Recently our local branch of CAMRA received an invitation to tour Fueled by Beer’s favorite local brewery, Wild Weather Ales. This was our first chance to visit since the newly installed mezzanine level made space available for a taproom on the brewery floor. We had to tag along…
Since there has already been extensive coverage of Wild Weather Ales in this blog, for those readers needing some background I’ll simply recommend they read my previous posts:
For our CAMRA tour we were met by Mike Tempest and Iain Clarke who immediately introduced us to their new brewery bar which, besides dispensing awesome beer, does a great job demonstrating Wild Weather’s KeyKeg option. While Mike answered questions about the brewery Iain served several ales from KeyKeg then we all moved on to the cask offerings where additional ales were served by gravity dispense.
Mr & Mrs Fueled by Beer are of course very familiar with Wild Weather Ales but we believe it’s fair to say that many of our fellow CAMRA members were not. As each new tasting sample was passed out we witnessed many approvingly raised eyebrows upon tasting the likes of Stormbringer, Warm Front, Black Knight, Cumulo Citrus, Blizzard, Can’t Stand The Rain and Summer Breeze, just to name a few.
A current bone of contention for Mr & Mrs Fueled by Beer as well as many other CAMRA members as we are becoming increasingly aware, is the national leadership’s position on craft keg beer. In talking with local members and based on observations at other branches’ events – the KeyKeg of Kernel Pale being dispensed by East London CAMRA at their Pig’s Ear festival last December for example – there appears to be growing demand from the rank and file for some redefinition of the ban on keg.
As I mentioned in my earlier post Wild Weather Mike takes great care to package his beer in KeyKeg in such a way as to not compromise its Real Ale status and during our CAMRA tour he was willing to declare this for the benefit of the group. My thanks go to Brian Jones for the video and to Mike who succinctly covers all the salient points.
As always happens with good things, they must come to an end, and so it was with our CAMRA tour. Thanks are due to Mike and Iain for giving up their time on a Sunday afternoon. I believe it was time well spent because I feel confident most of our fellow Reading & Mid-Berks members boarded their minibus knowing more about Wild Weather than they did when they arrived and are now suitably impressed with what Mike & Co are up to down in Silchester. Now all we need is to get some serious dialog going inside CAMRA about beer in kegs. 😉
For the latest on the ever increasing lineup of Wild Weather ales – now 18 and counting – one of the best resources I have found is Untappd.