Here’s the writing from beer blogs and elsewhere that’s most entertained our brains in the last week.
→ For Vice Sophie Pilgrim paints a portrait of Le Carillon, the Paris dive bar that was once her local, and which was targeted by terrorists last week:
It wasn’t hard to feel at home at Le Carillon. The place was packed with furniture: wooden and metal chairs, springless couches and divans, tables of varying heights, sizes, and varnishes. There was a piano in the corner, an impossible stack of records and a set of slanted bookshelves that contained no books. None of the walls were painted the same color, if at all. A tabby cat slept on the piano…
→ Treading carefully around the fringes of the same subject Joe Stange reports for Draft magazine on how the bars of Brussels have coped with post-Paris-attacks lockdown:
As of Monday, nobody had closed the celebrated beer bar Moeder Lambic, which—I think we can all agree—would be a fine place to demonstrate our defiance. ‘Yes, we are open,’ said co-owner Andy Mengal. ‘The ambience is not fun for the moment! A little bit paranoiac. But we resist with good beers!’
→ The Beer Nut ‘accidentally’ visited every active brewery in Brussels and wrote about it with characteristic flair:
Grosse Bertha [is] a hybrid of the German weissbier and Belgian tripel beer styles… It fascinated me for a while, standing with a glass on the brewery floor, flipping my perception between the two styles like a lenticular picture.
→ Mark Dredge hasn’t blogged in a while (too busy writing successful books) but returns with this breakdown of the sub-species of IPA. We’ve never been to the US, and have given up on keeping up with such trends from afar, and so found it all rather exotic and educational: ‘Bitterness, pine and grapefruit can do one – it needs juice now.’
→ A very long read which we’re still digesting is Joan Villar-i-Martí at Birraire‘s interview with his friend, the Belgian beer enthusiast and home-brewer Jo Olluyn:
And since the three beers we are most familiar with (Blonde, Brown and Tripel) are also often the most nondescript, your average Belgian’s approach to beer is one of the greatest common denominator. We call it ‘balance’ but often that’s just an expensive word for ‘bland and boring’.
→ Ron Pattinson shares a simple recipe for Fuller’s London Pride as it was in 1958 (maize, sugar, three-strain yeast).
→ Getting in early for the 18 December round Jules Gray has a #BeeryLongreads candidate entitled ‘Craft Beer as Subculture‘:
Whilst working at a very large brewery in Burton roughly four years ago, I found it humorous they created a ‘Craft Division’ after acquisition of a small Cornish brewery, in some awe inspiring egocentric manoeuvre – in that money can buy you anything attitude. Funnily enough the division disappeared some twelve months later and a number of years after that, the brewer that could bring credibility, moved to a different brewery.
→ And, finally, there’s this film from the 1930s which remains surprisingly helpful despite its Cholmondley-Warnerisms:
"Sterile hops, murdered barley & budding yeast have all united to give us beer". Fascinating 1930s nat history film https://t.co/kZv0qSt5t5
— Des de Moor ?️? (@desdemoor) November 24, 2015
This post was mostly written on Wednesday 25/11/2015 with additions made on the fiddly screen of a mobile device prior to posting while we’re on our travels. If it’s missing any big news or has typos that’s (probably) why.