The "factory tour" has become a useful way of raising a little extra money and raising a product's profile in recent years. But occasionally, it is something more. Such is the case at the Theakston brewery. Real ale is to lager what leather is to PVC. It is the genuine article, a natural product lovingly crafted from the very finest ingredients. And with a missionary zeal, you are conducted around this wonderfully original brewery by a knowledgeable guide. Most of the equipment has been in place for over 100 years, the only concession to progress being the replacement of the beam engine with new-fangled electricity. But when your beer is this good, clearly the process is not broken and so does not need fixing. Finishing in the bar, Theakstons prove they can walk the talk, justifying the pride they have in their beer. Some of us remain unconvinced that the legend which is Old Peculiar is created by man - surely this has more divine origins. If you are a real ale drinker, this tour is a delight. If you are not a real ale drinker, then take the tour and learn why you should be.
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