Beer history Blogging and writing

Ten long articles on beer to read later

Tablet computers and smartphones have led to a growth industry in apps that take articles from the web and present them in a clean, readable, magazine-like format. We use Pocket (formerly Read it Later) which allows you to mark articles online to enjoy later in a customised publication which, as if by magic, only covers topics in which we’re interested.

Longform and Longreads are great places to find substantial articles available online, but there’s little in their curated collections which touches on beer. So, with that in mind, here are ten decent-sized articles related to our favourite topic that might get you through a long train journey.

1. The murder of US brewery millionaire Adolph Coors III in 1960 (via Longform)

Provides an interesting insight into the US brewing business in the 20th century, as well as being an enthralling ‘true crime’ story.

2. How British landowners used to age strong ale for twenty years or more (Zythophile)

We could fill this entire list with Martyn ‘Zythophile’ Cornell’s meticulous, article-length ‘blog posts’ but have limited ourselves to two.

3. The Most Notorious Brewer in History (Zythophile)

Antoine-Joseph Santerre was France’s biggest brewer in the 18th century and a revolutionary to boot.

4. New Yorker magazine’s profile of Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione (New Yorker)

Love or hate ‘extreme’ US beer, Burkhard Bilger’s interview gives a great insight into the thinking behind it.

5. How 45 million year-old yeast was recultured from a sample trapped in amber (Wired)

Like Jurassic Park only with yeast instead of dinosaurs. (The yeast doesn’t chase anyone, sadly.)

6. Binge drinking and moral panics in British history (History and Policy)

Are there lessons to be learned from how the government reacted to the ‘gin craze’ in the 18th century?

7. The story of Budweiser Budvar (Des de Moor)

The history, the controversy and the Czech brewery’s struggle to remain independent.

8. The rise of ‘craft keg’ in the UK (by Adrian Tierney Jones)

Quibbles over terminology aside, a good summary of where we’re at and how we got here.

9. The Beer Strikes of 1834 (Brewery History Society)

Tim Holt’s fascinating account of a crisis in London brewing that began with a dispute over pay for coopers.

10. Beer at the Thanksgiving Table (Michael Jackson)

A reminder that beer writers have been trying to convince people that beers goes with food for a long time. This article dates from 1983.

In several cases above, there are a treasure trove of articles behind the ones we’ve picked — the Michael Jackson, Brewery History Society and Zythophile websites are particular goldmines.

We were nudged to finish this post by this discussion: we like short blog posts, but love long articles, too.


6 replies on “Ten long articles on beer to read later”

Thanks very much for the plug(s), chaps (if I can use “chaps” to cover the pair of you) – I’ve got a 7,000-plus worder lined up for some time in the next couple of months, but I’m probably going to split that into at least two parts …

I know one of the “rules” of blogging is to keep it short and do it often, but I figure if you’re trying to be a repository of information (which I am), and the web allows, effectively, limitless space, why not throw in everything including the kitchen sink, the draining board and the complete contents of the cupboard you store the washing powder and bleach in as well?

Thanks for the listing. I’ve sympathy with Martyn on this. As a paid writer I’ve spent considerable amounts of time trying to shave 5,000 words worth of thoughts into a 1,500 word article so being able to post as much as I like is liberating, and I hope I write well enough not to outstay my welcome. Though Simon Jenkins said he could sub that Budvar piece down to 2,000 words — still to take him up on the challenge of how!

Paid , you lucky bugger. Unpaid but published thats me. Word limits and editors riping your work apart (and sometimes recontructing it to say something wrong!) and just ‘the love of it’ in return. 🙂

A few years ago I approached an editor I knew slightly with some column ideas. It turns out that there is no such thing as a column idea; if you’ve got something witty and interesting to say, by all means go ahead and say it, on your blog.

I made a living as a freelance journalist for five years. The work was getting very thin by the end of it; I don’t know how anyone manages to make it pay now.

Long posts, or articles have never bothered me. I have a tend to be a bit long-winded when I write, so I guess what comes around goes around.

A bit late, but many thanks for the link and for describing the Brewery History Society’s journal as a ‘treasure trove of articles.’ The aim is to make ever article freely available online 3 years after they’ve been published in print. More coming soon!

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