheers!

A love for for cask beer is not exclusive to the UK. Listen to the passion of these American craft brewers

 
All contents copyright 2009, Macclesfield and East Cheshire CAMRA Branch.
All rights reserved. Last Revised: June 2, 2009
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