CAMRA Notts Mild Trail 2012; It’ll tye ye fated abdomen in Notts

Apologies again dudes & dudettes (lady dudes) as I’ve made all too little time to write lately but late getting this print to touch press as the topic upon which I write is an ‘ongoing event’ that began 2/3 weeks ago & continues until June 9th (and people wonder why we have problems with the unsustainable nature of our alcohol consumption, I mean really).

Put aside all your perceptions of CAMRA members & ale drinkers in general as besocked & sandled Good Beer Guide wielding pot-bellied liver-spotted gnomes. They can perhaps be a little too fussy, difficult to please & easy to spot (given the visual markings listed above) but they know a damn decent pint so gasp in mock awe as I present…

Phil’s Make Mild Sexy Again Campaign 2012

This coincidentally might or might not overlap almost eerily with Nottinghamshire CAMRA’s Mild Trail 2012 whereby numerous Notts boozers try to constantly stock & offer at least one type of cask conditioned mild on tap. Effectively the counterpoint to IPA or any extreme/hoppy/bitter Pale ales, Milds tend to rely heavily on different varieties of roasted malts & subsequently can pack surprising & constantly satisfying flavours into a minority of nourishing ingredients and alcohol content.

Now a lot of the problem may be explained by the fact that when I type ‘Pint of Mild’ into any nameless globe-straddling search engine, this is the first image I & thus the world view…forgetting for a moment how said search engine uses knowledge of your previous searches to personally tailor your results.

A true West Midlander of a bygone era

This may be an album cover by the band of the same name or just a stereotypical sketch which summarises the image problems such would-be-proud British beverages face after almost 25 years of lager brands marketing men’s lifestyles domineeringly enough to remain the nation’s most widely consumed beer style.

But don’t just take my word for it, hear what all the rock stars wrote & sang…

Cause I’m a Voodoo Mild, Lord knows I’m a Voodoo Mild baby” Jimi Hendrix

I can see 4 milds & milds & milds & milds etc…oh yeah” Pete Townshend (whose surname even sounds phissed)

Like a true nature’s child, we were born, born to drink MildMars Bonfire (this is a man who coined the phrase/genre ‘Heavy Metal Thunder’ – gulp!)

Revivale/A New Dawn

In the misguided hope of spearheading a revival of not just more independent & micro’s brewing of Mild but gents of an unrespectable innings being seen ALONE (not some lost student on an ‘Ex-miner with dementia’ pub crawl) drinking it.

Like some unstoppable modern-day Hunter S. Thompson…of Mild, overall I amount to less than the sum of all my parties. Not a bevy to win the lasses but then when did I ever?

Honestly, the things grown men who ought to know bitter will do for stickers of acknowledgement amongst their CAMRA herded peers & possible future selves if exercise routines & blood circulation go awry eh? I’m sure many men my age would assume I actually prefer the taste of the stickers and that the halves of Mild are just a go-between. All for a free XXXL T-Shirt (after spending all known disposable income on ‘the other black stuff’ – Mild’s street name) which resembles a counterfeit Iron Maiden tour shirt from dahn market & bottles/token for EVEN MORE MILD?!

I suspect its that same collectability factor that guys always seemed to go for in one sip of a big way with football stickers, pogs, monster in my pockets, boglins, tazos (rebranded pogs), gogo’s (cutesy monsters) and so forth. Girls followed suit too I’m sure but never with the same amount of zeal in this humble scribe’s experience.

Mild hearses wouldn’t keep me away – Wahey! Here’s my list thus far;

Stratford Haven – Black Gold (Castle Rock; see other 2 offerings below)

Malt Shovel – Rock Mild (Nottingham Brewery)

The Organ Grinder – Oak-aged Guerilla Stout (Blue Monkey) 

Hand & Heart – Late in the day of my birthday session so don’t quite recall would you believe

Portland Arms – Dole-dependant haggard crones made type of mild unclear

The Gatehouse – Dark Ruby Mild (Sarah Hughes, Dudley)

The Bell Inn – Greene King Mild (Greene King, Bury St. Edmonds)

Roebuck (JD Weatherspoons) – Ruby Mild (Rudgate, York)

Roundhouse – Dark Gem (Caythorpe, Notts)

Dark with hints of chocolate balanced by a subtle hop flavour

Ropewalk – Black Tom (Springhead, Retford)

Dark & nutty with a chocolaty finish – name derived from Thomas Fairfax, a commander in chief during the English Civil War. Peace out

Sir John Borlaise Warren – Black Dragon Mild (Banks & Taylor, Dudley)

Strong & dark (just like my men) brewed with 4 types of malt (Pearl Pale, Crystal, Black & Wheat) & pronounced roast flavours.

Crown Inn – Scoundrel (Leatherbritches)

4.10 out of 5 ain’t bad by anybody’s rating system let alone somebody with the nickname Mildman http://pubsandbeer.co.uk/index.php?ID=P&pub=1576&CH=PM&from=UTL&fromval=189

Kean’s Head – Mink Mild (Castle Rock)

See below

Those still to sip out…(Seek & Destroy)

As a leading cigarillo makers, i reckon John would’ve fancied a smoky malted mild

 

Along with the regular mild Black Gold (above) Castle Rock have 2 other specials;

Mink – Their 2.8% dark brown mild in conjunction with Notts Wildlife Trust. Paying less excess duty under 3% & always ensuring taste before toxicity.

John Player – CR’s other 4.2% light golden mild in the style of Timothy Taylor’s take

Magpie Brewery on Meadow Lane right near the Notts County ground will have 2 Milds on during the Mild Trail. Nottingham Brewery have gone one better with Rock Mild, Centurion (first brewed in memory of local CAMRA hero Spyke Golding during 2009) & Foundry Mild all found at The Plough in Radford. The Trent Bridge Inn rediscovering its former glories although sadly now another ‘Spoons, will be showcasing 8 UK milds at various stages over the month with Rock Mild as their mainstay.

Now citizens of Middle Earth (or The Midlands as they’re known today), add up all the number of times I’ve written Mild throughout this post, then go & drink at least triple that amount around the fine establishments of Mild Marian’s city (Nutty-ngham).

“Sod this coquettish dribble, I’d prefer a pint o’ mild”

Some useful links (which may/may not ultimately mark your dark & watery graves)

http://www.nottinghamcamra.org/MildTrail/Nottingham%20CAMRA%20Mild%20Trail%202012%5B2%5D.pdf

http://www.nottinghamcamra.org/ND/109%20Mar%202012.pdf

http://www.nottinghambrewery.com/our_beers.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nottingham/features/2003/05/mild_trail.shtml – old article but still very relevant for our country’s current quandary

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Money Futures

‘If more of us valued food and cheer above hoarded gold, it would be a much merrier world’ J. R. R. TOLKIEN

I have been studying Permacultural Design on a Leicester-based course in monthly weekend installments moving into early summer. Our lecturer likes to view Permaculture as “not preaching but rather acting as inspiring demonstrations for future necessities”.

I found the topical issue of our current financial and subsequent economic crisis echoed across most of Europe very engrossing and therefore hoped to share/offer some possible alternatives & solutions to the ever-present climate of doom & gloom along with the sense of vulnerability & disengagement that usually follows.

Macy’d in yo face Wall Street Suckaz! Erm, or something

MONEY £$%?

Understanding the history of our current situation

Fear, misunderstanding commonplace – can easily become cynical as media/news coverage overcomplicated & shrouded by business terminology

Alienating to most, other than worry many feel no lasting difference can be made

A (very) brief history/assessment of…

Bartering suffered from lack of mobility with larger traded goods e.g. livestock

Direct exchange also problematic if one trader has surplus

Units of value began as shells, nuts, stones, crops, cocoa beans (Aztec), exotic plants

Limits reached as no single international object as travel/globalisation increased

Money’s 3 uses must be as a; medium of exchange/store of value/transferable sum

Money alone isn’t the problem as it acts as a useful energy medium for progress

1971 U.S. reached finite amount of gold/silver reserves so broke ties with weighed currency e.g. no longer value equivalent – gold standard written as dollar sum

Statement on money ‘I promise to pay the bearer the sum of’ is just an illusion! Promises rather than payment upfront – however if illusion shared by all then not in itself a problem provided everyone complies & acts accordingly (Cough! RBS, etc)

Chris Martenson makes key points; life assumptions already being challenged e.g. that housing bubble won’t burst when in fact returning to 70s pricing

Fractional reserve banking – realisation nobody was withdrawing their reserves for transactions so banks started lending sums of which only a fraction actually existed (very small; less than 10%). Hence run on banks in Netherlands 2 years before…

Northern Rock, UK – collapsed thus bottom dwellers & those last past the post lose their cut as money is ultimate pyramid system affecting those with the least worst

Money will always be chained to debtor’s labour & by extension ever more dwindling natural resources to work off repayment

Thus economic growth outpaces the physical limits of the planet’s resources

As hugely oil-based economy, profit margins become harder to maintain

Bucket/Barrel effect – if there are holes then money will always pour out

How to plug leaks? Thriving market towns with strong business links required e.g. Totnes

Co-ops/LETS/Alternative currencies

Co-ops are managed differently to other supermarkets but supply chain similar

Their shareholders can be public as other businesses such as Funeralcare, Bank

Co-op chose corporate responsibility before it became mandatory for positive PR

Working towards becoming first Transition supermarket in UK through tightly regulating farming food standards e.g. pesticide-free, organic options, fair trade month

Research is driven by ethics rather than economics with fairer supplier deals

Alas Buy 1 Get 1 Free is always paid for by trader rather than supermarket

Greece/Ireland austerity packages severe hence public outrage, riots (BBC Audio)

Resilient local businesses can establish links to retain money

LETS – Local Exchangeable Trading Systems; more stable the larger the chain

Credit Unions popped up in the 80s

Local currencies evermore popular – Totnes in Devon, Lewis in East Sussex, Brixton pound (Transition idea)

Challenge in closed systems is finding good skills set – trolls required for practical service skills like plumbers as well as alt. therapies which are often in plentiful supply

Volos; a port town in Central Greece has mushroomed in interest from bartering using alternative currency TEM & now has over 800 traders with Mayoral approval as 2 currencies can coexist & more stability than Euro system at present. Industry collapsed & unemployment soared but community has since become re-energised. Grassroots initiative supplement now spawning elsewhere around country with fresh opportunities & greater fiscal independence

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17686384

Some free advice (Put ya money where ya mates are)

Firstly complete an Input/Output analysis by self-budgeting

Eradicate your own debts for strength of community to share assets around

Decide if any businesses you own are better to declare bankruptcy as very small window of opportunity

Monoculture income streams; more vulnerable so spread risk to improve resilience

Create feelings of community ownership & empowerment whether starting small from just an apple press to a wind turbine using local group investment

We must recognise the value of ourselves & the services/products we offer

Consider skills/services & design to suit business share (food/clothes/shelter/self)

Gift/Love economy – amongst friends/family for free when strangers would be charged, 70-80% of economic transactions done as favours under this premise

Useful links/Further reading

New Economics Foundationwww.neweconomics.org

Ann Pettifor – Economics book deals with hard concepts

Peter North’s book Local Money also very useful

Diggers & Dreamers – Embryonic co-housing groups in most areas – http://www.diggersanddreamers.org.uk

Global Eco Village Network (GEM) – http://www.gen.ecovillage.org/about-gen.html

Move your money campaign – http://www.moveyourmoney.org.uk

Triodos, Co-operative Bank & other more ethical choices are out there…

ZOPA debt buying website where lender decides interest rates in fairer scheme – http://uk.zopa.com/

Drop the debt campaign – http://www.dropthedebt.org/ or join the Transition Leicester/Nottingham mailing list

Hope this has been in some way helpful