News, Nuggets & Longreads 27/09/2014

Adapted from Adnams, Southwold, by Martin Pettitt, via Flickr, under a Creative Commons licence.
Adapted from Adnams, Southwold, by Martin Pettitt, via Flickr, under a Creative Commons licence.

We’re off on our holidays this afternoon but have a few posts scheduled to pop up during next week. Though we’re determined not to do any work, we’ll probably have a beer or two and visit the odd pub, so expect Tweets and Facebook updates.

In the meantime, here’s our usual round-up of interesting things to read around the beerier corners of the the internet.

→ Saved to Pocket this week: recollections of the 1940s from a former employee of Adnams, on their rather superior corporate blog.

→ Also saved to read later, an account of a visit to the Baird’s Malt plant in Witham Essex from It Comes in Pints.

→ The Cask Report 2014 has landed and here’s the author’s handy digest.  Pete Brown’s findings echoes one of the underlying arguments of Brew Britannia: ‘Cask ale and craft beer are not the same thing, but neither are they entirely separate — there is a pretty big overlap.’

Richard Taylor at the Beercast continues to prod at Brewmeister as the Advertising Standards Agency censures the Scottish brewer over marketing for Snake Venom. There’s good stuff in comments, too, including more measured responses than we’ve previously seen from Brewmeister’s Lewis Shand.

→ Sabina Llewellyn-Davies’s article on Lebanese craft beer for All About Beer is worth a read: ‘Lebanon does not boast a huge beer drinking community; the total yearly consumption of beer is about equal to the amount of beer consumed during the month long Oktoberfest in Munich.’

→ The Gentle Author at Spitalfields Life has put together a list of the language of beer, including some phrases new to us — a noggin of Merry-Goe-Down, anyone?

→ We shared this on Twitter but it’s too good not to flag here as well: ‘Rick Wakeman Consumer Guide to the Beers of the World, by Chris Salewicz, from 1974 (enlargeable scan of a page from the NME about halfway down).

→ There’s a lot of information about beer and British culture packed into this one family photo.

→ And this is nice, isn’t it?

4 replies on “News, Nuggets & Longreads 27/09/2014”

I love that Rick Wakeman interview. (I would have offered to translate the page, but precisely none of it is about beer – or even about Rick Wakeman – so never mind.)

For ease of reference, here’s what they had (Wakeman’s scores; Wakeman’s comments in quotes, Salewicz’s in brackets).

Young’s Special (9/10)
Watney’s Special (8) “Chemical beer does, of course, lay more heavily on the stomach. … I do like Watney’s, you know. It’s always consistent.”
Lowenbrau (5)
Double Diamond (6) “rubbery smell”
Skol (5)
Ruddles County (this rare non-chemical beer) (2) “It’s bloody ‘orrible … It’s like an off barley wine”
Worthington E (-3)
Watney’s Red Barrel (6) “its one asset is that it’s the same wherever you go”
Rigers (?) (His comments on the Rigers weren’t exactly flattering)

It sounds as if this multi-ale free house was running seven bitters, most of which were keg. I wonder if the Ruddles was actually the only cask (“non-chemical”(!)) beer they had on – which might explain it being in bad nick. And WTH’s “Rigers”? (Misprint for Rogers? But then, what’s Rogers?)

remember skimming through that Rick Wakeman piece in school, awful music, laughable really, King Arthur on ice etc, didn’t he end up having to give up the sauce because of his liking for it and become some evangelical christian or something similarly nutty in the process as well?

According to Wikipedia he’s been teetotal since 1985 & “had a renewal of his Christian faith” around the time of his third marriage in 1984. If nine pints was a normal session for him, I’m not too surprised he knocked it on the head. The 1970s were different.

The reminiscence of 1940’s Adnams was very interesting. However, IMO it was a chance missed to discuss how Adnams’s own beers were brewed and their characteristics vs. the beers from the brewery today or other breweries making traditional ales. A chance missed but perhaps B&B or someone reading will consider contacting the writer of the reminiscences to obtain his views on the characteristics of the beers from a production and taste point of view vs. bottling procedures and the like.

Interesting use of lead and asbestos in the brewery back then, presumably many breweries did the same thing.

The employee who could tell the difference between the top and bottom halves of a bottle (obviously this is bottle-conditioned beer) had a good gift, but I am sure I could tell too, and many reading. He was noticing the extra yeast and other sediment in the lower half. This is an effective rejoinder to those who claim a hazy pint tastes the same as a bright one.


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