Our pick of the most interesting beer- and pub-related reading from the last week.
→ Frank Curtis has had a long career as a barley breeder, starting in Lincolnshire in the 1970s and taking him in recent years to Colorado. In a guest post at his son Matt’s blog, he reflects on Maris Otter:
At that time, the feedback that came from commercial growers about Maris Otter was far from positive – at every farmer meeting, field demonstration, or county show that I attended, the comments would be the same: Maris Otter was too difficult and too costly to cultivate. “As breeders we should be able to do better” said the growers – and we did.
→ Ron Pattinson is slowly drip-feeding a history of the British brewing industry in the post-war period. This week, he explained how the tied-house pub management model was good for the quality of beer:
[When] the close tie between brewer and pub for the most part disappeared as a result of the Beer Orders, I thought the quality of cask beer suffered. When brewers owned their retail outlets, it was much easier for them to keep an eye on beer quality. And the supply chain was much shorter and more direct.
→ The ‘Pico Brewer’ has been all over the mainstream food-and-drink press in the last week or so: Eater call it ‘the Keurig of Craft Beer’.
→ Glynn Davis at Beer Insider considers the results of a survey which show that the supermarket buyer’s idea of ‘craft beer’ doesn’t necessarily match what beer geeks or self-styled craft brewers might have in mind.
→ This was just the kind of confusion BrewDog and partners hoped to clear up with their United Craft Brewers organisation but it seems (via Phil Mellows for The Brewery Manual) that its launch has been delayed.
→ A gurt big longread for saving to Pocket — ‘In Search of America’s Best Hops’ by Nicholas Gingold for All About Beer magazine:
Silva continues with his analysis, examining the outer cross section. “I see some medium yellows, showing a lot of lupulin. But here’s where the magic happens,” he says, pulling a chunk from the middle to avoid an oxidized sample. The magic act Silva refers to unfolds as he grinds up several dried buds in his hands, inhaling the resulting aromas deeply. “I warm it up and crush it in my palm,” says Silva. “That [will] volatilize the essential oils in those lupulin glands so I can really get a full hit of what the aromatics are.”
→ ‘A Swift One’ has just reached a milestone: he’s drunk 600 unique Mallinson’s beers.
→ Jordan St. John has looked into history to understand the psychology behind why brewery’s sell out. In an age when the PR story is always about choices and partnership and ‘the next exciting stage’, it’s good to be reminded that sometimes people just don’t like each other and act out of spite.
→ And, finally, some hip-looking own-brand supermarket beer designs from 1969:
PS. This is our 2,000th post. Of course that includes a lot of galleries, throwaways and, yes, round-ups, but, still…. 2000 posts! [Pops cork on small bottle of non-alcoholic ‘sparkling party drink’.]