Long Articles About Beer for May 2013

Cain's brewery logo

1. ‘Cain’s: the final chap­ter?’  and ‘Chap­ter 9: Full Cir­cle’ by Chris Rout­ledge

Rout­ledge wrote Cain’s: the Sto­ry of Liv­er­pool in a Pint and has fol­lowed the ups and downs of the brew­ery under the Dusanj broth­ers through­out the last decade. Now, as it looks as if it might final­ly be on its last legs, he offers a sort-of-insid­er’s view of the cur­rent cri­sis (actu­al­ly not that long…) which is best read along­side the chap­ter from his 2008 book to which it refers.

Richard Marx

2. ‘Right Here Wait­ing’ by Edward McLel­land

We found this through either Lon­greads or Long­form – we can’t remem­ber which – and enjoyed it for two rea­sons: first, because it’s a fun­ny sto­ry about a jour­nal­ist wind­ing up a touchy local celebri­ty but, sec­ond­ly, and more impor­tant­ly, because of the love­ly pen por­trait of a Chica­go bar and the uni­ver­sal strug­gle to become ‘a reg­u­lar’.

Truman's ales sign, East London.

3. ‘When Brick Lane was Home to the Biggest Brew­ery in the World’ by Mar­tyn Cor­nell

The king of the long­form beer arti­cle does­n’t real­ly do short. This piece tells the sto­ry of Tru­man, Han­bury & Bux­ton and its colos­sal ‘Black Eagle’ brew­ery in the East End of Lon­don from begin­ning (1683?) to today.

Brewdog bottle label.

4. ‘Byron, Brew­dog, and the recu­per­a­tion of rad­i­cal aes­thet­ics’ by Jonathan Moses

Moses is a left-wing polit­i­cal activist and teacher and so has an inter­est­ing per­spec­tive on Brew­dog and what he calls their ‘aver­sion to asso­ci­a­tion with the cor­po­rate mar­ket’.

Pub saved by irony

5. ‘The Pub That Was Saved by Irony’ by The Gen­tle Author (Spi­tal­fields Life)

How an archi­tec­tur­al her­itage muse­um want­ed to demol­ish a Vic­to­ri­an pub, and the cam­paign to save it, jux­ta­posed with the mem­o­ries of George Bark­er who grew up in the Mar­quis of Lans­downe before World War II.

We read arti­cles like this using Pock­et. Beer writ­ers and blog­gers: why not stretch out and write some­thing loooooooong?

8 thoughts on “Long Articles About Beer for May 2013”

  1. That’s iron­ic about Cains b/c I only just saw them on store shelves in the last four weeks or so (Boston, MA, USA area). Don’t see a lot of Dark Mild beers around here, so it stuck out.

  2. thanks for the pock­et rec. Just opened an account. As for long.…well, it’s got to be worth­while, has­n’t it! These are crack­ing exam­ples, though – hope I find such gold.

  3. The king of the long­form beer arti­cle” – yeah, but that Tru­man’s piece was TOO long, 14,000 words. It’s only had 1,300-odd reads so far, while the lat­est post, on Aus­tralian IPA, a mere 1,100 words, got more than that on the first day. I cer­tain­ly find it dif­fi­cult to write any­thing less than 1,000 words, and about 2,500 is prob­a­bly my norm. I notice the arti­cles you link to all seem to be 2,000–3,000 words – any­thing much over 4,000 words, in my expe­ri­ence, sim­ply ain’t gonna be read: peo­ple only have so much time.

  4. Mar­tyn – but you’ll prob­a­bly find that the long posts get more vis­its over time, appear­ing at hte top of search results because they are com­pre­hen­sive and author­i­ta­tive, where­as the short­er, more top­i­cal pieces will cre­ate a buzz and then their views will drop off. (Though you might have stats which indi­cate oth­er­wise already.)

    Barm – increas­ing­ly, where we read any­thing over, say, 800 words using Pock­et on phones/tablets, on train jour­neys or what­ev­er, it would be great to have a sin­gle page ‘long­form’ ver­sion of split posts.

    On the whole, there are blog posts (short, snap­py, one or two points to make) and there are arti­cles, and both have their place.

    1. I find the longer stuff does get more vis­its over time, but only if it’s in the form of a page, not a blog post. I think the search engines assume blog posts get less rel­e­vant over time, where­as pages have ongo­ing sig­nif­i­cance. This just from my obser­va­tions though, not empir­i­cal test­ing.

  5. That was quite an arti­cle by Jonathan Moses and I’m still try­ing to fig­ure out large parts of it. I don’t think there is any­thing real­ly dif­fer­ent about the bohemi­an look or appeal to many cur­rent con­sumer com­pa­nies and their asso­ci­at­ed brand­ing. It’s just an age-old process of busi­ness – cap­i­tal­ism – adapt­ing to new gen­er­a­tions, new per­ceived needs and inter­ests. Thus, at one time a chain such as the Davy wine bar chain focused on Vic­to­ri­ana recre­ations because that was pop­u­lar and indeed nev­er real­ly goes away when you think of it (the 7% solu­tion, han­som cabs, gaslights, Dick­ens, that iconog­ra­phy will always be with us). Then for a time you saw many bars done in a cool urban style, spare and under­stat­ed, e.g. All Bar One, and indeed some of the Davy’s went that way (the F.O.B. near Mon­u­ment, although I liked it bet­ter before). There was also the (relat­ed) indus­tri­al chic mode, which I think start­ed in San Fran­cis­co in the 50’s when the Spaghet­ti Fac­to­ry got going and Ghiardel­li Square was devel­oped. Isn’t Cam­den Lock an ear­ly and very suc­cess­ful Eng­lish exam­ple? Whole Foods in the U.S. and Apple Com­put­ers latched on to peo­ples’ desire for authen­tic­i­ty and indi­vid­u­al­i­ty, the “off-cen­tered” look about it all which became a byword of some U.S. brew­ers was a vari­a­tion of ear­li­er peo­ple-friend­ly cam­paigns, just as prob­a­bly the “bug” ads of Volk­swa­gen were in the 60’s. Real­ly it’s just busi­ness cot­ton­ing to the per­ceived needs and inter­ests of the time.

    Gary

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