Saving the London Pubs

I was on a flight to California today and I picked up the airline magazine to flip through, when I saw a sketch of a pint of beer being held by a hand. The title of the article was, London, Beer Necessity. Of course it peaked my interest since I just returned from a trip where I spent a good deal of time in some local pubs.

It turns our that many of London’s traditional pubs are closing because more people are buying cheap beer at the supermaket and the high cost of the real estate in London. Fewer people coming into the pub means beer is not sold and rents can’t be met, so the pubs close.

I was really sad to read that more almost 30 pubs per week are closing. How can this be my heart cried out, one of the things that I love the most about England and Ireland are the wonderful, friendly, and historical pubs that they have.  Where history lives, where the traditional ales are served, from traditional hand cranks, and people hang out because they all know one another. Unlike the American bars, the pub is like an extension of one’s community, they have been there generation after generation, they are part of the neighborhood.

There was good news in the article, an organization has formed to preserve the English Pub called Campaign for Real Ale. This organization is dedicated to preserving the 60,000 pubs left by steering those looking to tip a good ale to the best pubs. These pubs are judged by the association’s rank and file members. They are also advocates for the “real ale”, beer aged in wooden casks and poured slightly cooled by a hand crank and not a tap.

So let’s give a round of applause to CAMRA, and the work they are doing to save the English Pubs. It would be very sad to see such wonderful places disappear! When I finished the article, I was much happier knowing there is an organization that is making the difference.

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