Sgt. Rock wroteWow. I've never heard of this guy until now, and I find out he passed away 5 years ago?
Frank - may I call you Frank? - no, I thought not. . .
That's a more recent clip than his BBC series, and he's showing signs of the Parkinsons' that contributed to his early demise.Now, here's a really funny/strange coincidence that ties right back to this thread. Choosing links at random from his site to the memorial site set up after his death, to some article or another, to YouTube, I stumbled across "The Beer Hunter and the cabbie." It starts with the cabbie saying that it was getting tough to find good beer in his area of London. He complains that all that's available locally is lager and 'chemical'(?) beer.
By "chemical" the cabbie is denigrating the pasteurised "keg" beer that threatened to wipe out traditional, "Real Ale", brews in the UK, leading to the formation of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, that was instrumental in waking up the public to what they were losing.
aside: "keg" beer is distributed in metal kegs and dispensed by gas pressure at the bar. It was originally developed as a means to allow brewers to sell to outlets that had low throughput and no permanent staff to maintain the equipment - things that are vital if you're selling a live beer. Keg beer is pasteurised before being packaged in the metal keg.
The development of the keg process was so costly that the industry had to find a way of recouping the cost, something that could not be done if the sales were restricted to low-volume outlets. So they started advertising campaigns to get the public to ask for it, and sold it to the publicans by showing how it made their lives easier.
The Power Of Advertising made this a runaway success, and once the brewers had made an investment in kegs and the process it was cheaper than traditional methods, and much easier to industrialise. (This is one of the reasons I despise Advertising). So, in a very short time smaller brewers were going to the wall as they couldn't make the investment in the keg process and keg beer had displaced cask beer in the marketplace.
It differs fundamentally from Real Ale, which is put into wooden barrels while it is still brewing, containing yeast to make sure it carries on that way. Real Ale is not fit to drink until the barrel has been on the rack for a day or so to allow the yeast to settle and the brewing process to finish off. It is then tapped, and dispensed by hand pump, in jugs or direct from the barrel behind the bar into the glass.
It is a fresh, live product, naturally carbonated, still in the process of fermenting, and the flavours cannot be reproduced in any other way.
Further aside: when T was in the UK we went to one of my favourite Real Ale pubs, the Blue Ship, for lunch. http://www.theblueship.co.uk/
He had soft drinks. I can say with some confidence that T is not a beer fan.Jump to the 1:15 mark. You'll see the BH mention American IPAs with approval. At the 2:00 mark, he gives the cabbie three beers as examples of good beers still being brewed.
Here's the real kicker: TWO of the three are American!
Notice also that he mentions that the Malheer is like Hopback Summer Lightning? I'll agree, and also say that for me, Summer Lightning was the payoff to a long career of always tasting the beer that I'd never heard of before. Summer Lightning is a hoppy bitter, yet (on cask) never feels bitter - the combination of flavours is balanced so well. The bottled product doesn't reproduce the fresh flavour of the cask beer at all.
He was a big fan of American craft breweries, and the sixth and last episode of "The Beer Hunter" is based in America.
He was also a good writer and communicator, credited with re-awakening public interest in the flavour of beer rather than its effect, and so by extension the craft of brewing as opposed to the business of selling beer. His earlier writings apparantly had a great effect on the American craft brewing movement, so it's not really a surprise that he had some in his cellar.