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Beer Page

Page Last Updated: Fri 24 Jan 2020 19:44

What is Real Ale?

All beer starts out the same way, more or less. A sweet porridge-like substance is concocted by dissolving malted barley (and sometimes other) grains with hot water - or liquor as it is known in the trade - and this is then boiled together with hops. The result then has yeast added to it, which reacts with the sugars extracted from the grain, and the liquid ferments to produce alcohol.

It is what happens next that counts. Once the beer has finished its main period of fermentation, it is poured (or ‘racked’) into casks. These will usually be either 18 gallon ‘kilderkins’ or 9 gallon ‘firkins’. The beer is not filtered or pasteurised and so it still contains some of the yeast. This will bring about a secondary fermentation in the cask, which produces the natural gas giving the beer its ‘condition’. Most real ale is ‘cask-conditioned’. Real ale in a bottle (RAiB) describes bottled beers containing live yeast.

Keg beers are effectively ‘killed off’ at the brewery and the gas is added artificially, but at a higher pressure than naturally, giving keg beers their ‘fizz’.

To see a very good explanation of what the ‘Perfect Pint’ should be like see Steve Williams’ short video on and if you like that then read his blog at

National Beer Scoring Scheme

CAMRA uses the National Beer Scoring Scheme to allow members to record on-line their views on the quality of the beers anywhere in the country. We use it to assist in our pub selections for inclusion in the Good Beer Guide. Alternatively you can submit your scores using cards - Contact Us for details.

The Presentation of the award for the Champion Beer of Britain 2008 to the Triple fff brewery for their Alton’s Pride
This is the presentation of the award at the GBBF for the Champion Beer of Britain 2008 which went to the Triple fff brewery in Hampshire for their Alton’s Pride.
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The brewer with the Certificate for the Battersea 2008 Beer of the Festival
This is the Marble Brewery’s brewer with the Certificate for the Battersea 2008 Beer of the Festival, Janine’s One, which was presented during the branch trip to the brewery in July 2008
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