An artisanally crafted blog curated by Cooking Lager for discerning readers of beer bloggery

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

A pint of Harp


Joking about CAMRA stereotypes may very well be a lazy form of wit. There is no structure to the joke, it really is just nothing more than standing in the school playground and pointing at the kid whose mum has dressed him in a jumper he himself doesn’t want to wear, saying “ha ha” and encouraging all the other kids to do the same. I wouldn’t describe it as the same thing as bullying but it is pretty close to bullying, can be a feature of bullying and if the recipient is a sensitive soul be interpreted as bullying. Among friends it is called ribbing. It is what chaps do.

Maybe I have been guilty of this, and if so I apologise. Not for bullying but for insulting you with a low form of wit. You deserve more. You deserve a well crafted and structured joke. Beer snobbery like all forms of snobbery is intrinsically ridiculous and snobbery has a long history of being ridiculed. From the wonderful “Keeping up Appearances” to “Dad’s Army”, the self set up of the snob via their own conceits followed by their downfall as reality bites has been a comedy narrative with origins that predate television or even the music hall. You dear reader deserve something of that calibre and rest assured I am busy working on it.

Until then I would like to express my respect for the gentleman pictured to the right of the photo. I love you man. I love your hair, I love your 20 year old grey jeans that presumably one day were black, I love the badges on your jacket and I love more than anything the tie. I love that you believe wearing a tie with that outfit makes it somehow “smart”. I love it. I love it. I love it. I want to be there with you now having a pint of pongy ale and learning all about great pubs and proper beer. Don’t for one minute think I am taking the piss. I really am not. I really fucking would love to get away with getting up in the morning, dressing like that and nobody telling me that it wasn’t perfectly okay. You my friend are a free man. The rest of us are slaves. We are slaves to convention, to rules, to acceptability, to the comments of friends, lovers and employment bosses. You walk among us as more than a number, you are a free man and I want to be able to call you friend. Respect also to the old guy in trainers. Bang tidy old chap, is that lout in your glass?

Congratulations to the CAMRA Pub of the Year, The Harp. Facebook users can see more here. Well done on the award. It’s not quite as prestigious as CAMCL’s Supermarket of the Year, but for every Oscar ceremony there has to be a few BAFTA type gubbins.

I want to visit, I want to buy my mad haired friend a pint and sit as an apprentice at the foot of a master. I will do so when I run out of cheap supermarket lager.

16 comments:

Adrian Tierney-Jones said...

I like the military cove second right, has a hint of a former guards officer about him, ramrod straight and all that. Best in a sticky situation, steadies the nerves. The Major bin in?

Mark N said...

Trainers always a prudent choice for the stumble home. And your grey jeaned fellow definitely stays sharp to the bottom of the glass.

Curmudgeon said...

Are those pictured representatives of CAMRA, or just a group of regulars?

Cooking Lager said...

@Ade, had a crack at the mick have we?

@Mark, bang tidy

@Mudge You tell me. One and the same, I suspect, that's how they won an award.

The Hearty Goodfellow said...

Gloriously, whilst working on Haymarket for the next few months, The Harp has become one of my locals.

What dreams may come!

Not that I haven't been in there several times already over the last three weeks...

Though, I haven't yet been aware of any of the individuals pictured above but, mercifully, there's still plenty of time...

Adrian Tierney-Jones said...

I always knew you were a services man. You can never disguise it.

Darren said...

what no comment on the suit and sneaker combo?

Martyn Cornell said...

The particularly thrilling aspect of the tie being worn by Mr Leatherjacket is that it was clearly originally purchased some time in the 1980s. It will certainly be the only one he has. I wonder if he picked up up in a charity shop?

Kristy said...

I equally love the gent on the left..."alright I'll be in your photo but I'm not putting me tab out"

Darren said...

hang on why dosent the old duck have a pint?

Adrian Tierney-Jones said...

The old duck, as you put it, is the landlady of this peerless pub.

Meer For Beer said...

Well deserved win, The Harp is a lovely pub. Unfortunately we have never managed to try the sausages as they always sell out before we can get to the bar.

Cooking Lager said...

@Martyn. That’s why I want to meet him. You could be right. That could be his only charity shop tie. It could be an act of rebellion of a council office worker who doesn’t like dress codes and establishes the bare minimum. The act of rebellion ensuring he keeps it real but also keeping him on the lowest pay grade throughout his career. He could also be the nation’s authority on nuclear physics and responsible for our energy supply for the next century and no one is going to argue with whatever he chooses to wear. We don’t know and I want to know. Someone needs to buy him a pint and find out.

Darren said...

but whoever buys him a pint must be wearing an op shop tie and sneakers!

"Eddie Rowles" said...

The sausages are very nice but unfortunately they're served in blooting-paper type rolls that don't do them justice. About the only thing I'd mark the Harp down for.

And CL, if you want to go for a pint with a mad-haired individual, I'm your man...(but not that man)

The Pub Diaries said...

I had a swipe at the assembled CAMRA members, albeit by Twitter with a rather unsubtle comment about "the smell of beard"... I note that these possible CAMRA members pictured are beardless... I think I need to update my bank of stereotypes.