News, Nuggets & Longreads 21/11/2015

A row of beer pumps overlaid with today's date.

These are the beer- and pub-related blog posts and articles that we’ve found most interesting, entertaining or amusing in the past week.

→ For Draft Mag­a­zine Joe Stange has com­piled a list of recipes for ‘hot beer drinks’ from lamb­swool to Cor­nish shenagrum. (The lat­ter being our con­tri­bu­tion.)

Devilled ale in cups.

→ Justin Mason pro­vides notes and obser­va­tions on a pret­ty seri­ous-sound­ing home brew beer fes­ti­val in Essex:

I don’t think any of us actu­al­ly brew in our sheds… I’ve been home brew­ing for about four years, and I took it up as a way of sav­ing mon­ey. I start­ed brew­ing from kits at first but soon moved on to all-grain brew­ing with some inter­est­ing results in the begin­ning.

→ Steve ‘Beers I’ve Known’ Lam­ond reflects on the increas­ing num­ber of strong, hop­py dou­ble IPAs being brewed in Ire­land, with input from the brew­ers them­selves.

→ The Bag O’Nails in Bris­tol (which we wrote about here) has gained a cult fol­low­ing because of its fif­teen cats, accord­ing to BBC News:

The cats that are left var­i­ous­ly go by names such as Sal­vador, Absinthe, Pom­pi­dou and Caligu­la, and “apart from the odd, exter­nal influ­ence” are all descend­ed from Mal­colm, a British short-haired male sil­ver tab­by, and sol­id black female Beres­ford, named after a for­mer land­lord.

→ This account of two men who con­tin­ued drink­ing in a Leeds pub gar­den even as the riv­er flood­ed and rose around their waists went viral world­wide, seem­ing to reflect the British rep­u­ta­tion for sto­icism and eccen­tric­i­ty.

→ San Diego’s Bal­last Point Brew­ing has been bought out by Con­stel­la­tion Brands for a star­tling $1bn and the usu­al cycle of com­men­tary has played out: dis­may, boy­cotts, ‘why this is good news’ opin­ion pieces, and ennui. Jeff Alworth pro­vides inter­est­ing com­men­tary, though, sug­gest­ing that Con­stel­la­tion ‘look at that 200 mil­lion bar­rel U.S. beer mar­ket and see a lot more craft in its future—and they’re will­ing to pay a king’s ran­som to make sure they have a brand in the game.’ On the same top­ic, Stephen Beau­mont asks brew­eries that have been tak­en over to ‘cut the crap’:

[When] your company’s entire mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy has for years been based upon the premise of “small is good, big is evil,” do you hon­est­ly think it rea­son­able to sud­den­ly turn on a dime and tell us oth­er­wise? After implor­ing us to “buy local” for decades, does it real­ly make sense to expect us to abrupt­ly opt for “inter­na­tion­al” instead?

→ Not read­ing but lis­ten­ing: Dr Sam Good­man is one of the BBC’s ‘New Gen­er­a­tion Thinkers’ and gave a short lec­ture this week enti­tled ‘Beer and the British Empire’. (Via @LiamTheBrewer.)

→ And final­ly…

PS. Here’s a piece we wrote for All About Beer on the emer­gence of pale’n’hop­py British ses­sion beer and how it has brought us to the about the same place as the US trend for ‘ses­sion IPA’.

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