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Bits and Pieces for October 2013

An assortment of beers in a box.

Here are a few bits of business that don’t warrant a blog post of their own.

  • Prompted by an email from a relative of Paul Leyton (early UK ‘microbrewer’), we’ve updated the ‘Help us with our book’ page. As the manuscript is now off with the publishers, we can’t make huge changes, but we’re still interested in finding out more on the topics listed out of curiosity, and with future blog posts and articles in mind.
  • The Winter edition of the Campaign for Real Ale’s BEER magazine is arriving through members’ doors as we speak. We’re excited because It includes the first article we’ve ever written on a professional basis. It’s part of the ‘real ale heroes’ series and tells the story of the part writers Richard Boston and Ian Nairn — both interesting characters — played in boosting CAMRA’s profile in the mid-seventies. If you’re not a member, you’ll probably find a copy knocking about your local CAMRA-friendly pub.
  • We’ve been thinking for a while  that it might be interesting to cross-reference all those X Beers to Drink Before You Die books to see if there’s a core group of essential beers that make up a kind of ‘canon’. When we expressed that thought on Twitter, we discovered that some have already made a start, and others were keen to get involved. A bunch of us are now entering data on a collaborative basis. Watch this space for results, but here’s one pre-emptive headline: Pilsner Urquell is one for the ages.
  • We’ve picked a topic for our 30 November ‘long read’: we’re going to tell the story of Newquay Steam Beer, arguably an early ‘craft beer’. If you’ve got any insight beyond ‘the packaging was nice but it tasted boring’, feel free to drop us a line…

10 replies on “Bits and Pieces for October 2013”

I seem to vaguely remember that Newquay was quite carbonated and pasteurised when I had it around about 87/88, though I wasn’t really paying attention

Newquay Steam Beer… there’s a blast from the past. I remember buying Newquay Steam on general hey, wow, reasons, which would fit. Can’t remember a damn thing about the beer itself… which would also fit (come on, we were all thinking it).

the first article we’ve ever written on a professional basis

SRSLY? I’ve written approximately two billion articles on a professional basis*, but never managed to talk anyone into giving me a book contract (apart from an academic book, which is non-commercial (in so many ways)). I’m impressed that you’ve done it the other way round.

*I did say ‘approximately’. Let’s say 400, give or take.


(Though we’ve both had jobs that required us to write papers and guidance, and I’ve worked as an editor/copywriter at various times.)

Oh, man… Been there. (With a book not about beer that got as far as being listed on Amazon and then then publishers got bought out by Macmillan.)

Oddly, had one of those ‘I’ve just found out you write about beer and I want to try some’ with a colleague at work yesterday. after discussing a little bit about flavour and preferences, the wishlist I sent him away with? Pilsner Urquell, Weihenstaphner and Adnam’s bitter. PU is one for the ages, and he was stunned when he found out it was such a storied beer. He’d seen it, but thought it like all the other ‘funny foreign lagers….’

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