Between the railway stations of Leeds and Manchester there is a problem. Lager.
What started off as a nice idea, take the train to the pub, has become a nightmare in the villages on the route. The culprit, the Real Ale Trail.
The stations of Dewsbury and Stalybridge have a pub that can be enterred from the platform. Between them Huddersfield has two. All serve a selection of real ales. Then James May occurred, or rather James Mat and Oz Clarke. In one of their programmes, to find the definitive English drink, they featured the Real Ale Trail. The outcome, it became popular — too popular.
The Real Ale Trail became popular as a destination for stag and hen parties, and was extended to villages with a station and a nearby pub. In the summer months Saturday afternoons in the villages of Slaithwaite and Marsden were full of drunk people misbehaving. Which was not good for the tourism as regular tourists, who would spend money in other places than the pub, were being put off from visiting. Travelling by train was worst as not only were the trains full of inebriated people, and the trains were being delayed due to drunkards on the line. Fortunately no-one was hit.
The result is that the railway companies have got together with the tourist authorities and have come up with a plan. At certain times of the day there will be no lager or shots sold at pubs along the route, although ale will still be alailable. The Real Ale Trail is becoming literal.
Lager louts and real ale rascals
Which leaves me with a question. What is it about lager that is conducive to bad behaviour? I Have heard the phrase lager lout, but assumed its use was alliterative, and was about binge drinking in general. I am also pleased to know that drinkers of real ale, like myself, are not a problem.
But how does the alcohol in one type of beer make people anti-social in the way that the alcohol in another kind of beer does not? I find this hard to understand.
The other thing is that when the weather turns hot I tend to switch to drinking lager, it’s colder. So next summer watch out: It could make me anti-social.