Category Archives: beer in fiction / tv

Some Beer-Related Projects of Note

BEER! (Type illustration.)

Apparently, some people aren’t satisfied with the endless ramblings of beer bloggers.

They want to hear voices, see moving images, and feel paper between their grubby fingers.

Well, they’re in luck, as there are a few new projects in the pipeline which we think are worth highlighting.

In print

Hop & Barley magazine (@hopandbarley) looks as if it’s going to the equivalent of a beer blog in print. Funded through a Kickstarter campaign, it promises ‘a fresh look through the UK’s vibrant brewing scene’.

The first issue of Original Gravity magazine (@OGBeerMag) is due on 1 September and will be given away free in pubs, bars and at beer festivals. The website doesn’t have much information at the moment and we don’t know who’s behind it.

Podcasts

We don’t really listen to podcasts — they seem a painfully slow way to absorb information compared to reading — but Beerlinescurrently being put together by veteran writer and ‘craft beer’ industry figure Jeff Pickthall (@BeerlinesEd) might be interesting. Its format is inspired by the BBC radio programme From Our Own Correspondent, and the first programme will feature a contribution from The Beer Nut.

On Telly

And, finally, one from the rumour mill: we were told recently that we might be approached by a TV company making a series about the resurgence of British beer. Now wouldn’t that be interesting?

News, Nuggets & Longreads 17/05/2014

Kidnapping of Freddy Heineken poster.

Dear readers: if our calculations are correct, you will receive this blog post on Saturday morning.

(We wrote most of it on Thursday before heading off on our grand tour of the North.)

→ We can’t claim to have had anything to do with this one (unlike Dogbolter) but it seems another seminal beer which has a starring role in our book — Brendan Dobbin’s Yakima Grande Pale Ale — is making a return from the dead. Tandleman has all the details here.

→ Saved to Pocket this week is this piece from All About Beer on British family brewers and historic brewing by Adrian Tierney-Jones.

This 1905 essay/lecture on ‘The Popular Type of Beer’ (via @YvanSeth) is worth a look in light of ongoing questions about the historic importance (or otherwise) of beer clarity:

I think it is pretty well agreed that an ideal beer for modern taste must have the following characteristics:—

  1. Brilliancy which is not dimmed by cooling.

  2. Low alcoholic strength.

  3. Good condition with a permanent head.

  4. A clean, fairly full, and mature character, a delicate hop flavour, and pleasant aroma.

→ Phil Mellows’ portrait of a distinctly old-fashioned Welsh pub is highly evocative: “After the smell of wet dog, what struck me first about the place was that, in 21st century terminology, it’s a micropub.”

They’re making a film about the kidnapping of Freddy Heineken starring Anthony Hopkins as the wealthy brewing heir. But it turns out it’s not the first — Rutger Hauer had a go at the role a couple of years ago.

→ After a week of sometimes fraught discussion about the intricacies of beer cellaring techniques, here’s another nugget from Ed.

We’re hosting the 88th beer blogging session on Friday 6 June, with the topic of ‘traditional beer mixes’: if you blog, get involved.

Not Beer: Nairn on BBC4

From Ian Nairn's OUTRAGE column in the Architectural Review, 1964.
From Ian Nairn’s OUTRAGE column in the Architectural Review, 1964.

This Thursday night, 20 February, at 22:00, BBC4 (the channel for swots) is showing The Man Who Fought the Planners, an hour-long documentary about architecture critic Ian Nairn.

As well as writing about buildings and places, Nairn was also a beer and pub enthusiast, as we explained in the Winter 2013 edition of the Campaign for the Real Ale’s BEER magazine:

[Nairn's] contribution to CAMRA’s success came in 1974 when, rather out of the blue, he published a lengthy essay in The Sunday Times entitled ‘The Best Beers of Our Lives’. A passionate argument in favour of local breweries and regionally specific products, as opposed to ‘national brew’, it opened with this statement: “It may be the fifty-ninth second of the fifty-ninth minute after eleven o’clock, but I think there is now a chance of saving what remains of draught beer in Britain. CAMRA… had 1,000 members a year ago: it now has 18,000,
including me.”

He also, for this reason and others, has a recurring walk-on part in our book, Brew Britannia.

We’re not sure how much The Man Who Fought the Planners will touch on his love of pubs, but if it doesn’t end with Philip Glass’s Façades playing over a photo of Nairn holding a pint while the narrator explains that he drank himself to death, we’ll be very surprised.

We do know that Gillian Darley has been involved in the programme, and should take this opportunity to belatedly recommend the anthology of writing about Nairn, Words in Place, which she edited with David McKie last year. It gives a flavour of each of his books (some of which are very hard to get hold of) as well as an overview of his life. The chapter on his mid-1960s US road tour is, we think, begging to be made into a film by the Coen Brothers.