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June 21, 2018

Glasgow Real Ale Festival Glasgow Real Ale Festival: the stage is set. Pic: Facebook

Having a thirsty Thursday? Good news - the fifth Glasgow Real Ale Festival gets underway today.

Run by the Glasgow and West of Scotland branch of CAMRA, the 2018 festival will take place at The Briggait from this evening until Saturday 23rd June.

The festival will feature over 150 beers from breweries in Scotland and the rest of the UK. Whether you like pale hoppy ales or darker stouts and porters, the line-up runs through a wide gamut of styles.

From a Boss Beatle Juice to a Young Pretender from Skye, there is almost certainly a beer with your name on it.

You can check out the provisional beer list here.

And if real ale is not your thing, Glasgow Real Ale Festival will also have a real cider bar in addition to a range of beers from overseas.

Glasgow Real Ale Festival from CAMRA

With the rise and rise of the craft beer movement, many would argue that CAMRA has been left high and dry.

CAMRA was originally formed to fight the good fight against mass produced beer and the gradual extinction of traditional bars. In some important ways, it has already accomplished what it set out to do.

According to CAMRA, 'real ale is a natural product brewed using traditional ingredients and left to mature in the cask from which it is served in the pub through a process called secondary fermentation. It is this process which makes real ale unique among beers and develops the wonderful tastes and aromas which processed beers can never provide.

'As a natural, living product it has a limited shelf life. It needs to be looked after with care in the pub cellar. Kept at a certain temperature, it matures and its full flavours become available for the drinker to enjoy.'

This puts CAMRA at odds with many of the new generation of brewers. They argue that it is perfectly possible to make great keg beer which uses carbonation.

Almost on a par with the Great Schism of 1054, it is a hot topic among both brewers and the different generations of beer lovers.

This scribbler has no firm views either way. We're just happy that we live in a time when there is so much great beer to be had. Whether it is real ale or not seems rather academic if it tastes great and your glass is full.

Tickets for the Glasgow Real Ale Festival are available on the door on the day. Cost: £6 (£4 to CAMRA members) per session.

Sessions run:

Thursday: 5pm to 10.30pm Friday: noon to 10.30pm Saturday: noon to 10.30pm