News, Nuggets & Longreads 24/01/2015

There’s no better cure for a hangover than reading loads of blog posts and articles about beer — prose concerning the dog that bit you and all that.

→ Dave West was the founder of Eastenders Cash’n’Carry in Calais, where Brits could fill vans with cheap booze for (ahem) ‘personal consumption’, but just before Christmas, he was murdered in his Mayfair flat. For Off Licence News, Nigel Huddleston provided this fascinating profile-cum-obituary:

West made no bones about the fact that he was selling to gangs who were breaking the law by driving back van loads of booze to the UK to sell on the cheap and without a licence on the streets of Britain’s housing estates. West was always careful to point out that in doing so he had kept within the letter of the law, citing himself as a “modern day Robin Hood”….

(Via @philmellows.)

→ One for Pocket: Jack Highberger has written another extremely long but thoughtful piece on the trajectory of a craft beer drinker’s tastes:

[A] pub owner could probably take my craft beer trajectory above, convert it to a bar graph, and use that for inventory purposes. He should probably stock fewer sours and saisons than IPA’s, but more of those than the average lager… [And that’s] a problem for Jim Koch: no matter how rich and well-balanced your lager is, it’s still a lager.

→ Reviews of cheap beer are always interesting because of the hope that there might be a hidden gem to be had for pennies. This round-up of budget Czech lagers by Nathanial Patton for (via @pivnifilosof) finds that ‘there are a few beers worth drinking under ten crowns’.

→ The Edinburgh branch of the Campaign for Real Ale was founded 40 years ago and Gina Davidson spoke to several leading lights, including CAMRA’s national chairman Colin Valentine, who has never seen a hipster, for the Edinburgh Evening News. (Via @robsterowski.)

→ Brendan Coffey at Bloomberg interviewed Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada who has become craft beer’s latest billionaire. (Via @beerinator.)

Roger Baylor admits to having changed his mind about sexist beer packaging in a typically biting piece entitled ‘Ripped straight from the pages of an Onion satire: “13 white males not really so eager to discuss issues like racism and sexism.”’

→ Via @agoodbeerblog, here’s advice from Jamie ‘Wine Anorak’ Goode on how to write the kind of generic wine article that editors seem to want to buy. It doesn’t take much effort to translate to the world of beer writing.

→ This academic paper is a touch dry but worth the effort as it tells in detail how archaeologists went about analysing the remains of an alehouse destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and unearthed during development work. (Link to embedded PDF — sorry!)

→ And finally, vintage beermats:

2 replies on “News, Nuggets & Longreads 24/01/2015”

That Jack Highberger bit is a really good read, but it kind of skips over the point that the craft-nerd bashing / defending hinges on – he accepts without much argument that it’s reasonable and natural to prefer stuff which is hard to find and powerfully flavoured over stuff that’s ubiquitous and subtle.

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