This is our pick of the most interesting and/or eye-opening beer- or pub-related reading from the last week.
→ Neil McDonald of Home Brew Answers suggests a recipe for ‘session stout’ which sounds like it ought to be ‘a thing’:
A full bodied lower ABV session beer? Balancing a beer like this can be a tricky thing, retaining the body in a beer is harder when you are putting less malt in but with a few simple tweaks and a little bit of thought about the recipe itself it is not all that difficult.
→ For the British Library Labs project Dr Katrina Navickas has put together a pub-heavy walking tour of Chartist London.
→ Ed has been digging in the Journal of the Institute of Brewing again and came across a marvellous 1905 paper on ‘The Popular Type of Beer’ which includes a complaint about poor quality bottled beer, the result of a…
“short sighted and stupid policy to rest content with, or even to tolerate a characterless product which is not only far inferior to a naturally matured bottled beer, but in the majority of cases not even a credit to the present development of the non-deposit system”.
→ On a related theme, Ron Pattinson flags an observation from a brewer’s memoir which underlines why monopolies in brewing are bad news — because companies stop trying once they have one:
The same brewery senior management laid down the rules and the policy, and like all monopolies, became very efficient at control and very short of inspiration; any idea which for its implementation called for a change in routines, an upending of hitherto accepted philosophies, and a degree of risk, was treated with suspicion and, usually, rejection.
→ Speaking of monopolies, this week’s brewery takeover news: AB-InBev’s is becoming more hostile in its attempts to swallow SABMiller; while, at the same time, rumours are afoot that Diageo might sell their brewing operations to SABMiller, according to the New York Post (via @BeaumontDrinks). And, in Canada, Mill Street Brewing has been taken over by regional giant Labatt. (Is someone keeping count of 2015’s casualties?)
→ And, finally, via an entire chain of people ending with @thebeernut here’s a splendid 10 minute film about the beer culture of Forchheim, Franconia, presented by Ailine Liefeld for Vice‘s ‘Al-Ke-Holl’ series. (This attempt to embed might or might not work — if it doesn’t, try the link above.)
We’re allowed to put Gambrinus Waltz, our Kindle book about lager beer in Victorian and Edwardian London, on sale for one week every few months so, right now, and for a couple of days only, it’s available for 99p. Snap it up!