A Real Cask Ale
Bertha's Best Bitter
As the time that we lived in England tempers to a less dominant memory for me, I note that the many things I desperately missed about living there when we first moved back are fading into infrequent snippets of consciousness now, these seven years hence. But one thing remains…the beer…the real cask ale that I had only heard about before I walked into the Waggon and Horses in Langtoft for the first time in May 2001. For me, the beer is inexorably connected to the pub and to the pub life…a life that I can’t possibly describe to anyone who hasn’t experienced it…although I’ve tried…how I’ve tried.
So on the occasions that I was able to travel back to the UK for my job after we moved home, the reconnection to our life in Langtoft came easy for me. That first taste of John Smith Cask cemented the bond and it was as though I’d never left number 2 The Rides.
That’s why, I think, my first time in Bertha’s on the occasion of my first visit to Baltimore, MD is such a vivid and pleasing memory for me. That inexorable connection between the taste of real beer and our life in Langtoft hit me right between the eyes at the very first sip. I’m not certain that I really understood the sense of it at that moment but it did coalesce in my consciousness long before my second visit to Bertha’s some two years later.
So while in Baltimore in October 2009, Carol and I made the return pilgrimage to Bertha’s a priority and in fact, it was the first thing we did after checking into the 1840’s Carrollton Inn that first afternoon. Bertha’s Best Bitter is a real cask ale, pulled into pint glasses at cellar temperature and I do believe that even my most discerning British pubmates would find this to be a very nice pint. And I suspect that some of my expatriated American friends would also find a pint at Bertha’s to be a very nostalgic experience…maybe not to the degree that it is for me…but the taste would take them back too, I bet.
So while most people will come to Bertha’s for their world-renowned mussels, I will find my way back there any time I’m near Baltimore for another inexpensive, imaginary trip across the Atlantic, all the way back to the Waggon and Horses, my local, for a pint or two. I can almost taste it now.
For more information on Bertha's check out www.berthas.com
If you'd like to read more about our local pub in Langtoft follow this link: http://goodlifedestinations.com/lies/37--the-waggon-a-horses/38-pub-culture