Sunday 6 July 2014

Silence Is Golden

"Yay! Now let's get these casks back to Burton. Oops. Did I say Burton. I meant Blackburn. Yes, Blackburn."

If Boak & Bailey liked The Bermondsey Beer Mile, they should come to Preston. Yes, here you can do The Wainwright Mile. Yes, if you start at The Adelphi and work your way down Friargate's "real" pubs, you can have a pint of Thwaites Wainwright in pretty much every single one.  Lamb & Packet, The Sun, Dog & Partridge, hell - even the Spoons has it on.  By the time you get to the end at The Black Horse, you'll be relieved to drink Robinson's. Not a sentence I ever thought I'd write, I'm sure you'll agree.

Yes, Wainwright has pretty much taken over pretty much everywhere in Lancashire west of Blackburn. But when is this so? What exactly is so special about this somewhat inoffensive 4.1% golden ale? Well, there's the uncompromising Northern name, taken from the famous walking guide writer from these parts. If nothing else, ordering it in a pub tells people nearby "I'm from Lanky, and I'm not to be mistaken for those Theakstons-drinking Yorkshire bastards.". And for that, I'm grateful if for nothing else about it.

It helps that it has a don't-scare-the-horses flavour. A cruel person (why, what do you take me for?) would describe it as bland.  If you have a dislike for the cold and fizzy, but don't want your taste buds to deal with the unexpected, then the golden ale option of Wainwright is for you.  Neither the Crafties nor the Beards will sneer, and looks just enough like lager that some of our more interesting friends won't threaten to lamp you upon seeing you sup it.
Possibly didn't like pissheads

Let's face it, if Thwaites didn't market test this beer for perfect pitching to their target audience, you wouldn't have been able to tell. It ticks more boxes for the real ale drinker than a CAMRA online survey. Cask - check. Bitter but not too bitter - check. Quaint name of local figure - check. Available and safe - check.
Of course, the irony is that Alfred Wainwright grew up in poverty due his father's alcoholism, so what he would think of a beer bearing his name is anyone's guess. But if it helps Thwaites afford that new brewery they've been wanting, then it's all well and good.


  1. Robinson's - the Ambrosia of Stockport!

  2. Yes. Dizzy Blonde is sooooo dissimilar to Wainwright.

  3. An observable aspect of beer geekery is that what beer sells is not what beer geeks love.