All the #BeeryLongReads from November 2014

#BeeryLongReads illustration.

Once again, our fears that we would be going it alone on #BeeryLongReads day proved to be unfounded – thanks, everyone, for taking part. Here are all the posts that we’ve spotted or been told about.

→ Old Fam­i­ly Brew­ers of Britain. Part Sev­en – Brak­s­pears of Hen­ley-on-Thames by Paul Bai­ley (no rela­tion) recounts the his­to­ry of a brew­ery and the author’s own long expe­ri­ence of drink­ing its beer: “I had learnt of the com­pa­ny’s exis­tence late in 1973 after read­ing Christo­pher Hut­t’s excel­lent and pio­neer­ing book, The Death of the Eng­lish Pub… [but]it was not until the spring of 1975, dur­ing my stu­dent days, that I first had the chance to sam­ple them.”

‘Spoons, Man by The Beer Nut (@thebeernut) con­sid­ers the arrival in Ire­land of the UK pub chain Wether­spoon: “[This] was­n’t going to be one of those Wild West Wether­spoons, run down and gum-stained, that one occa­sion­al­ly encoun­ters across the water. Though they did­n’t make it explic­it, I sus­pect the inten­tion was for this to be both pilot fish and flag­ship all under one enor­mous roof.”

What­ev­er Peo­ple Say I Am, I’m Not, also by The Beer Nut, explores the Guin­ness Brew­ers Project: “I’m not hav­ing a go at Dia­geo for not mak­ing Pat­tin­son­ian clones of beers in their logs. They are enti­tled to make what they like. I do, how­ev­er, think pre­sent­ing them as any way his­tor­i­cal­ly asso­ci­at­ed was a mis­take – some­thing that will mis­lead most cus­tomers and just irri­tate the ones who look a bit fur­ther into it.”

→ #Gamer­Gate Might Por­tend Some­thing Ill for Craft Beer by The Bre­wolero asks ques­tions about whether we might expect the bit­ter row which has recent­ly poi­soned con­ver­sa­tion around gam­ing might find anoth­er front in the world of beer: “The par­al­lels are not quite direct between #Gamer­Gate and craft beer’s inter­nal con­flicts, and gaming’s dirty laun­dry is prob­a­bly mag­ni­tudes worse than the beer’s, but it’s worth pay­ing atten­tion to if only as a cau­tion­ary tale.”

ADDED 01/12/2014: Learn­ing to love con­straint in brew­ing, or, Glob­al­iza­tion and the ter­roirs of music, soc­cer for­ma­tions, and local beer, also by The Bre­wolero, draws par­al­lels between the homo­gene­ity of glob­al­i­sa­tion on craft beer styles and oth­er areas of pop­u­lar cul­ture: “Glob­al­iza­tion is great–it allows for a much freer spread of infor­ma­tion and ideas. Also, glob­al­iza­tion sucks–Starbucks opened this week­end in Bolivia, and you can bet that Pump­kin Spice is one of the options. So what does that mean for beer?”

→ How the West Was Won by Andrew Drinkwa­ter (@andrewdrinks) is, in his own words, “a long, total­ly biased love let­ter to a bar I spent much of this year in”: “When Brew­dog opened its Shep­herds Bush bar in Novem­ber 2013, it was a con­sid­er­able risk. The venue itself was an unortho­dox choice, huge by com­par­i­son with the Scot­tish brewery’s oth­er bars, and a long way from the cru­cible for London’s beer boom in the East…”

The More I Trav­el the More I Real­ize How Lit­tle I Know by Stan Hierony­mus (@stanhieronymus) is an archive piece from 2010 which gave brew­ers the chance to talk about what they had learned on their trav­els: “Jason Oliv­er brews a pret­ty mean Vien­na-style Lager in Rose­land, Vir­ginia. Like­wise Alas­tair Hook in Lon­don…  How did they learn to brew such beer, and why do they both­er?”

Beer and Pubs: a Per­son­al His­to­ry by Matthew Lawren­son (@seethelizards) is actu­al­ly a naked­ly hon­est account of the author’s rela­tion­ship with soci­ety through the prism of booze: “Just as you can­not appre­ci­ate hap­pi­ness unless you have known mis­ery, you can­not appre­ci­ate flavour­some beer unless you have drunk a stan­dard region­al brew­ery mild.”

Bend’s ‘Healthy Beer Cul­ture’ by Mark Lind­ner (@bythebbl) is a response to a year-old post of ours exam­in­ing the state of beer and brew­ing in Bend, Ore­gon: “Cur­rent­ly, beer tourism is a sig­nif­i­cant and grow­ing por­tion of local tourism dol­lars. Beer goes with every­thing that goes on here, indoors or out…”

‘Pho­to Con­test 2014: The What, the How and the Why’ by Alan McLeod (@agoodbeerblog) both adver­tis­es and explores the his­to­ry of a beer blog­ging insti­tu­tion: “Why have I done this since 2006? Think about it. That is longer that more than half of today’s craft brew­er have been opened! Why have I kept going for now nine con­tests? Fear of habit break­ing in large part. There must be a 37 let­ter word for that in Ger­man or Hin­di.”

How to Make Malt by Ed Wray (@TheBeerFather) explains, with copi­ous illus­tra­tions, exact­ly how malt is pro­duced: “This is moist green malt, and it tastes a bit like bean sprouts at this stage. Which per­haps explains why bizarre as it now sounds beans were once used for brew­ing. It is pos­si­ble to brew using green malt, and I’ve heard of a grain whisky dis­tillery that does this.”

→ And, final­ly, Wel­come to Adnam­s­land by, er, us is a por­trait of the town and region where Broad­side, South­wold Bit­ter and Ghost Ship are brewed: “What saves South­wold from feel­ing com­plete­ly twee is the pres­ence of a thump­ing great work­ing brew­ery… when­ev­er the scene began to resem­ble too close­ly an episode of the­Vicar of Dib­ley, a fork-lift truck would come skid­ding out of the brew­ery gates, head­ing for one of the many ancil­lary work­shops or ware­hous­es.”

The next round of #Beery­Lon­gReads will be on Sat­ur­day 28 Feb­ru­ary. Put it in your diary now and we’ll remind you and give more guid­ance near­er the time.

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