Here’s our pick of the most interesting, entertaining or eye-opening beer-related reading of the last week.
→ Glynn ‘Beer Insider’ Davis gave us a proper bit of journalism digging out the truth behind Meantime having a proportion of its London Lager brewed in Holland.
→ Saved to Pocket this week: Jess Mayhugh’s long piece for All About Beer on the history of oyster stout and, in particular, the revival and reinvention of the style in America’s coastal communities.
→ Mark Johnson gave some thought to the question of London-centricity in the conversation around beer based on his observations of, among other things, what used to be our local convenience store:
Most amazingly in Spar though was the wine filling station at the back of the store, that housed a Beavertown Neck Oil growler filler next to it. Growler fillers – in Spar! The action most associated with brewery bars or specialist beer shops exists here in Spar. IN SPAR.
→ For the BBC News Magazine, Esther Webber asks ‘Why are London’s gay bars disappearing?‘:
Peter Cragg from Friends of the Joiners’ Arms agrees: “I don’t believe there is an evil cabal of property developers hell-bent on locking queers out of London, although that would possibly be easier to fight against…. [But] The most vulnerable in society – whether they are economically or socially vulnerable – are the first victims of gentrification, and queer spaces seem to be disproportionately suffering at the minute.
→ The Pub Curmudgeon summarised another long-forgotten ‘I ran a pub’ memoir, A Year in the Drink by Martin Green, which it seems we could have done with when we were working on Brew Britannia:
They also put on real ale, which only one other pub in the town served, in the form of Marston’s and Felinfoel, and attract the attention of the local CAMRA representatives, which gets the pub more widely known. Green praises CAMRA’s role in reviving interest in traditional beer, but says that from his experience in London he found some of them in person rather joyless and po-faced.
→ One of our favourite beer writers, Joe Stange, whose piece on session beer we featured last week (as did the Daily Mail…) was interviewed by Steve Lamond at Beers I’ve Known:
Also, Belgian bars are starting to play with international craft beer, which is fine, but unfortunately they come at international craft prices. As in other well established beer countries, the Belgians generally refuse to pay much for beer. I’m cheap and old-fashioned so I like it that way.
→ Historic England this week listed 21 inter-war pubs shining a light on these often overlooked architectural gems. Oliver Wainright covered the story for the Guardian, with lots of lovely pictures:
The finest such establishment on the list is Birmingham’s majestic Black Horse(upgraded to II*), a stately pile built in the “Brewer’s Tudor” style in 1930, which Historic England’s experts say has “no equal in size, ambition or quality”.
→ Two articles of interest more because they exist in the mainstream than because of their content: for The Guardian, Tony Naylor asks ‘Can Craft Beer Be Defined?‘ while, for BBC Wales, Buster Grant gives it a go:
[Many] brewers use the term ‘craft’ to describe a modern style of beer, be it in cask, keg or bottle. I leave it up to the individual to make the distinction for themselves – I prefer ‘good beer’!