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.
We don’t really listen to podcasts — they seem a painfully slow way to absorb information compared to reading — but Beerlines, currently 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.
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?
→ 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.
We’re not huge fans of Buzzfeed but we do like this video in which sommelier Whitney Adams tastes six cheap American beers, not least because of the fresh vocabulary: where beer geeks might say bland, she says delicate, for example.
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.