News, Nuggets & Longreads 21/03/2015

Breakfast illustration, March 2015 variation.

It’s been a bit quiet round here this week, mostly because we both have terrible, stinking, evil colds. (Beer of the week: hot toddy.) Fortunately, there’s been plenty to read elsewhere.

→ For The Guardian, Tim Bur­rows pon­dered the appeal of the Wetherspoon’s break­fast, ‘at the coal­face of boozed-up Britain’.

→ Address­ing home brew­ers’ prob­lems with pro­fes­sion­al know-how, James ‘Kem­pi­cus’ Kemp gave advice on improv­ing the shelf-life of the beer you make at home.

→ Tim Sowu­la penned a por­trait of a new kind of busi­ness on London’s out­er fringes, for Ley­ton­ston­er:

The Tap has beers stacked in shelv­ing bet­ter suit­ed to twelve inch records, with seem­ing­ly no order. This throw­back to the joys of brows­ing through vinyl is delib­er­ate, to allow peo­ple to wan­der through the selec­tion of around 100 dif­fer­ent beers and ciders from a rota­tion of around 30 brew­eries around Lon­don and beyond, and come away with some­thing they might have want­ed, but also some­thing they’d nev­er heard of before.

(Via @teninchwheels.)

→ Gabrielle Glaser’s long fea­ture piece for The Atlantic points out that Alco­holics Anony­mous isn’t the only solu­tion to the prob­lem of depen­den­cy despite its own claims to the con­trary.

→ Though some of his his­to­ry seems a bit shaky, Richard Tay­lor at the Beer­cast nonethe­less asked a provoca­tive ques­tion: which style should be Britain’s ‘nation­al beer’? (Our vote is for… porter.)

SIBA (found­ed in 1980 as the Small Inde­pen­dent Brew­ers’ Asso­ci­a­tion) has announced the win­ners at its Beer X com­pe­ti­tion in Sheffield which, unlike CAMRA’s Cham­pi­on Beer of Britain, includes kegged beer.

→ The Chan­cel­lor cut beer duty by 1p a pint for a third year in a row in his bud­get ear­li­er this week. There’s com­men­tary from the BBC | Tele­graph | Stonch.

This arti­cle is in Ger­man but Google Trans­late does a pret­ty good job of it:  it turns out that Schlüs­sel Alt­bier from Düs­sel­dorf, has, on occa­sion, been brewed under con­tract in, of all places, Cologne. This is a bit like dis­cov­er­ing that your favourite Cor­nish pasty was made in Devon. (Via @thirsty_pilgrim.)

→ We’d nev­er noticed the cult-of-per­son­al­i­ty por­trait of Tim Mar­tin on this pub sign until Nick Mitchell point­ed it out to us:

5 thoughts on “News, Nuggets & Longreads 21/03/2015”

  1. Isn’t that anti-AA arti­cle odd, laced with its own pre-con­cep­tions. Anti-ama­teur self help, anti-faith. Gets tem­per­ence all wrong, per­pet­u­ates the myth that mean peo­ple took away the fun. Soci­ety was being harmed by all rea­son­able mea­sures by the per­va­sive use of booze. Take a pill.

    Alco­hol- and sub­stance-use dis­or­ders are the realm of med­i­cine,” McLel­lan says. “This is not the realm of priests.” !!

    I sup­pose folk with books to sell could claim the same about many things in life… inter­per­son­al rela­tion­ships, work pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, crim­i­nal­i­ty. Take a pill. For a fee… and here’s the bill for the advice on your way out the door. I sup­pose hav­ing pals who went into med­i­cine helps, know­ing how the under­stand the lim­its of their field.

    1. Re: anti-faith, I have to say that, should I ever need help with alco­hol depen­den­cy, the God stuff in the 12-steps pro­gramme would be a deal break­er for me.

      1. I don’t know – the roots of AA are fair­ly dodgy (and def­i­nite­ly Xtian), but I’ve come round to think­ing the ‘high­er pow­er’ stuff might be quite con­struc­tive. On one hand it enables you to com­mit to a pro­gramme which doesn’t seem to make sense or doesn’t seem to be work­ing, which can be use­ful; on the oth­er, it makes it eas­i­er to for­give your­self if you fall short. Per­haps “there absolute­ly is a high­er pow­er” – or “you absolute­ly do need to act as if there were a high­er pow­er” – is a bit blunt, but you can only go so far down the road of “think­ing as if you believed in X with­out com­mit­ting your­self to actu­al­ly believ­ing in X” before you lose people’s inter­est.

      2. Fair enough on a per­son­al lev­el. I grew up in a manse and go to church on some off-hol­i­day Sunday’s still so I do not have an aver­sion. But the thing I was say­ing is that because it is not found­ed on sci­ence it seem that the author feels that is enough to dele­git­imize AA. Many strong things in our cul­tures have non-sci­en­tif­ic roots, many of them revolv­ing about get­ting out of your­self and into a con­ver­sa­tion with oth­ers. One of my favourite things about church is being in the com­pa­ny of oth­ers, sober and singing. If the con­struct works for some of the par­tic­i­pants, the fact that it’s not based on psy­chi­a­try – and doesn’t hand out pills – shouldn’t be in itself a rea­son to find fault. What doesn’t have some fail­ure rate? What, in fact, makes sci­ence so shit hot? 😉

  2. Beer-based hot tod­dy? Uni­broue here in Cana­da pro­duced a beer that was designed to be warmed up.

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