ʽʽHi, I’m Benjamin Nunn – critic, gourmand and author of Ben Viveur. I like to eat and drink. And cook. And write.

You might have read me in an in-flight magazine, or a beer publication, but here on my own blog I'm liberated from the editorial shackles of others so anything goes.

I deal with real food and drink in the real world, aiming to create recipes that taste awesome, but which can be created by mere mortals without the need for tons of specialist equipment and a doctorate in food science. Likewise, I tend to review relaxed establishments that you might visit on a whim without having to sell your first-born, rather than hugely expensive restaurants and style bars in the middle of nowhere with a velvet rope barrier, a stringent dress code and a six-month waiting list!

There's plenty of robust opinion, commentary on the world of food and drink, and lots of swearing, so look away now if you're easily offended.

Otherwise, tuck your bib in, fill your glass and turbo-charge your tastebuds. We're going for a ride... Ben Appetit!
ʼʼ

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Lost Breweries: C is for Cains

It's unusual for a Victorian-era regional brewery to simply close. Normally they either keep plodding along, producing nondescript beers for an aging local populace, or they get taken over by someone bigger and run into the ground.

The relatively recent demise of Cains was a truly bizarre case of fiddling while Liverpool burned. Even as brewing ceased, the owners were in denial and 'highly confident' about the direction of Cains, citing a forthcoming modern new microbrewery on the site and a bright future for the brand, neither of which have materialised in the three years since.

This was the latest (and, it would appear last) chapter in a convoluted history of ownership, and exactly what happened to cause its sudden closure remains something of a mystery. When the final ownership team - the Dusanj brothers - took control back in 2002 they were the first Asian owners of a British brewery and certainly talked a fine game. Previously the brewery and brand was owned by Boddington's of Manchester, giving them a presence in Merseyside, before they themselves were taken over by the Whitbread group (and thereafter InBev) and gave Cains back its independence.

But was the beer ever any good?