If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Pint of Old Pee, please

A little while ago, I saw a display of Theakston's Old Peculier in my local supermarket, so of course a bottle fell into my trolley. I brought it home, put it in the 'cellar' (a convenient space under the cupboard in the hallway) and forgot about it. Today, I have been mowing lawns and assisting Anna with plant-potting, and by the time I had finished all that I was ready for a drink. And the bottle of OP caught my eye. And now I am drinking it.

When I was a teenager in Leeds, we used to drink a lot in the local pubs (Deer Park, Oakwood, Chained Bull for posh, White House for very posh), and on a weekend, if one of us could blag a parental vehicle, we would head out into the countryside North of Leeds, where the pubs were nicer, the atmosphere less urban, and the beer more varied. One favourite was the Scotts Arms in Sicklinghall. It now seems to be a trendy gastropub, but back in the day it was just a jolly nice village tavern, with a log fire and occasionally some attractive local totty. It was here that I first encountered Theakston's products, and in particular Old Peculier.

Theakston's Brewery has a long history, and the firm have been brewing in the Yorskshire village of Masham (that's massam, not mash'em, for those what don't know) since 1827. The business was bought out by Scottish and Newcastle Breweries in 1984, but returned to family ownership in 2004 and continues to make a variety of beers in the Masham site. OP is their most famous product. The spelling Peculier is correct, by the way. A 'Peculier' is an area with a place of worship which is not part of an official diocese, and the beer is named after the Peculier of Masham. It's a lovely drink - full and smooth, with a pleasant nutty flavour. It's also 5.6% ABV, which means it packs a bit of a punch as well.

One of the greatest pleasures of my youth was going to the Scotts Arms, approaching a young and comely bar wench, and asking for "A pint of old pee, please, love." It was an old joke even then, but each generation has to discover these things anew, I find.

I'll be on the bike all day tomorrow, meeting some people from a forum I read for a rideout around the mid-Wales valleys, so I will leave it at just the one bottle. I don't do hangovers any more.


  1. I don't know if you're aware of it but Paul Theakston of the brewing family was not happy with the S&N arrangement and set up the Black Sheep brewery.


    You can read about it here (hope link works).

  2. I knew that the brewery had been bought by S&N (boo) and then bought back by the Theakston family (hooray), but the connection with Black Sheep was a new one on me. I'm quite fond of Riggwelter - for the name as well as the taste. Many's the time I've been riggweltered and never knew the proper name for it :)


Comment is free, according to C P Scott, so go for it. Word verification is turned off for the time being. Play nicely.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...