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August 2015: The Month That Was

A bit late because we didn’t get round to it before we went on holiday, here’s a round-up of everything we posted in August.

→ We started the month with a long piece on attempts by Watneys, Whitbread and other big British breweries to export the idea of the English pub to Continental Europe in the 1960s and 70s:

In the more sophisticated city centres, with their cosmopolitan populations, the cachet of drinking bitter seems to have had some success, particularly in Paris where there is a distinct preference for top-class beers.

→ Could BrewDog brewing Arrogant Bastard in the UK turn into a more permanent arrangement? (James Watt of BrewDog: ‘No.’)

→ Though we’re still after a high resolution, full colour reproduction, we were pleased to find an image of one of Watney’s notorious 1970s ‘Red Revolution’ posters.

→ We tasted one last UK saison (Cheddar Ales Firewitch) then a few from elsewhere before finally rounding up our saison-tasting season and declaring an overall winner.

→ Having sweated over our long essay published at the end of June we knew it would go out of date immediately and so provided a ‘One Year On, One Month On’ update.

Here’s an out-take from the piece on Alastair Hook, Peter Haydon and Mark Dorber we wrote for All About Beer.

→ Having snapped up a copy of Which? magazine’s 1960 report on the state of British beer we shared a summary of some of the key points. We’ve since sent a scan to Ron Pattinson who is analysing it in much greater detail — parts one and two are up now.

→ We came down off the fence, sort of, to concede that hazy beer might be a problem if it gives bad pubs another excuse for their poor beer: ‘It’s meant to be like that.’

→ A highly un-topical book review: We Ran a Cornish Pub came out in 1967 and offers a glimpse into the world of post-war pubs.

We weren’t blown away by the beer at the Hub, Truro, but we did enjoy the food, and it’s interesting to see the craft beer bar aesthetic spreading outside big cities.

→ Because it’s an obsession of ours, we were delighted to discover that Historic England has launched a project to catalogue and preserve post-war pubs. (Well, they say that — they’ve been a bit quiet since, perhaps overwhelmed by the response.)

→ In the 1970s CAMRA got everyone so excited about real ale that even British Rail got in on the act.

→ None of them quite deserving their own post, we gathered together assorted notes on the West Cornwall beer and pub scene.

In 1989, Ronny Fincham drowned in beer.

→ Does the UK have ‘must try’ regional speciality beers? If so, what are they?

→ We also posted a couple of picture posts — one of leaflets from Fuller’s and Young & Co in the 1970s, and another of promotional images for a car from the 1950s which feature Oxfordshire pubs — as well as a couple of quotations offered without comment.

One reply on “August 2015: The Month That Was”

Beer clarity used to be an important evaluation criteria for beer. At least I do expect my pint to be crystal clear. At least in commercial establishments like pubs.

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