News, Nuggets & Longreads 9 July 2016: Coventry, Drinking Games, Home Brew

A pub garden with date overlaid.

Here’s all the writing about beer and pubs from the last week that’s made us laugh, think or take note, from drunken archery to home brewing competitions.

For the Midlands Beer Blog Collective Bob Maxfield profiles Coventry brewery Twisted Barrel whose motto is ‘More Folk than Punk’:

One of the directors came up with that – we both looked at each other and said yeah that explains it and encapsulates us. A little left leaning, like to work collaboratively, and work face-to-face with people… Punk has become more corporate nowadays and we’re not the kind of people that stand on a rooftop and shout about ourselves.

(The lingering influence of BrewDog, even if only as something to react against, is fascinating.)


From the Economist an interesting nugget: there is a growing craft beer scene in the Middle East held back less by religion, as might be assumed, than by bureaucracy, infrastructure and economics.


Macro image: 'Hops' with illustration of hop cones, 1970s.

A round-up within a round-up: Stan Hieronymus, the author of For the Love of Hops and a studious watcher of the hops industry, provides several interesting links that between them offer a snapshot of where we’re at:

This would appear to be a sign of how interested brewers are in finding just about any aroma new and different. YCHHOPS is selling eight varieties of experimental hops. One of these, previously known as HBC 291, recently got a name. Expect to see a lot more of Loral by the end of the teens.


Illustration: Two men playing a drinking game with knives.
Illustration by Owain Kirby. SOURCE: Hot Rum Cow. Used with permission.

For Hot Rum Cow Malcolm Triggs writes about the history of drinking games, with lovely illustrations by Owain Kirby. Here’s one from ancient China:

Images of zodiacal animals were pinned to targets in a courtyard. If a player’s sign was hit, he would have to drink; if he missed, he’d have to take a drink. Rules were strict: one report even claims a player was killed for failing to comply, but this isn’t exactly hard to imagine considering the circumstances. “Play continued until no one could hold a bow,” says [researcher] Guillaume [de Pyrenees]. “I can’t think of a worse combination.”


The Great British Home Brew Challenge 2016. (Logo)

Two big home brew competitions have been announced: Thornbridge are running their now annual tie-in with Waitrose (deadline 30 August) while BrewDog have launched a similar project in partnership with Tesco, closing 16 September. (Is this another episode in the low-key soap opera?)


And, finally, from Twitter, here’s a fun game we can all join in:

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