Right, so it’s finally real — we have hard copies of the new book, as handed over in a Bristol pub last night in a vaguely cloak-and-dagger exchange.
The idea behind the book is that it tells the story of how pubs changed and developed between 1900 and the present via inter-war improved pubs, post-war estate pubs, theme pubs, Irish pubs, gastropubs, micropubs, and so on. The tone is similar to Brew Britannia with perhaps a little more flair in the prose — we’ve had three years extra practice, after all.
You can pre-order from Amazon UK now as well as various other places (list below). The official publication date is 15 September but it’s likely to go out earlier than that.
And (fingers crossed) it should also be available at the Great British Beer Festival bookshop next week. Assuming all goes to plan, we’ll be there signing copies on Tuesday afternoon (trade day) at around 1:30, and will be hanging about until about 7pm in case anyone misses that organised signing session. Come and say hello!
It’s a very pretty book, if we do say so ourselves — bright, tactile, with lots of crisp black-and-white photos, both from the archives and taken by us on our travels during 2015-2017. We’re delighted to say that some of the illustrations we most wanted to include made the cut after much detective work and bargaining by Joanna Copestick at Homewood Press.
We’ve just launched a Patreon page so that you can support this blog in its second decade, if you want to.
Patreon is a service that makes it easy for those who enjoy art and media to encourage and financially contribute to those who make it.
The idea is that you make a recurring monthly payment of any amount you fancy. There are increasing rewards for different levels of support, e.g. a special ebook for those who sign up for $5 or more a month. There are also goals we commit to with each fund milestone.
You can read more about all that on the Patreon page itself along with responses to some frequently asked questions and feedback we’ve already received.
The main point is that it’s not compulsory and that the blog will continue as it is either way, except hopefully better. You can also cancel your support at any time — it’s not a huge commitment.
Thanks to those who have pledged already after hearing about this in our email newsletter — we really appreciate it.
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If you don’t fancy Patreon you can also contribute by buying our books: Brew Britannia is just going into a second edition (slightly smaller and cheaper, with corrections) and our new book, about pubs, should be available to pre-order soon.
If you buy our short ebook, Gambrinus Waltz, from Amazon we earn 70% of the £2.00 cover price and you get to read a book Martyn Cornell has called ‘excellent’. You don’t need a Kindle either — Amazon offers free apps for phones, tablets and desktop PCs. This is as close as you can get to buying us a half down the pub unless, er, you bump into us in a pub.
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And if even that’s a bit rich for your pocket there’s always the smallest unit of payment: shares and endorsements on social media. It’s costs nothing but is a big boost for our morale and helps us find new readers. We’re not asking you to spam anyone — just tell people about us if you think they’ll find the blog genuinely interesting. We’re easy to find as ‘boakandbailey’ on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram if you want to point people our way.
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If you’re a regular follower we hope you’ll trust us not to bloody go on about this — we’ll mention it every now and then in passing probably but otherwise this is it.
Specialists Beer Inn Print is offering it along with a huge selection of other beer- and pub-related books — well worth a browse.
If you want a signed copy then we have a few at hand which we’re selling at £12.99 including postage within the mainland UK — drop us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss dedications and details.
We know that there are also a few copies out and about in small independent book and beer shops — check your local before you order online.
Remember to tell the lucky recipient about the errata (or, as we call it, the List of Burning Shame) and the (also award-winning) follow-up supplement ‘The Good, the Bad and the Murky’.
A bit of background: as we’re not members, we had to pay to enter this competition — not something we’d usually do, but we figured that we might be in with a shot given Brew Britannia‘s performance at the British Guild awards in December.
Though of course it’s nice to have a pat on the back and our egos stroked, awards have a practical benefit: they are really useful when it comes to pitching books to publishers and, as there is another substantial book we’d really like to write, we need all the help we can get.
A little while after the UK launch, copies of Brew Britannia have finally begun to make their way out across the world, and two recent reviews from the US provide food for thought.
Jeff Alworth at Beervana, for example, highlights trans-Atlantic confusion over the meanings and cultural values implied by ‘craft’ and cask. In the US, cask-conditioned beer is considered the height of ‘craft’-ness, while in the UK, as we argue in the book, one of the many simultaneously-live meanings of ‘craft’ has been, since c.1997, ‘the antidote to real ale’. There is much potential for crossed wires here.
Jeff also ponders on why North America didn’t develop a powerful beer consumer group along the lines of the Campaign for Real Ale. It’s not as if the US doesn’t have a culture of clubs, though anything that even remotely resembled a union (CAMRA was nearly called ‘the Beer Drinkers’ Union at one point) would probably have raised hackles.