Blogging and writing

The Month That Was: January 2015

Coming back from Christmas full of vim and vigour and writing resolutions we managed a pretty decent number of posts this month.

→ We kicked off the year with our predictions for 2015. (On a related note, here’s Richard ‘Beercast’ Taylor’s list of breweries to watch in the next 12 months.)

→ Our contribution to the 95th beer blogging Session was an attempt to summon into being a readable but scholarly modern history of beer in continental Europe.

→ We gave some thought to what the embryonic buzz-phrase ‘beer architect’ might mean in practice. (Which prompted some comments from Stan Hieronymus.)

→ From our archive of Brew Britannia interviews, we shared a first-person account of the creation of the lately deceased Draught Burton Ale. (There have also been several interesting pieces in the Burton Mail, most notably this account of how brewers at first produced the beer for their own pleasure.)

→ We revived an old Facebook post, ‘Ten Beers to Try Before You Die!‘, which people seemed to enjoy. (Here’s a response from Neil Walker, and another, in Portugese, from Brazilian blog Bebendo Bem.)

Lynn Pearson’s book Built to Brew rather impressed us.

→ Our resident etiquette expert, R.M. Banks, advised on whether it is appropriate to cheer when bar staff break a glass. (No.)

→ Having acquired a copy of Pubwatching With Desmond Morris, we shared the author’s attempt to categorise pubs as they were in 1993.

→ After interviewing St Austell’s Roger Ryman we shared his recollections of how Proper Job IPA, our favourite cask ale of 2014, came to be.

→ We announced the launch of our new email newsletter.

→ We visited two craft beer bars in Exeter: The Beer Cellar and St Austell’s new flagship ‘smoke and ale house’ The Samuel Jones.

→ With the 1991 East London & City Pub Guide in hand, we pondered the pubs of Walthamstow, London E17.

→ Mixing Proper Job and Orval gave us Proporval, which we loved. (Others have since recommended Ovalcyon — Orval and Thornbridge Halcyon.)

→ We cried for help in re: some of our ongoing research projects.

→ Why do big breweries take over little ones? We suggested that it is an attempt to ‘buy themselves cool’, prompting much disagreement in the comments.

→ Off the back of our first email newsletter, Kyle asked us to look into the history of ‘bar snacks’ — sheep trotters, tripe, black pudding, and then crisps and more crisps.

→ And, finally, we prodded at the sore point where traditional-family-regional brewing meets ‘craft’.

→ Beers tasted in January:

→ There were also a few hopefully thought-provoking quotations, offered without comment; a gallery of photos from Bailey’s family album; and a couple of videos, too.

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