Prince William has meanwhile already provided a snapshot of our times by refusing to serve beer to the 650-odd guests at his reception, According to reports, champagne will instead be the order of the day. The Mirror, which broke this news, said the "ban" had been introduced because ale is "unsuitable" for a state event. "Let's face it," a palace source told the newspaper, "it isn't really an appropriate drink to be serving in the Queen's presence."
I went to a wedding on Friday and delightful it was. My cousin was marrying his longterm girl friend. They had been working in Belfast for several years and had become enamored with a local micro brewery-Whitewater. For the reception they had shipped a goodly supply of the Belfast ale and the lager. Both were quality, flavorsome brews.
The massive increase in microbreweries is one of the great successes of recent years. Here in Southport our local brewery ignored the possibility of royal disdain and produced an excellent celebration brew Royal Kiss which at 3.9% was just right for a party session ale.
A couple of other examples of the micro breweries development are worth mentioning here. Many them have seized the opportunity to identify with their locality. Southport Brewery produces a special ale for the football club as well as brews like Sandgrounder, Golden Sands and Old Shrimper. On my canal travels we stopped at the pub at the foot of Foxton Locks and sampled the brew. The final picture shows the top lock at Foxton and some of you may identify the noble lord shutting the gate. As he remarked; its is monarchist who put you off the monarch. Cheers