Saturday 7 July 2018

Warwickshire Avon – Firkins and Fussocks

Ones eyebrows were raised the other day as apparently across Europe, breweries are slowing or even stopping production because there isn’t enough carbon dioxide to go around, which you obviously need to produce some of the nations favorite tipple.

It looked as though the CO2 drought was over as three of the UK’s six suppliers went back into production – only for one of them, at Ince in Cheshire, to stop again after a fire caused a power cut. The problem has been caused by a perfect storm in the CO2 production sector. The gas is a by-product in ammonia and ethanol plants but summer is the quietest period in the calendar, so they tend to shut down for vital maintenance work.

Producers of ammonia, the critical element in fertilisers, are busiest in the winter, preparing to see farmers through the spring growing season. However this year, the summer shutdown coincided with a spike in demand from the food and, particularly, drinks industry. Meat packaging, used in the production of crumpets, to stun animals in abattoirs and dry ice for the supermarket delivery vans

Unfortunately, there is so little CO2 in the air we breathe (about 0.04%), that capturing it doesn’t make financial sense. It takes so much energy that the cost of a metric ton of C02 reclaimed from the air is almost £400 – double the cost of the same gas made other ways.

I hope they find a solution because talk about first world problems, as a pub frequenter and beer garden dweller, I need my beer fix and this heat wave is can only be enjoyed and appreciated fully with ones right are raised with a pint in hand.

Talking of beer luckily luckily I'm a real ale advocate and many of the pubs I frequent have local beer. Purity Brewery Company being one of them, quite a success story it is too, based in Great Alne just down the road from me their mission was simple: brew great beer without prejudice, with a conscience and with a consistency and an attention to detail, which is second to none.

Real ale you see is drawn from casks, usually using handpumps or sometimes direct by gravity, it is replaced by air – no other gas is applied to real ale. The shelf life of real ale, once on dispense, is limited to a few days. This is because of the ingress of air (specifically oxygen) into casks and the gradual loss of carbon dioxide from the beer.

Over time the oxygen makes the beer start to taste stale and vinegary because of oxidation, and the loss of carbon dioxide makes the beer taste flat. No Carling to be seen here. To be fair, just looking at the beers they’ve produced such as Pure Gold, UBU, Mad Goose, Bunny Hop, Longhorn and Saddle Black I don’t think there is a mediocre one among them.

Mad Goose probably my favourite tipple of the ones they do, especially with this hot weather we’re having. Purity do a 5 litre mini cask which is around 9 pints, and less than a couple of quid a pint hard which ain’t bad, the problem is, it disappears rather quickly such it’s suitability to ones palate.

Just the other evening I’d discovered DJ Susha on Soundcloud with repetitive beats from his decks in Israel that kept me glued to the garden except for a refill and to sort my tackle out.

Susha's mix from ShwayaFest 2017 gave me an hour to set-up the rods for the morning session down at the deep bit. I’d spotted a carp here you see not so long back, and a decent one at that, bronze in colour and it exited the water to reveal its size and location.

So some oily floaters to try and get some fish feeding and a tin loaf if found one to try and tempt. Sam wanted some casting practice so we'd have a lure rod as well to try and get something to bite.

It isn't brilliant conditions to be honest at the moment, with what seems like weeks and weeks without any rain everything just appears and seems lethargic,low oxygen levels and the overly humid and hot weather we are having, ain't conducive for good fishing. I had planned to take Sam to catch his first trout, but the levels that desperate on the Alne, it could end up drying up like the bits of the Teme have.

So please, can we have some rain  !!!!!

Despite a huge expanse of lily pads the fish were nowhere to be seen, I thought we'd at least spot a few among them, but hmmm after 7 or 8 swims without even a rise I could tell it wouldn't be our morning. Surface lures and a conventional shad was used, but again, not even a nibble or a hit. The weir is usually reliable for a bite or two but after an hour after Sam trying his best, there literally was nothing doing.

The weir was in the shade which was nice because as soon as we ventured out in to the full dun, it was beating down and dare I say it, unpleasant. Maybe next time I'd fish some bottom baits with some PVA freebies as there are definitely fish here to be had, I've seen them.


  1. Here it is the weed problem, eel grass, cabbages, rampant lilies, floating duckweed and soon Great Ouse Snot. Horrible pale green cottonwool is what GOS looks like. Then there's the heat, 31 degrees the other day... Rain please. maybe I'll have to cover myself in wide and do a rain dance. That would scare everybody off. All the best, John

  2. That should say 'Wode' bloody spellcheck. Regards, John


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