Blogging and writing

The Month That Was: January 2016

January 2016 collage: draymen, taste-off, estate pub and Guinness.

January was both gloomy and real-life busy — not ideal blogging conditions — but we found time for a few posts.

→ The month kicked off with a short contribution to the 107th edition of The Session: are brewers our friends, and do we want them to be? (The full session round-up is available at the Community Beer Works website.)

→ We reached a final decision on our favourite bottled mild. (There’s more on the meaning of bottled mild from Joe Tindall here.)

→ In the first of a new series of Notes & Queries type posts we looked into the history of the Falmouth Brewery Co. on behalf of Neil McDonald, which also led to…

A raw info dump of the names of Cornish brewers according to a 19th century trade directory. Someone might find it useful down the line — you never know.

→ We asked for your help in finding people who worked or drank in pre-fabricated pubs in the period after World War II. We got some amazing leads off this — thanks everyone! — but would still like more.

Adnams's shield on a pub wall.

→ We pondered whether a certain type of traditional brewery remains endangered despite the general boom in brewery numbers of the last 40 years.

→ How many pubs does a community need? We reckon the answer is, as a bare minimum, two — one you go to, and one you don’t.

The Old Cellars, Tenterden, as drawn by Alan F. Turner.
The Old Cellars, Tenterden, as drawn by Alan F. Turner.

→ The last of the Batsford pub guides, D.B. Tubbs’s Kent Pubs from 1966, got the highlighter treatment: ‘One of the regulars is a one-eyed swan named Nelson who lives down the road. It is quite respectable to see him, even after a long session.’

→ We flagged an interesting passage in an interesting book about Pakistani immigrants in Bradford pubs in the mid-1960s. (They were keen but, as we read it, weren’t made all that welcome.)

→ What became of a Great Yarmouth pub called Kitty Witches?

→ Boak had what might be her beer of the year at the Star Inn, Crowlas.

→ If you feel the romance of the mid-20th century pub, flat-roofed or otherwise, then you’ll want to add these nostalgic blogs to your reading list.

→ How was draught Guinness served in Britain up to the 1960s — cask, keg or something in-between? (There’s something of a companion piece by Gary Gillman here.)

→ We exchanged a few emails with Eddie Lofthouse, the boss at Cornwall’s Harbour Brewing, and stitched the results together into a kind-of-interview‘When we started we thought we knew quite a lot about beer and brewing. We quickly learned we knew pretty much nothing.’


→ In an attempt to liven up our palates we’ve asked the adventurous Dina to suggest some beers we ought to try; the first we tasted was Lindemans/Mikkeller Spontanbasil.

→ And we finished the month back on Guinness, gaining some sense of its reputation and status from a humorous 1959 article about the supposed magic of the Dublin-brewed stuff.

→ There were also the usual weekly links round-ups, a few bits and pieces on Facebook (give us a Like), lots of Tweets (follow us) and an email newsletter with info on our latest book project (sign up here).