News, Nuggets & Longreads 19/12/2015

If you’ve spent the last week in a mince pie induced stupor here’s what we reckon you missed around the beer blogs and in the news.

→ Pete Brown had a go at adding a dimension to the discussion around small vs. big and good vs. bad in beer:

I prefer to drink good quality beer brewed by a small, passionate company. I’m sure most of you would agree. But if these beers weren’t available to you, would you rather have a very good beer brewed by a big, nasty corporation, or an inferior beer brewed by a really great guy under a railway arch just down the street?

→ That inspired Alan ‘A Good Beer Blog’ McLeod who took Pete’s quadrant chart and annotated it like this:

Chart showing the various sub-types of 'craft beer'.
SOURCE: A Good Beer Blog/Pete Brown.

→ James Hoffman’s multi-part consideration of the rise of the speciality coffee shop (Part 1: The Lull | Part 2: The Bubble | Part 3: Implications & Predictions) isn’t about beer but…

What concerns me is that every time a new cafe opens it needs 1,000 customers (who won’t come every day, but will identify as being a regular) to be sustainably successful (certainly in London). This isn’t a perfect number — in other cities it could be smaller. However, it does illustrate what isn’t happening: Every time a new cafe opens 1,000 new customers don’t just magically appear. Yes, new speciality coffee customers are generated by every business that opens – but not enough.

(Via @DrCrasch.)

Wooden beer casks.

→ Richard ‘Ouhouse’ Coldwell considers ‘beer from the wood’ at the Junction, Castleford:

I am now able to say that the wooden casks at The Junction definitely give something else to the beer. Something that is not present when it is served from a standard cask. Now if you asked me what that something else would be, then I would be hard pressed to put it in words. I think I’ve previously said the wood imparted an ‘old fashioned’ and very much improved feel to the beer.

→ Alec Latham makes a strong case for a pub crawl in the Sopwell area of St Albans:

Sopwell Lane, Albert Street and Keyfield Terrace connect like prongs on the head of a trident. It’s a beautiful little crawl. Within St Albans, it’s its own little village. There are other crawls down other arteries in this cathedral city but none with the number or the perfect “set” that Sopwell boasts. The streets look little different to how they were 100 years ago. In part this is due to the locality being a conservation area. The buildings generally range from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century. In other words, only from the recent history of St Albans.

London pub: The Old Justice, Bermondsey Wall.
The Old Justice, Bermondsey Wall.

→ We’ve only ever exchanged a few emails with beer writer Roger Protz but a couple of those were on the subject of his dream of reviving Charrington IPA, a beer he recalls with great affection from his East London youth. Political difficulties have apparently now been resolved and a version of the beer is once again being brewed, by industry veteran Steve Wellington in Burton-upon-Trent.

→ There were quite a few contributions to #BeeryLongreads such as this piece on 19th Century German and Austrian brewing methods by Andreas Krenmair. We’ll be deciding winners tomorrow so you’ve got until the end of today to get your entry in the mix — just post it to Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag above and/or email a link to

Brewery takeover watch: AB-InBev has bought out yet another craft brewer, Four Peaks of Arizona; and New Belgium of Fort Collins, Colorado,  famous for its Fat Tire amber ale, is reported by Reuters to be taking active steps to find a buyer.

→ F.D. Hofer, an academic based in Vienna, brings exciting news for those obsessed with Herr Dreher’s lager beer:

→ And, finally, there is this multi-faceted clanger of an advertisement — can it possibly be real..?