torsdag 14 november 2019

Alf frågar om Cask - Iain Russel från Charlies Bar

Jag skickade några frågor till Iain Russell som driver två framgångsrika pubar i Danmark, där det bland annat serveras en del Real Ale. Charlies Bar i Köpenhamn hade jag givetvis hört talas om (men aldrig besökt), dessutom driver han The Wharf som ligger i Aalborg.

Jag väljer att publicera hans svar som en text snarare än i Q&A-form.

Mina frågor;
  • For how long have you been serving Real Ale at Charlies Bar Copenhagen?
  • Who is your "average" Cask-customer? Young or old? Male or Female? Danish (Copenhagen or countryside) or foreigner (Swedish)?
  • The Interrest for cask in Sweden is NOT very strong, what about the danish beer drinkers?
  • Best selling Real Ale at Charlies Bar? Do you have any Danish brewerys the produce Real Ale?
  • Do you serve any swedish Real Ale?
  • Do you have the Cask Marque-sign in Charlies Bar?
Iains svar.
Thank you for your interest in Cask Ale aka Real Ale and what my two pubs (Charlie’s Bar, Copenhagen, and The Wharf, Aalborg) have been doing the past 20 years to keep the Cask Ale Tradition alive and extremely well. I am very proud to say that our work over the last two decades has made Denmark by far the biggest Cask Ale drinking country in the world outside the UK measured in pints and we import 1000s of cask ales in to Denmark each year from right across the UK and this growth is exponential. Without fear of contradiction. 

Cask Ale Culture is inclusive of all ages, gender, and nationalities or races, like its twin genuine Pub Culture, and therefore totally egalitarian and fraternal. Cask Ale and the Pub go together - you can’t have one without the other! Which is probably why there are no Cask Ale breweries in Denmark and precious little elsewhere in the world solely brewing Cask Ale. Sadly! We have tried a few Swedish Cask Ales over the years but not very successfully I’m afraid, you don’t seem to understand the meaning and therefore the commitment to brew good Cask Ale, I’m sorry. It’s a bit like what the French say about other countries when it comes to producing wine and good food.

Cask Ale Culture is a lifestyle, I always like to say “Drink Cask Ale and save the planet Earth!” Also Cask Ale is the “Real Craft” - that much overused and abuse noun these days - (and you can’t hide anything in a cask...), because you need skill, love, dedication, and passion to make Cask Ale and too in equal measure genuine Pubs to look after and serve the casks at. Please take notice Pubs are different to bars, and therefore they are not just businesses but instead are a vocation to the communities they serve; therefore both Cask Ale Brewery and Pubic House (or Ale House) are a “lifestyle” inasmuch as they are a way of life in Harmony with Nature and Mankind. 

Cask Ale Cultural on the practical side requires an Organic link - a symbiotic relationship - between the brewery and pub, because it necessitates skill and dedication both ends to produce good cask ales. Therefore not everyone can do Cask Ale if they don’t understand those requirements.

Anyone who has the Knowledge of Cask Ale will tell you that cask ales talk to you, and whether they are good, ok, or bad, they all have a personality and need looking after and nurturing. Whereas the “K” word - keg beer -  are dead, indifferent, and require absolutely no skill in looking after, and always remain the same whatever, which is why the modern commercial world loves keg beer so much: As it’s just a commercial link to the brewery needing no effort each end; and this applies to the so-called ‘Craft Beer’ industry (Hipster Capitalism we like to call it!) too with their mountain-building of one-way-nonreturnable pressurised plastic kegs, as much as it does to the old industrial keg factories. Often the more things change, the more they remain the same....

Cask Marque for what’s it worth these days... Charlie’s Bar, and The Wharf, Aalborg, have had for almost two decades now. We were the first two pubs outside the UK to receive accreditation. 


Thanks to Iain for your answers, I hope to meet you in person sometime in a not to far away future, perhaps at the Wharf!

Quote from e-mail-correnspondence;

You really should try and visit The Wharf in the not too distant future, we really built it as    an Cathedral to Cask Ale 18 years ago now, and there’s nothing else like it in Europe and wider afield I would reckon, I say this proudly but with our usual modesty, without fear of contradiction. //Iain Russell.
Bild lånad från The Wharfs Facebook-sida.

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