There's a line from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves that has stuck with me from when I was a kid:
"This is grain - which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption, let us give praise to our maker and glory to his bounty by learning about....Beer"
And so began my fascination with beer - this beautiful nectar - that has continued to grow...
Anyone who knows me knows I'm partial to the odd pint.
I am quite fussy about my beer - it's got to be good. There's no point drinking a bad pint. I'll go out of my way to seek out a good pint. A few months ago a fellow beer lover and I drove a 40 mile - 2 hour round trip to Stourbridge just to try a particular pint (Yes it was worth it).
Real ale is one of the UK's great cultural accomplishments. It's brilliant how you can cycle ANYWHERE in the country, find a nice pub and try different beers you've never even heard of.
Did you know Britain has the 2nd highest number of breweries to capita in the world ahead of Belgium, Germany and the USA?!
That's why every time I'm going away to a different part of the country it feels like a treasure hunt - maybe I'll find a new one that will make it onto my top 10 (yes I have a list - anyone else got one??)!
But why do beer and cycling go SO well together?
1. It makes the beer taste even better – if you do enough dubious googling you’ll discover that a pint after exercise helps you rehydrate…I’ll go with that…!
2. It means that you can justify having a few without feeling guilty - you've earned a calorie deficit!
3. It makes achey muscles a little less achey - for a few hours at least! (Note this is based on my own personal experience - I have no clinical research to back up my claims!)
4. Is it not one of the greatest things about riding in the UK - to finish it off in a nice pub (ideally a beer garden if the weather is kind) and to toast the ride with a really good pint (or 3)?
Beer and bikes. It just works. It’s the reason why we started doing a beer tent at the MMH 3 years ago now. Cycling isn't just about riding a bike – it’s a community, a family, a fraternity and, like any relationship, needs developing. How do we nurture friendships? Easy. Food & drink after an achievement (ie conquering a ride) together is how it’s done best!
Now for the our latest news..! We've been looking at getting more sponsors on board for the MSH and MMH as we've got ambitious plans to grow the events but that all takes investment and funding, so when we were approached by Wainwrights recently to see if they could become a prominent sponsor of the Mad Summer Hare we obviously got a little excited, primarily because it meant that we got to go and have a meeting at a brewery (is there a better place in the world for a meeting??)
I was also proper chuffed because I like Wainwright's a lot - it's a 4.1% Golden Ale and is very refreshing, especially on warm days. Turns out Coz & I have been doing our ‘research’ on this beer for a while... all those times we thought we were just having a pint of Wainwrights we were actually working hard! We often have planning meetings for the events with our LBS partner Dynamic Rides at the Bulls Head in Earlswood and it's often the pint I choose.
Not only this, but there will be a Wainwrights wall at the HQ with a free climbing competition for the kids which will be free for them to do on the day and will be a great way to keep them entertained as you multi task by clapping and sipping down your pint.
We're also going to be having a Mad Hare beer for the MSH including its very own beer pump clip which is like a little dream for me! The big question is - what type of Beer would you ideally want the Mad Hare beer to be?
So, bearing in mind that Wainwrights is a Golden beer, I’m not a huge fan of stouts (so they're off the table), our 3 options are:
1. Pale Ale
2. India Pale Ale (IPA)
3. Amber Ale
Cast your vote in the comments on the Facebook