Blogging and writing

September 2015: The Month That Was

More or less back on schedule, here’s everything we wrote in September 2015 in one handy round-up.

→ Brewers might not all be ‘passionate’ but they’re not all money-grubbing cynics either — most exist somewhere in-between, but tending towards the former over the latter.

→ We weren’t hugely impressed by Schneider’s Meine Porter Weisse, especially at £10 a bottle.

→ For the 103rd session we wrote about the dominance of middle class voices in beer writing. (Tasha’s round-up of all the Session entries on the topic of ‘The Hard Stuff’ is here.)

→ We reviewed the new edition of Des de Moor’s London’s Best Beer, Pubs & Bars:

If you live in London and like beer, you should certainly get a copy, but our tip would be to leave it at work so that, when friends or colleagues say, ‘I don’t mind where we go for a pint as long as it’s near X’, you’ll always have a suggestion at hand.

→ We asked for our readers’ help in working out how many craft beer bars there are. We’ll be doing something with this information soon. (This got Matt at When My Feet Go Through the Door wondering about the similarly vague concept of ‘the proper pub’.)

The Aquarius AKA the Bluebell, Chelmsley, Birmingham, which now looks like this.
The Aquarius AKA the Bluebell, Chelmsley, Birmingham, which now looks like this.

→ We posted a gallery of 1960s Watney’s pubs from matchbox covers which prompted thoughts on post-war pubs from the Pub Curmudgeon.

→ Working on Gambrinus Waltz we accumulated some odds-and-ends on lager beer in Victorian and Edwardian Manchester which we compiled here in the hope it might set someone else off to do more research.

→ Do you remember Colonel Pepper’s Lemon Ale launched by Whitbread in 1995? (Tandleman does and has the T-shirt to prove it.)

→ There was a pretty decent foreign list at the 1993 Great British Beer Festival, back before Belgo had proper graphic design, and when Pete’s Wicked Ale was the coolest US beer in town.

Serving ourself beer at a bar in Nice was great fun; a neighbourhood brewery tap in Marseille was interesting; and the latter city’s two specialist beer bars were enjoyable in different ways.

When and why did Samuel Smith start buying up pubs in London? (Updated with a brief response from the brewery.)

The hottest taverns in Bristol in 1815 are mostly gone –demolished, blitzed or improved out of existence in the last 200 years.

Serving area.
‘Fig. 1316 is a view of the inside of the counter, looking from the bar-room, in which k is a six-motion beer-machine to draw the beer and ale of different ages and qualities from the butts in the cellar. Beneath this machine… is a projecting tray, the bottom of which is formed of a grating, or of a pierced plate of pewter, the holes being about the eighth of an inch in diameter; over this the beer is drawn into the pots and the droppings are collected by this grating, and passed down, by means of a tube, to a vat in the cellar. This waste beer is taken back by the brewers, and an identical quantity of new beer given in exchange…’

→ Mostly intending to flag its existence for others who take an interest in pub history and architecture, we shared some images from J.C. Loudon’s Encyclopaedia of Cottage, Farm and Villa Architecture and Furniture published in 1846.

→ We also posted two links round-ups on 5 September and 26 September, with the latter also gathering recommendations we made on Twitter while we were away.