These are a few bits and pieces that didn’t warrant a blog post of their own.
- Mini book review: Beers of Britain by Warren Knock and Conal Gregory (1975). This oddity was recommended by Michael ‘Beer Hunter’ Jackson in the intro to his book The English Pub in 1976. A slim paperback, it takes the odd approach of reviewing pubs by region in prose, rather than, Good Beer Guide style, with alphabetical entries. Worth reading for (a) an informed but view that isn’t CAMRA propaganda; (b) to find out what beer in your town was like forty years ago; and (c) for the occasional nugget, e.g. St Austell didn’t pasteurise their keg bitter in the seventies. A little dry for our tastes, though.
- An account of election time in the eighteen-thirties, from Recollections of Old Taunton by Edward Goldsworth (1883): ‘The elections in Taunton were a disgrace to all England. The first candidate’s arrival was made known by several hogsheads of beer being rolled on the Parade. It was then drawn off in buckets, pitchers, and jugs, and most of it consumed on the spot; the effect of which was soon both audible and visible, by singing, shouting, swearing, and fighting among the men, and screaming, cap-tearing and hair-pulling by the women… The second candidate would do as the first, and in addition would issue tickets for obtaining beer at public houses…’ As a result, when asked by the Poll Clerk how he had decided who to vote for, a local called Simon Duffer replied: ‘I hear they gives away the most beer.’
- We were pondering the ages of CAMRA chairs in the early days. We don’t know how old Chris Holmes or James Lynch were, but the first, Michael Hardman, was 25 when he took the job in 1971. Christopher Hutt (1973) was 26. Gordon Massey (1974) was 27. Chris Bruton (1976) was 31, as was his sucessor Joe Goodwin (1979). Tim Amsden (1980) was 29. When did CAMRA last have a chair under the age of 35? It would take a pretty ambitious character to pull it off today.
- You all saw this long post we wrote on West Country brewers Starkey, Knight & Ford, didn’t you? Good. Just checking.
- We’ve been posting some things which are too short to blog but too long to Tweet over on Facebook, by the way.