The Month That Was: February 2015

Out-take from our St Just pub crawl photo-shoot: an out of focus stained-glass window at the Star Inn.

February’s a funny month in Cornwall: everything’s closed for refurbishment and the pubs are so quiet you can hear the bar staff  blink. This is how we survived it.

→ The month kicked off with highlights fom an account by a British brewer of his work in Belgium c.1924, including clandestine night-time pipe-fitting.

→ We blended Orval with Old Peculier to great effect; and, less successfully, with two classic bottled best bitters/pale ales. (We also inspired Ghost Drinker to have a go and we received some reports on Twitter, too: 1 | 2 | 3.)

→ A 100-word ‘beery short read’: Should we acknowledge deliberately provocative (trolling) publicity stunts by breweries, or even ‘call them out’?

→ For the 96th beer blogging Session, we considered the historic role of beer festivals, and what their purpose is today.

→ We drank new beers from St Austell at the brewery bar.

→ Multiple editions of Jeff Evans’s Good Bottled Beer Guide gave us some data on hop varieties in British brewing with which to play. (The results weren’t surprising.)

→ We spoke to the man who organised the very first CAMRA beer competition at the Great British Beer Festival back in 1978.

→ To accompany the BBC’s adaptation of Wolf Hall, we devilled some ale.

→ We recorded our pub crawl in St Just, near Land’s End, with photos rather than words.

Whatever happened to those ‘soft’ fermented drinks that used to sit on the spectrum between 1-3% ABV?

→ Ron Pattinson and Peter Haydon have a joint project to brew historic London beers in London, for sale in London pubs. (London!)

→ Contrary to rumour, there are people in the UK blogoshire writing primarily about cask-conditioned beer: we highlighted three.

→ Another 100-worder: not ordering a second pint can be a form of passive protest.

→ In a series of related posts, we (a) asked which breweries people thought constituted ‘the usual suspects‘ and were thus given more than their fair share of attention; (b) considered the results; and (c) pondered whether and why London-centricity might be a problem.

→  It turns out hops can and have been grown in Cornwall, contrary to popular belief.

→ And, finally, for #BeeryLongReads, we wrote 2,500 words on Scottish brewery Williams Bros who were doing ‘craft’ before it was ‘a thing’.

→ There were also the usual weekly round-ups of news, nuggets and longreads and a 1000-word email newsletter (sign up!).