It has often surprised and bewildered me when I have asked a publican why they will not serve up a particular brew, they nonchalantly shrug their shoulders and reply: “Cannot sell it here, it comes from the wrong town’’.
Confused? Well, let me explain.
As we all know here in East Lancashire, there is fierce football rivalry between Burnley and Blackburn Rovers – so much so, in many local pubs and clubs, they cannot sell beer from a brewery, approximately 10 miles down the road!
It’s quite a ludicrous situation, where a customer in Burnley will refuse to sup a beer from Daniel Thwaites of Blackburn.
And, conversely, a punter in Blackburn will refuse to down a pint from Burnley brewer Moorhouse’s.
All because they despise the football club at the opposite and relatively short stretch of the M65 motorway!
These two brewers produce consistently fine ales - and it seems totally bonkers that some customers simply refuse to drink a certain brand – because it’s brewed in the wrong town.
I had a prime example of this tribal behaviour only recently when visiting a pub in the Burnley area.
I politely asked why I never see any of the excellent seasonal beers from Thwaites?
The landlord replied: “Some customers will not drink it because it comes from Blackburn.
“It’s a footballing matter.
“They have even walked out of the pub and threatened not to return.”
The situation was replicated at a pub in “Thwaites territory”, on the outskirts of Blackburn.
They simply could not shift the consistently flavoursome and popular Moorhouse’s ales.
The answer was similar: “Tried it boss, too many refused to drink it, as it had ‘Burnley’ on the pump clip.”
Well, in my opinion, it all seems pretty nonsensical and blinkered, that an allegiance to a football team debars you from your freedom of choice, on a particular brand of cask conditioned beer.