The Month That Was: January 2016

January 2016 collage: draymen, taste-off, estate pub and Guinness.

January was both gloomy and real-life busy — not ideal blogging conditions — but we found time for a few posts.

→ The month kicked off with a short contribution to the 107th edition of The Session: are brewers our friends, and do we want them to be? (The full session round-up is available at the Community Beer Works website.)

→ We reached a final decision on our favourite bottled mild. (There’s more on the meaning of bottled mild from Joe Tindall here.)

→ In the first of a new series of Notes & Queries type posts we looked into the history of the Falmouth Brewery Co. on behalf of Neil McDonald, which also led to…

Continue reading “The Month That Was: January 2016”

Nostalgic 20th Century Pub Blogs

This is part of our occasional series highlighting interesting blogs and the theme this time is pubs in the 20th century.

Screenshot: Manchester's Estate Pubs.
Screenshot: Manchester’s Estate Pubs.

Manchester’s Estate Pubs is put together by the pseudonymous ‘modernmoocher’ and features original photographs accompanied by sometimes lyrical prose:

Point a camera at a hard man and he’ll tell you exactly what you want to hear, it’s easy, though it’s much, much harder to fill a pub these days – tough times.

Standing lost and forlorn in a sea of green grass – nobody’s home, laid low by a litre and a half of Lambrini or six.

Bare burnt rafters, boarded doors, the sign no longer swings in the wind.

Somebody just called tinned-up time.

Billy Greens is no more.

manchestersestatepubs.wordpress.com

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The Never Ending Pub Crawl is put together by Alan Winfield and alternates between accounts of recent expeditions and those from 30 years ago. The latter are accompanied by photographs which, though straightforward in style, have attained a certain romance with age, like this one from 1987:

© Alan Winfield
© Alan Winfield

neverendingpubcrawl.blogspot.co.uk

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Screenshot: Pubs of Manchester.
Screenshot: Pubs of Manchester.

We found both of the relatively new blogs above via Pubs of Manchester (@Pubs_of_Mcr on Twitter), a website of long-standing that also belongs in this list. Its author takes the time and trouble to document even the most lowly of pubs using every photograph he can harvest from private collections, old publications and various corners of the internet. A fascinating recent post, which is fairly typical, is this one about The House That Jack Built:

The House That Jack Built was a very distinctive 1970s estate pub, opening in 1975 at the newly-built Newbury Place shopping centre off Bury New Road in Higher Broughton… It was described in the Manchester Evening News at the time as ‘something entirely different’ – a maze of bars, passages and alcoves with an indoor tree house!

The tone is often rather wistful — so many of the pubs chronicled have disappeared, often only in recent years — which only underlines the importance of recording their existence before they are forgotten altogether.

pubsofmanchester.blogspot.co.uk

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Any other suggestions for blogs that belong on this list are very welcome — leave a comment below.

The Best of B&B in 2015

These end-of-year round-up posts are a combination of therapy, house-keeping and ‘ICYMI’ trumpet blowing.

ICYMI, as you probably know, stands for ‘in case you missed it’ and we’ve previously suggested is synonymous with BIDGEAFT — Because It Didn’t Get Enough Attention First Time.

Trumpet instructions.

The Best, Sez Us…

These are the posts from 2015 of which we’re proudest, whether anyone read them or not.

→ Proper Job IPA: Cornwall via Oregon — How St Austell’s Roger Ryman was inspired by an American beer to brew one of the UK’s earliest strong, citrusy IPAs. (15 January.)

→ Williams Bros: Craft Before It Was a Thing — A story omitted from Brew Britannia given the standalone treatment for a round of #BeeryLongreads. (28 February.)

Continue reading “The Best of B&B in 2015”

#BeeryLongreads Winners

There were just enough contributions to make this difficult but we managed, after some barely simmering debate, to pick two winners.

Our favourite UK entry was from a new beer blogger, Jim Morphy, whose post ‘The Ale in Wales: a Welsh drinker’s look through the Good Beer Guide 2016’ offers a handy survey of territory we don’t know combined with some interesting commentary on CAMRA’s flagship annual publication. We’ll be in touch by email to sort out a delivery address for the bundle of goodies below. (Disclosure: some of which were sent as samples.)

Prize bundle feat. Mikkeller book, Brew Britannia, Watney's half-pint glass, BrewDog keyring &c.

  • A Watney’s Red Barrel half-pint glass
  • A set of BrewDog posters, key-ring and stickers
  • A set of vintage beer mats from our collection
  • A copy of the Mikkeller home-brewing book
  • A rare edition of CAMRA’s glossy magazine What’s Brewing from 1981
  • The 1978 Good Beer Guide
  • A copy of the BFI DVD set Roll Out the Barrel
  • A copy of Brew Britannia

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Of the overseas entries, we most enjoyed Andreas Krenmair’s19th Century Brewing Methods in Germany and Austria’ which mined a couple of obscure texts for specific details on how beer was made in several important cities. Home-brewers might find prompts for some interesting experiments therein. We’ll be arranging a prize for Andreas that doesn’t involve couriering a box to Berlin.

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We said we weren’t going to do a round-up but what the heck: here are all the other posts of eligible length (1500 words+) posted to the hashtag on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks to everyone who kept us company in this exercise especially given how hectic this time of year can be.

Questions & Answers

Do you have a question about a particular pub, brewery or beer that you’d like answering? We’d like to help, if we can.

We’ve acquired a ton of mouldering old books, newspapers and magazines over the last few years, as well as developing ninja-level skills at online archive searching.

And we love a puzzle, like this one that caught our eye on Twitter last night:

(The same quotespam website also attributes it to William Faulkner but we found a version of the same statement relating to wine in a book from 1821.)

As it is we occasionally get questions out of the blue which we always enjoy trying to answer and, a while ago, asked for submissions through our email newsletter, which led to this post about pub snacks.

Now, we’d like to try making this a regular feature, so if you have a question email contact@boakandbailey.com and we’ll do our best.

NB. If your question is ‘What does AK stand for?‘ then, sorry, but we can’t help…