Keith’s Column: No Shaggy Dog Story

Monday, 9th March 2015

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Keith’s Column: No Shaggy Dog Story
Keith’s Column: No Shaggy Dog Story

This month’s column is a little different. Perhaps a little sentimental, hopefully not too self indulgent. It’s a tale of two very different dogs, one beer and how we can all contribute to a very good cause.

Less than twenty miles south of Moseley, up a farm track near the hamlet of Spernal, lies the home of one of my favourite local businesses – Purity Brewing. From humble beginnings seven years ago, Purity brews, imports and distributes a fine range of cask beer, cider and craft beer.

On my first visit several years ago, I met the inspiration behind one of its brands. After a successful meeting the “Mad Goose” that lends it sobriquet to my favourite cask beer, chased me round the Car Park and I needed an escort to get back safely into my car. Hissing, lunging, flapping, it was a fierce adversary. Certainly better than any guard dog.

My next visit introduced me to another star. As I rode up the track on my Triumph, my progress was checked by a sleepy old dog lying full stretch across the yard. This was UBU (pronounced Oo-Boo). I have no doubt that in his prime the dog was a legend. But he had grown old and a tad lazy. Now he wasn’t the farm’s hardest worker as the letters stand for useless, bloody urchin!

Sadly he died the following year. We must conclude he was much loved as the beer that carries his name is an excellent 4.5% abv amber ale that’s full of character with a hint of sweetness in the finish. A cracking pint.

Now many readers will have seen my wife, me and perhaps our children walking between the Prince and the park with our three Staffies. Lovely dogs, great with people, especially children but not always friendly with other dogs. So many locals often stop us and say hello to the dogs.

Last week, Ellie the oldest, who was affectionately known to family and friends as The Pookie Dog, died. She had a great life and brought much joy to our family. She will be sadly missed. God Bless Ellie, the little Pookie Dog.

At the Prince we decided to commemorate Ellie’s life by launching a fundraising campaign for Birmingham Dogs Home. Their work to help stray and unwanted dogs find happier tomorrows is a cause worthy of every dog lovers’ support.

So to kick start this campaign, we will be selling Purity UBU in the Prince. We will be asking Purity, Spirit (our pub co landlords) and our customers to each donate 10p per pint.  We will add a further 10p for every pint sold.

There will be a fund raising dish on the menu at the Dark Horse. We will be running a series of events and challenges over the coming weeks and months including a sponsored walk, fundraising gigs, competitions and a Charity Auction.

Please raise a glass, join us and raise some funds for a very worthy cause.