Blogging and writing

The Month That Was: November 2014

November was all about Watney’s (again), Porter (again) and J.D. Wetherspoon (again). Here are the headlines:

We published a short ebook called Gambrinus Waltz for the Amazon Kindle, about the rise and fall of German lager beer in Victorian and Edwardian London.

→ After all this time, we finally got round to putting together a home brew recipe for the famously reviled Watney’s Red (not Red Barrel) based on original paperwork from 1971.

→ After tasting about 25 different examples over the course of more than a month, we decided on our favourite porter for winter 2014. (And told readers of the Guardian Guide about it here.)

And the rest, in order of publication:

Testing out the new Craftwork menu at our local branch of Wetherspoon, we concluded that it was probably, on balance, a good thing.

→ Responding to the topic set for the 93rd beer blogging session, we used Kölsch as an example of why travelling is sometimes the only way to really ‘get’ a particular style of beer. (The hosts posted their round-up here.)

→ We recommended a few pub-crawling blogs less po-faced and sedentary than ours.

→ Finally, after years of anticipation, we got to try a mild brewed at the Star Inn, Crowlas, and found it pretty good.

→ Here’s our attempt to produce a usable home brewing recipe for Watney’s Brown Ale c.1965.

→ Conclusively, once and for all, and brooking no debate, we have declared the best beer in the world, for all time.

→ With some archive digging, we attempted to get to the origin of clichés about ‘chemical beer’ in the conversation about good beer.

We over-thought the question of ‘beer of the year’.

Tap East’s APA really floated our boat.

→ Responding to a question from Chad Polenz, we set out our thinking on whether tasting/judging certifications are helpful for beer writers.

→ We tasted some beers with ingredients intended to evoke or express their place of origin and concluded that a pinch of a novelty ingredient does not make ‘beer from a place’.

→ More archive digging, this time seeking to work out when and where people started pairing specific beers with particular foods.

→ We concluded the month with a #BeeryLongReads entry called ‘Welcome to Adnamsland’ — an attempt to evoke the culture and landscape in which Adnams sits rather than a profile of the brewery.

→ And here are all the #BeeryLongReads from around the blogoshire.

→ We also wrote our usual weekly round-ups of links and news.