I have to say, that years ago it really depended on where you drank Brains Beer
and which type of ale it was. Some pubs kept a variety better than another.....
It was always said that Brains didn't "travel" well
These days though, it's pretty good wherever you drink it, IMHO
I can recall one sunny Friday afternoon - a couple of decades back
there was a pub in Fairwater, near the site of the old Ely brewery
Me & a pal had a few pints of Brains Dark....
.... one of the best pints I'd ever had, and haven't had many better since
I don't know what the landlord - Billy, I think his name was
had done to it. He explained that "it was all about keepin' yer pipes clean,
an' keepin' the beer at the right temperature..... see boys"
That would be 'The Railway' in Ely Road - it's still there, and still serving a selection of Brains products.
It's the second closest pub to me, and the closest for an after work snifter !
I recall the place flooding, the barstaff carried on serving and the locals took their shoes off, put them on the shelves under the tables, rolled their trousers up and carried on drinking !
Brains were a very localised company, and save from spreading their wings to Penarth and Barry (e.g. The Marine Hotel and 'The Zoo') didn't get much further; save for two pubs in Swansea 'the Vivs' and 'The Bush'
Whilst in the Upper 6th. I worked behind the bar four nights a week in what was then 'The Bulldog' (now Fairwater RFC and in its former life the inspiration for Michael Crichton's novel 'Jurassic Park') and in those days there were but three draught products (i) Dark (ii) Bitter - always, and I mean always, referred to as 'Light', and (iii) Best Bitter, again, always referred to as "S.A."
You could get bottled " I.P.A. " if you wanted it.
Some locals mixed Dark and Light - caled "half and half" - years later a work colleague (Peter) always drank 'half and half' and another colleague (Tom) possessed a very broad Kairdiff accent, and we were celebrating POETS day in The Admiral Napier, when Tom says "my round, who wants what ?". Quick as a flash Peter says "just a half of my usual" ..... we all crept up to the bar to hear Tom ask the barman for "two lights, one dark an' arf an 'arf an arf'................ Oh did we chuckle !
Brains pubs were once renowned for their working class appeal, ageing decor, stinking toilets, faded dartboards, endless supply of crib boards, cavernous skittle allies and dubious ploughman's lunches (who remembers such a staple lunchtime repast as the trusty ploughman's ?).
Me, I've always been a Brians 'Light' man, even though the only bar staff who now know what 'Light' is are in The Old Arcade ...... took the wife into 'The Vulcan' the week it closed, asked the barman for 'a pint of light please' and he replied "a wha' ?" The only two other punters, both in their mid-60s laughed, and one asked me "where've you been the last twenty years ?"
Mind you, "Hancocks H.B." gives Brians Light a run for it's money.
It would appear Brains have now branched out into coffee houses, namely "Coffee #1" apparently there's more money to be made ?
Contrary to popular Kairdiff legend, we didn't put the slops back in the Dark !
Edited by br2975, 16 January 2014 - 17:48 .