Blogging and writing News

News, Nuggets & Longreads 06/12/2014

It’s Saturday morning so here’s our usual round-up of links, this week including tax and VAT (woo-hoo!), barmaids, beer for women, Panamanian craft beer, and gastropubs.

→ A thought from Richard Taylor at the Beercast: could more small breweries be taking advantage of tax breaks for research and development?

I got in touch with Kian Coertze at JC, and he expanded on Peter’s thinking. “Under the SME (Small or Medium Enterprise) scheme the tax relief on allowable R&D costs is 225%. This means if an SME spends £40,000 on R&D, they will receive an additional £50,000 of tax relief, saving them £10,000 on their tax bill.”

→ Martyn Cornell has written at length about the history of (mostly pink) ‘smoking wrecks of attempts to get females to drink more beer, dating back to the 1980s.’

→ Saved to Pocket this week: Kristen D Burton’s essay for The Appendix entitled ‘Blurred Forms: An Unsteady History of Drunkenness’. (Title best sung to the tune of the Robin Thicke song with a similar name.)

→ This is an interesting angle on the emerging craft beer scene in Panama: it is taking off there, argues the author, at least partly because Panamanians are in love with American culture. (Via @thirsty_pilgrim)

Eater (a sort of Buzzfeed for food) tells the story of the global rise of the gastropub. We can’t vouch for the history — gastropubs are on our list of things to research properly — but there are some interesting quotes and we have to admit we hadn’t realised the phenomenon had reached beyond Britain.

Vagenda has a first-hand account of the harassment and sexism endured by a ‘barmaid’ (their distancing quote marks, but it’s a word on its way out, we suspect — we find ourselves avoiding writing it these days).

→ The slow-motion collapse of London Fields Brewery continues: the premises were raided by HMRC this week over unpaid VAT. We don’t know the ins and outs of this particular case but, in general, we do know that being arrested over VAT is a bad sign.

→ Ed is doing a lot of home brewing at the moment and here are his thoughts on all-Brettanomyces-fermented beers, along with a tip on preventing them becoming sour.

The Golden Pints have been kicked off by Andy Mogg and Chris Hall is posting his Golden Posts tomorrow. You don’t need a blog to take part in either so Speak Your Brains!

→ And, finally, here’s a complete list of winners at the British Guild of Beer Writers’ Awards.