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News, Nuggets and Longreads 22/02/2014

Saturday night’s alright for fighting, but Saturday morning is good for catching up on the beer news, innit?

This is a fascinating longish read (1300 wds) from Leigh Linley on Northern Monk Brew Co, in which Russell Bisset explains why NMBCO has abandoned ‘cuckoo’ brewing:

Unless you have sacks of cash, nerves of steel or just want to produce ‘accountants’ beer, don’t cuckoo brew in the UK… I don’t think the cuckoo brewing model is a viable long-term option here. It’s easy to look at the likes of Mikkeler and Evil Twin and think that it’s possible to produce bolder beer styles using a cuckoo brewing model. In reality they work with breweries like De Proef that are truly world-class and have third-party production as their bread and butter. But they also have 12 month waiting lists to work with.

→ There has been a notable increase in the amount of beer coverage in the mainstream media. The BBC News website continues its streak with this piece on defunct breweries by Francesca Williams; the Guardian had this short piece by Fiona Beckett on big brewers ‘doing craft’; and the BBC’s Food & Drink mentioned beer (albeit superficially) for the second week in a row. Even the New York Times decided to get in on the act with a piece about the pub preservation movement.

→ By the Horns brewery of Tooting made the papers, too, after representatives of actor Robert Lindsay asked them to remove his image from packaging for their Wolfie Smith beer. Why on earth would any brewery think it OK to use someone’s image to promote a product without their permission? It might have worked if it was, say, George Osborne, and there was a parody/satire defence, but not in this case. We were moved by this to write a Facebook post: ‘Some things we wouldn’t do if we ran a brewery‘.

→ This week’s inspiring home brewing post is from Al ‘Hopsinjoor’: brewing as therapeutic activity, recipe based on what was in the cupboard, lessons learned about measuring efficiency. Nice.

→ Felix vom Endt, who works as a professional beervangelist at the Berlin Beer Academy, Tweeted from a tasting of vintage Berliner Weiss beers. Simple folk that we are, we mostly liked the labels, but also thought the findings were interesting:

→ We haven’t read this interview from September last year with Tony Magee of Lagunitas Brewing Company, but it’s been saved to Pocket.

One reply on “News, Nuggets and Longreads 22/02/2014”

Thanks for picking up the NMBC piece. I too found Russell’s comments really refreshing; honest enough to admit that they had made a mistake early on – but taken the positives from the experience. NMBC got a bit of flak for the approach early on, so it’s good to see Russ and his team working flat out since then to make sure NMBC v2 is as good as it can be.

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