October 2015: The Month That Was

'OCTOBER' with a montage of pictures from the last month.

Here’s everything we wrote in October, from in one handy round-up, from ‘lock-ins’ to wood smoke. (Lots about the 1960s this month for reasons that will soon become clear…)

→ We started the month by flagging an appeal from the Oxford English Dictionary research team which is trying to find an earlier usage of the phrase ‘lock in’ than 1991.

→ Kicking off what turned out to be a mild focused month we gave a blunt explanation for why British brewers might be more interested in making Gose than mild.

→ The quest for the solution to the ‘lock in’ question led us to a book from 1936 jam-packed with pubs, beer and encounters with fascists.

→ We rather like Falmouth’s new craft beer bar, Mono. (We’ve been back since and enjoyed it even more; you can read another take from ‘Retired Martin’ here.)

→ Unearthing a bit of 20-year-old gossip satisfied our curiosity about why former Good Beer Guide editor Andrea Gillies doesn’t have much to do with CAMRA these days.

Bottles from Brasseries Artisanale de Nice.

→ La Brasserie Artisanale de Nice brews some interesting beer of great promise.

→ BrewDog’s attempt at Altbier struck us as convincingly dull.

→ We announced our bottled mild taste-off season and posted the first round of notes, on beers from Norfolk.

→ If you want to put a head on your beer, here’s (ahem) ‘one weird trick’ that might help.

→ Should we worry about the impermanence of online beer writing? (With some notes on how the much-missed Oxford Bottled Beer Database came to be.)

→ There’s a new Midlands-based beer blog collective and they’re looking for contributors.

→ In 1966, an anonymous writer laid bare the market research practices behind the blanding-out of British beer. (John Keeling of Fuller’s linked to this piece in his first blog post for Craft Beer London.)

Pete's Wicked Ale ad, 1994.

→ Another Artyfact from the Nyneties is an advertisement inviting you to ‘Meet Pete’ — that is, Pete Slosberg of Wicked Ale fame, whose big personality took Britain by storm.

→ Working our way through 1960s Batsford guides we gleaned some nuggets from East Anglian Pubs by Vincent Jones. (Paul Bailey wrote about this series of books back in 2012.)

→ Eldridge Pope’s Thomas Hardy Ale was one of the first poshly-packaged, exorbitantly priced limited edition bottled beers as a 1968 column by wine writer Cyril Ray revealed.

→ More from Cyril Ray: a tasting of major British beer brands with a professional tea-taster and a wine-taster, also from 1968, which we acquired hoping for wine-style notes on beers long out of production.

→ It turns out the smell of smoke, without an actual fire, is enough to make a pub feel cosy.

Autumn 1969, featuring a paddle-steamer with a Guinness label for its wheel.
Autumn 1969.

→ These Guinness Time magazine covers from 1967-1971 are gorgeous and will trigger nostalgia in anyone who grew up on a certain type of British cartoon or children’s book.

→ We also updated our permanent page with a guide to gifts for beer lovers in time for Christmas 2015.

→ There were the usual weekly round-ups of interesting links: 3 October (including our contribution to the Session; round-up here) | 10 October | 17 October | 24 October | and 31 October (yesterday).

→ On Facebook we discussed a 1960s aftershave designed to smell like the pub, gave a brief bonus tasting note on a German bottled Altbier, and reported on an unsuccessful Orval blending experiment. (Amongst a load of other stuff.)

→ And this was our Top Tweet of the month according to Twitter’s analytics doobery: