I was fortunate enough to be at the Brick lane launch of Trade Union Pale Ale (TUPA) last Friday evening.
A more public launch is planned at a pub in Salford in February. There will be a £5 entry charge, with pints of TUPA selling at £2 all night. Music to be provided by Joe Solo, Conor Molloy and Boss Caine. The event is supported by ASLEF, FBU, GMB, RMT, Thompsons Solicitors and TSSA. Contact Brigadista Ale for details
However, the London launch upstairs in a rather intimate curry house was for the trade union sponsors, and I was there as a (admittedly small scale) customer, as my GMB branch has made an investment in 100 cans, along with assorted mugs, jute bags, and now T-shirts.
TUPA follows the success of Brigadista Ale as a fund raising project for Hope Not Hate. Selling at a very reasonable £2 per pint drawn from the barrel on the launch night, the beer certainly proved popular, and is a quality product, with a slightly fruity body to it.
Creating a fun and vibrant culture around trade unionism is important to sustain the networks and relationships of trust which the movement relies upon, and indeed providing a welcoming atmosphere for new activists to enter into. Top marks to Matt Wrack of the FBU for a spirited rendition of the ballad of Casey Jones, and Steve Hedley of RMT for a song about Irish volunteers in the Spanish civil war.
My own acheivements were more modest, managing to drop curry down my shirt, and accidentally spill beer over an ITN journalist!
Anyway, it is a good beer. Buy it and drink it. In so doing you help raise money for Hope Not Hate.