News, Nuggets and Longreads 07/02/2015

It’s Friday night but, because we’re catching an early train to visit the Eden Project, perhaps stopping off at St Austell Brewery to try the new stout and the gose, here’s a premature Saturday morning round-up.

→ For the Guardian, Ben Walters wrote about the declining numbers of gay pubs, and pondered whether this is good news (pubs in general are more welcoming) or bad. (Via @kmflett.)

→ Tandleman evoked a pre-Christmas evening in a Franconian pub:

A couple of accordion playing dudes are giving Deutsche Blasmusik their all, while the crowd – some of them at least –  sing along, or tap their tables enthusiastically. Along the front of the pub, which somehow seems like the back wall, a group are playing Skat – or it could be Schafkopf, both of which are popular German card games of impenetrable rules, that, whichever it is, involve a lot of noisy shouting and table thumping.

→ Ahead of this year’s General Election, James Nicholls, Susanne MacGregor and Virginia Berridge offered a helpful summary of the main UK political parties’ stances on alcohol and the problems of national alchol policy:

Historically, Tory support for market freedom and connections with the brewing trade have clashed with moral conservatism and the desire to be tough on social disorder; Labour’s traditional instinct for business regulation risks looking like an attack on popular cultural activities when it adds to the cost of a pint.

→ For the New York Times, Ian Mount talked to US brewing industry figures about the likelihood of an imminent end to the ongoing craft beer boom. (Via @agoodbeerblog, whose commentary is here.)

→ An interesting development: a London bar focusing exclusively on Italian craft beer. We can see this being (a) really hip and (b) starting a trend for regionally-specific craft beer bars.

→ Jeff Pickthall dug out a craft beer manifesto his brother, Steve, wrote on Usenet back in 2002. (Contemporary with their running of Microbar in South London described in Chapter 12 of Brew Britannia.)

→ We don’t live in America and we don’t identify as Craft Beer drinkers (capital C, capital B, face tattoos, T-shirts) so the Budweiser Superbowl advert controversy left us cold, but, for the record, Stan Hieronymus has rounded up some of the many, many responses here. Our favourite discovery, though, was this resurfaced and newly-relevant 2013 piece by Tom Acitelli about an earlier run-in between Anheuser-Busch and the ‘craft community’ back in 1996.

→ Mwahahahahahahaha!