On what planet is the writer of this off-repeated tosh living on? I'm sure many people have been in pubs with great beer but no wine to speak of, a couple of stale clingfilm-wrapped sandwiches and ancient, unhygienic toilets. I also know I've been in keg pubs where everything was fine except the beer. One revered Liverpool pub has the wash basin in the short passage that leads to the gents, with the hand dryer over it; the dryer is inaccessible while the wash basin is in use. Using these means no one can get in or out of the gents, so if you value hygiene on a busy Friday night, you can cause quite a hold-up in both directions. On my last visit to the Lower Angel in Warrington, I enjoyed a great pint but found there was no water in the gents, which any case were well overdue for refurbishment. In general, I've often heard women complain about the state of the toilets in real ale pubs.
In a real ale pub in Uppermill, I waited for an hour for a lasagne, only to find it was still frozen inside when it arrived. Although the beer was nice, that food certainly didn't "fall into line." In Ormskirk last Friday, I went into a pub that sold real ale, had a horrible decor from an expensive but utterly tasteless refurbishment, and uncontrolled children running wild. I turned around and left.
So where does this nonsense come from? It could be that some drinkers can't see past the beer, but I think it goes further than that: it's really a form of PR trying to convince us all that real ale pubs are the best in every respect, and that keg pubs are always the poor relations. As a member, I do expect CAMRA to promote real ale, but talking up real ale pubs with such demonstrably false claims does the campaign no favours. Whether a pub is well-run or not has little to do with the type of beer it sells, and wishing won't alter that. Let's just stick to what we cask beer drinkers all know is true - that real ale is the best and most natural form of beer - and not let drinking it blind us to reality.