Here’s the most thought-provoking, brain-engaging reading on beer and pubs we’ve come across in the last week.
→ Patrick Freyne provides a summary of what’s been happening in Irish beer in the last 30 years, with contributions from notable brewers and John ‘The Beer Nut’ Duffy. Interesting to not that, once again, Michael Jackson’s World Guide is cited as a key influence:
Michael Jackson’s World Guide to Beer was his “most thumbed book ever”, he says, and when he returned home he started a brewery called Harty’s. This is bound to work in Ireland, he told himself. “But microbrewing in the 1980s? God almighty.”
→ While we’re on the subject of key influences, here’s Tom Acitelli for All About Beer on Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and how it ‘laid tracks in the American palate’ during the 1980s and 90s. (This chimes with what we’ve heard from hop-obsessed British brewers, too.)
→ Franz Hofer at Tempest in a Tankard provides some food for thought on ‘terroir’:
How can a well-crafted “Munich Helles” from Austin and a helles Bier from München express “unique” terroirs when they can taste virtually the same in the hands of skilled brewers in different countries? … Except in the case of wild fermentations, yeast may well be an expression of terroir, but it is one that has been transposed from its original settings and reproduced in sophisticated labs.
→ It’s always interesting to read notes on ancient bottled beers even if they rarely sound particularly appetising. Here’s Adrian Tierney-Jones on a 1929 Bass ‘Prince’s Ale’:
I caught wafts of Bovril, blue cheese (Stilton rather than Danish Blue), solvent hints, a pungent cheesy nose that wanted to be sherry, though sherry was much more evident when I took a sip. As was beef stock, some sweetness, though the more I drank the more I thought that here was a beer attenuated out of existence.
→ San Diego’s Modern Times beer has hit the UK via BrewDog and is generating plenty of interest. Peter McKerry was excited enough by it to get in touch with the brewery’s founder and ask him a few questions. It’s not a savage interrogation — Peter is a fan, not Jeremy Paxman — but we found it an interesting read.
Did someone tweet about a few items on a related theme? Make sure to let them know about all the others they should have mentioned, starting with “You forgot ItemX” or “don’t forget ItemX” – even though there’s only 140 characters in a tweet, they clearly forgot about those ones and should have brought them up first. Better yet, they should have found a way to fit everything relating to that subject and the entirety of human history into one tweet. The idiots!
→ And finally, this news might cheer those with an interest in historic recipes and/or in the revival and preservation of mild: