Home Ales History Contact Upstairs

The Mitre Buckingham


A wide range of ales always available
It would be difficult to list all the ales we've served over the years at The Mitre, it probably runs to over a thousand by now. What I can do is to explain some basic facts about Real Ale, CAMRA and Craft Beer, and list some of the breweries we deal with on a regular basis.

Real Ale

According to Wikipedia, cask ale, cask-conditioned ale or real ale is unfiltered and unpasteurised beer which is conditioned by secondary fermentation and served from a cask without additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure. What this means in practice is that ale, when delivered to the pub, is not quite finished, and it's our job to finish the process. We start the fermentation process again by allowing air into the cask and maintaining a steady temperature. This generates the sparkle in the ale, but only lasts for a few days until the remaining sugar is used up, which is why Real Ale has the reputation for a very short shelf life. Each nine-gallon firkin of ale needs to be sold in, on average, five days from opening.

Regarding additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure, The Mitre does not use gas lifters or in-line chillers - just 3/4 inch pipe and beer engines. It's the nearest thing to serving directly from the cask.

'Real Ale' is a term created by CAMRA to differentiate this type of beer from the mass-produced kegged beers that were flooding the nation in the 1960's and 70's. Keg beers (lagers, bitters and stouts) are pasteurised and kept under gas pressure and therefore have a much longer sell-by date. They are also easier to handle in the cellar, as they can be connected and served straight away, without a conditioning period. However all this treatment means less flavour, more artificial fizz, and ultimately less choice for the consumer. CAMRA is the most successful single-issue consumer campaign in the world.

Craft Beer

A recent addition to the market is Craft Beer, a catch-all term for beer made in smaller batches, often by real ale brewers, that is not pasteurised or chilled to a low temperature but is served under gas pressure as a keg product. Lacking a rigorous definition, it's a term that can be used to confuse the market - I have seen San Miguel described as craft at one pub - but the variety it allows has to be welcome. I suppose you can say that all real ale is craft beer, but not all craft beer is real ale! The Mitre generally stocks Shipyard APA, and I am sure more will follow.


This is a non-exhaustive list of breweries we have dealt with directly over the last twelve months.

Marston's Burton Bitter, 3.8%
Brakspears Oxford Gold, 4.0%
Hobgoblin Gold, 4.2%
Revisionist Specials (from 4.0%)
Old Empire, 5.7%
Old Thumper 5.2%
Forty-Niner 4.9%
Banks' Mild 3.5%
Banks' Sunbeam 4.1%%
Hobgoblin 4.5%
Oakham Ales Citra 4.2
Inferno 4.0%
Green Devil IPA 6.0%
Asylum 4.4%
Preacher 4.3%
Oakademy Specials (from 3.5-8.0%)
tring Brewery Fanny Ebbs 3.7%
Side Pocket 3.8%
Lady Hampdens 4.2%
Squadron Scramble 4.1%
Death or Glory 7.2%
Towcester Mill Summit 4.1%
Black Fire 5.1%
Golden Vale 3.9%
Mill Race 4.2%
Hook Norton Old Hooky 4.6%
Yardarm 7.2%
XT or Animal Brewery XPA 5.9%
Bastard Bunny 7.2%
Panther Black IPA 3.2%
Saison 14 4.5%
Leighton Buzzard Brewery Narrow Gauge 3.9%
Borrowers Bitter 3.6%%

Home Ales History Contact Upstairs