Beer and Skittles

Steve over at Occupied County has been reminiscing about the many local beers that have been lost over the years, one being Wilson’s, the north Manchester founded in 1834, RIP 1998.

Many moons ago, I worked for Wilson’s, or more accurately for a small PR firm that had the brewer’s contract. It was a great job for a lad in his 20s — out most nights of the week with your employer buying the beer.

I also got to meet the odd celeb, like Paul Daniels and Cannon and Ball. Yes, yes, I know they don’t exactly fall into the celeb category these days, but this was when they were on their way up, when Daniels was a “conjuror” and the other two were fresh and funny.

But the most memorable encounter was with Mike Harding. He agreed to take a tour of the brewery and pose for some promo shots which had him with a rubber hose dipped into one of the huge open mash tuns (if that’s the right term) using it as a straw.

Afterwards we retired to the brewery tap, the on site bar where the beer was free and at its finest. We were there for two or three hours and I have never laughed so much in my life. Mike came out with an endless stream of jokes and stories that had me and the photographer in tucks.

For the life of me I can’t remember a single one of them which I always think says a lot. If you see a comedian and can recall a gag or two, it probably means the rest were crap. If everything they say or do is funny, it blurs into one.

Anyway, not all those old brewers have gone as the above pint of Thwaites Mild that I’m about to quaff illustrates. I’m not sure that you can really have canned “draught” beer, but it works for me.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

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