Here’s a summary of our blog posts from February, most of which we spent cowering from storms.
→ We finally got round to playing with the Aroxa ‘off flavours’ kit.
→ We tried to work out how the idea that clear beer is best arose, and whether it is objectively true, or a result of social conditioning. We followed that up with an attempt to use data about 1920s milds collected by Ron Pattinson to understand the preferences and prejudices of the time.
→ We reviewed the 1939 film Cheer Boys Cheer: ‘The value of Cheer Boys Cheer is as an early expression of a point of view that would later inform the founding of the Society for the Preservation of Beers from the Wood and the Campaign for Real Ale: dispassionate technicians in a factory cannot possibly make really satisfying beer.’
→ We wondered about the increasing popularity of the hybrid term ‘craft ales’ which we keep hearing everwhere.
→ Thornbridge Tzara got us thinking about Kölsch: it’s a good one from a bottle, which is not something we’d previously believe existed.
→ Ron Pattinson’s new ‘proper’ book, The Homebrewer’s Guide to Vintage Beer, got four thumbs up from us. We later found out that we sort of share a publisher and have updated the post to mention that. (Jeff Alworth is already calling it a contender for book of the year.)
→ We reflected on the dominance of St Austell in our region and wondered whether it was a bad thing.
→ The BBC showed a documentary about Ian Nairn the week before last. It turned out to be good, with lots of stuff about beer (abuse of) and pubs, though the stuff about ‘fat Wallonian tarts’ took us by surprise a bit.
→ Hawkshead sent us three beers off their new bottling line: we loved one, found another very decent, and though there might be a problem with the third.
→ We recorded a couple of related incidents: is it ever OK for people to bring their own food and drink into a pub?
→ And, finally, we rattled through a number of pubs we visited on our trip to London which had one thing in common: we didn’t choose them and beer wasn’t the main attraction.