The editor, Tim Holt, very kindly describes it as ‘well written and superbly researched’ and suggests that we ought to continue the story at book-length. Perhaps it’s time to dust off that draft proposal for a history of lager in Britain and have another go at touting it round?
In the same issue (Winter 2014, No. 160) there is a complementary article about the lager brewery in Tottenham, North London, in which Mr Holt has compiled various pieces from 1880s editions of the Brewers’ Guardian. They confirm what we found to be suggested in census records — that the entire staff of the brewery was of German origin — and add much more detail besides, such as the fact that the brewery was kitted out by Noback Bros. & Fritze of Prague.
And here’s a comment on the beer from 1882 which goes some way to explaining the appeal of lager in Britain:
A bottle of lager beer has been confidentially shown to us, and we must admit that its brightness and clearness really surpasses everything we have hitherto seen about beers.
Any brewers wanting to produce an authentic historic 19th century London lager could do worse than start by mining these pieces for details of, e.g., mashing procedures.
We’ve been blogging since 2007 and this post summarises what we’ve learned in that time.
We got the nerve to write it after asking subscribers to our email newsletter if they thought it was a good idea, and after our online communication award from the British Guild of Beer Writers last year.
If you’re thinking of starting a beer blog, reviving an old one, or are struggling to keep one going, we hope you’ll find it useful.
This is how we’d go about starting a beer blog from scratch today.
Lay solid foundations. Write 5-10 good posts on a range of subjects in your area of interest of 200-800 words each, posting at least once a week. Hardly anyone will be reading them but it doesn’t matter – you’ll be finding a voice, getting into the groove, learning your blogging software, and preparing for the next stage. (And if you can’t manage five posts, then maybe blogging isn’t for you.) Don’t make your first post ‘So, I’ve decided to start a blog! Let’s hope this goes well!’ Just plunge in with proper content.
Get a Twitter account and/or Facebook page. Include the term ‘beer blogger’ and a link to your blog (lots of people, oddly, don’t do this) in your bio. Then follow/like other beer bloggers. Hopefully, they’ll do what we do and check out your link, where they’ll find a month or two’s worth of decent content which suggests you’re worth keeping an eye on. By all means follow the big ones like Pete Brown – he’s always interesting – but you might get a more immediate response from others who are at a similar stage in the process to you. Don’t mither people: ‘I’ve just started a blog – please take a look and Retweet!’
One of the most critical and questioning voices in the world of British beer is not a writer but a brewer: Jon Kyme of Stringers.
When he blogs, it is usually because someone has provoked him by, for example, making a claim in marketing material that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, and he often adopts indirectly the persona of ‘The Professor‘ to deliver lectures laced with economics, science and philosophy.
On Twitter, he often posts acidic sub-Tweets picking up on factual errors, grandiose claims, or even just typos. In comments on various blogs, he is similarly sharp, in both senses of the word.