Why I Like My Local

This is a little random thing about beer. I enjoy beer and have, over the years, become something of a beer snob. England has a nice tradition of making good (and bad) ales. Unlike most other beer, it’s supposed to be stored in a cask and pumped down a line that does not inject carbonation into it or chill it (like all beer in the US). In the UK, you can tell if a pub has ales by the distinctive handles/pumping mechanism for an ale. There was a period in the 1970s when people were really concerned about these beers disappearing entirely which led to the creation of CAMRA (campaign for real ale) and led to a resurgence of ales served in this traditional method.

Also, while there’s plenty of binge drinking in the UK, part of that is due to the role of the pub (at least in my opinion) in English society. The US has, at least recently, established the pattern of hanging out in coffee shops. You’ll meet friends there to catch up or maybe you just feel like sitting around and reading while nursing a cup of coffee. Here, friends meet up in a pub over a pint instead of a coffee.
My point of all this is to get to the concept of the local. It seems like a rule of thumb that, if you live in England, the first thing you’re supposed to do is find a pub near your place that you feel comfortable in and make it your local pub. In my case, I’ve made the Nobody Inn that place for me. They serve good beers, the staff is friendly, the people in the pub come from all walks of life and, when there’s a football match, it get nice and lively. That, and they serve decent burgers 🙂

I’ll usually go there once a week for a couple of pints and, if it’s the right time of day, a burger and chips. They always have one standard ale (London Pride — you find this ale everywhere), a cider and one guest ale (aka. a beer that changes weekly). They’ve also got the usual complement of lagers and Guinness. Now to the reason why I like this place.

I walked in yesterday afternoon with a book in hand and looked over the selection and found that it was the same beer as the previous week. I ordered a pint and someone was off. It smelled wrong and, after two tastes, it was clear it tasted wrong as well. In the US, since all the beer is heavily preserved and pasteurized, it would take a looooong time before a beer on tap went bad. With an ale, that doesn’t have lots of preservatives and isn’t chilled as much as a US lager, it’s definitely possible. So, after thinking for a minute if it’s appropriate to return a beer, I walked up and replaced it with a Guinness.

Now, this should sound like a bad story for a pub I like. But what happened next is the fun part. I sat there and watched as they cleaned the line out on BOTH of their ales (flushing it through a few times with water) and replace the beer. So I went up and found the standard London Pride and some beer I’d never heard of. I ordered it and they offered me a sample so I could make sure that I’d be satisfied this time around. So they listened to my suggestion that the beer had been bad and replaced what was left with another beer and let me try it before hand. Just kind of cool to experience this. Nice place, nice people, good beer and food. That’s my local.

6 Responses to “Why I Like My Local”

  1. Stephanie Says:

    Cheers! Drink some for me…

  2. anne Says:

    Ah, you can take Matt out of the pub….but…he always finds his way back.

  3. melissa k. Says:

    it sounds like a little slice of heaven. b/c heaven will be filled with beer and meat. mmm…

  4. dina Says:


  5. dina Says:

    oh, sorry, nevermind… i thought it was the music bonobo guy… apparently, a bonobo is a type of monkey-thing…

  6. matt Says:

    Come on facho! Get with the program!

    I’ll write about this Bonobo later today. that’ll clear things up. 🙂