|The Mount Pleasant|
I called into my nearest pub, the Mount Pleasant, a few weeks ago to have a word with Jo the licensee, but she was in a meeting. After a while, as I walked across the room, she called me over to ask my opinion, as a real ale drinker involved with CAMRA, of Sharps Doom Bar; it turned out her meeting was with a representative of Molson Coors who was trying to persuade her to stock it. I said that I found it to be a pleasant and perfectly acceptable beer, and that if she was going to stock a second cask beer, it was probably a pretty good choice. The chap from Molson Coors seemed rather pleased, so I pushed my luck by suggesting it wouldn’t be sensible just to put it on and hope it sells, but Molson Coors should provide materials to have a launch night and make a big deal of it. He quickly said that’s what they'd planned to do.
The Mount is mostly a lager drinkers’ pub with a long row of fonts, at the end of which a lone handpump serves cask Tetley Bitter. Doom Bar might seem a slightly middle of the road choice, but you have to consider the clientele. I doubt that something more innovative, to use the buzz phrase, would go down at all well there. I’ll certainly find it an improvement on the Tetley’s, which isn't to my taste, although it's always kept well there.
Sharps Brewery is in Rock in North Cornwall, not far from Padstow and Wadebridge, which was set up in 1994. It was bought by Molson Coors two years ago, which immediately caused a lot of concern among real ale drinkers as they thought it would go the way of all local brands that are bought by one of the big boys: mass production “under licence” at a different brewery with greater capacity to make it into a national brand, and losing its own flavour along the way. The fate of Boddingtons is still lamented by those who remember its glory days in the 1970s. Defying such expectations, Molson Coors have invested in the brewery in Rock, and have made it clear that they intend to keep it open with all production remaining there. So, there’ll be no Doom Bar brewed under licence in a massive beer factory in Widnes or wherever.