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News, Nuggets and Longreads 05/04/2014

Detail from Watney's Brown Ale advertisement c.1960.

Before you get your boozing trousers on and head to the pub, here are a few things we’ve spotted around and about in the last week.

→ Following on from last autumn’s Craft Beer 365 ‘bookazine’, Craig Heap and Chris Hall are back with another, this time aided by Matt Curtis, Leigh Linley and Ruari O’Toole. The 100 Best Breweries in the World is available online and will also probably be turning up in newsagents and on iTunes fairly shortly.

→ Saved to Pocket this week: a long piece by Terry Foster and Bob Hansen which originally appeared in Brew Your Own Magazine and is now on the website of US maltster Briess: what exactly is the difference between crystal and caramel malts? (Via @BeerWineHobby and @richardmackney on Twitter.)

→ There’s a piece about Wetherspoon’s on the Guardian blog (by @maxbrearley):

There’s a sharp intake of breath and I fear a heart attack when I tell him that in London you can pay £4 a half. His response? Not printable.

→ For the first time ever, the London Wine Fair is to have a beer section.

→ And a bit of news from us relating to the launch of Brew Britannia: it might come to nothing, but there is a possibility that, in and around June, several beers might be on sale around the country which haven’t been tasted for 20 years or more. We’ll keep you posted!

3 replies on “News, Nuggets and Longreads 05/04/2014”

At least two things I disagree with in the Wetherspoons piece. ‘Good service’ – since when? secondly, opening their first pub in the Lake District. What about the one in Kendal?

Good service? You can walk up to the bar in any JDW’s, anywhere in the country, and within two minutes you can guarantee to hear one of the following:

Is there anybody waiting?
Who’s next?
Are you all right there?

Make an excuse to hang around the bar area for five minutes or more and you’ll probably hear all three. Now that’s service… or something.

OTOH, tell Spoons bar staff that a beer’s gone off and you’ll generally have a replacement pint in front of you – and have the offending pump clip turned round – in no time flat. So they do train them in some things – just not in the ancient and mystical art of clocking the punters.

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