News, Nuggets and Longreads 15/02/2014

Bloke drinking beer.

Saturdays kids play one arm bandits. They never win, but that’s not the point, is it? Dip in silver paper when their pints go flat. How about that!? Far out!

Ahem. So, yes, it’s Sat­ur­day, and time for us to high­light a few bits and pieces from around the blo­goshire and beyond.

→ An update on a sto­ry from a cou­ple of week­ends back: Marston’s new range of self-con­scious­ly ‘craft’ keg beers, we thought, would be a per­fect oppor­tu­ni­ty for pub chain Wether­spoon’s to dab­ble in these murky waters. Now, from A Swift One, comes news that they’re doing exact­ly that.

→ We love this longish read (1300 words) at Jeff Evans’ Inside Beer about the devel­op­ment of St Austel­l’s huge­ly pop­u­lar Trib­ute ale, in which head brew­er Roger Ryman dish­es the dirt:

[Sharp’s Doom Bar] was prob­a­bly a bet­ter beer than the offer­ings at that time from St Austell – three beers, all par­ti-gyled off one brew… Of the three – Boson’s Bit­ter (3%), Tinner’s Ale (3.7%) and Hick’s Spe­cial Draught (5%) – only Hick’s, known local­ly as HSD, had any depth of flavour or char­ac­ter. The rest were thin, sharp, over atten­u­at­ed, under hopped and gen­er­al­ly unin­ter­est­ing.

→ Frank Bail­lie, author of The Beer Drinker’s Com­pan­ion, has died at the age of 92. Gra­ham Lees, one of the founder mem­bers of the Cam­paign for Real Ale, recalls his life and influ­ence in this obit­u­ary at the CAMRA web­site.

→ The most inspir­ing home brew­ing post of the week has to be Derek Dellinger’s update on progress with his India Pale Aged Ale – the oppo­site of instant grat­i­fi­ca­tion, where each round of exper­i­men­ta­tion takes months.

→ Around these parts, you might have missed that we added a new per­ma­nent page to the top menu: a list of blog posts and arti­cles to which we often find our­selves refer­ring. (There’s oth­er inter­est­ing stuff lurk­ing up there too – have a nose about.)

→ Did any­body notice that the weath­er has been rough? Here’s a pub in New­lyn, about 25 min­utes walk from where we live, pic­tured yes­ter­day evening:

→ And final­ly, blog­ging about blog­ging about blog­ging: Chris Hall has sug­gest­ed that, along­side next year’s Gold­en Pints, there ought to be a Gold­en Posts to recog­nise the efforts of beer blog­gers in more detail. We’re still pon­der­ing whether we think this is a good idea. On the one hand, we’re  sen­si­tive to the fact that blog­gers are already derid­ed for ‘cir­cle jerk­ing’ and mutu­al appre­ci­a­tion; on the oth­er, a bit of mutu­al encour­age­ment is sure­ly a good thing? At any rate, we’ll be tak­ing Chris’s advice and book­mark­ing greats posts we see through­out the year.