News, Nuggets & Longreads 5 March 2016

05.03.2016 -- pint glasses hanging behind the bar of a pub.

Here’s all the stuff that’s most amused, entertained or educated us in the last week, from BrewDogeian capitalism to pub tat.

→ Jour­nal­ist Paul Mason took a provoca­tive stance on Brew­Dog’s deci­sion to give away an e‑book of their beer recipes under the head­line ‘BrewDog’s open-source rev­o­lu­tion is at the van­guard of post­cap­i­tal­ism’. We think we know what he’s get­ting at – Brew­Dog and sim­i­lar com­pa­nies ‘do’ cap­i­tal­ism in a way which would prob­a­bly seem insane to busi­ness peo­ple of a cen­tu­ry ago – but there was lots of kick­back, and not only from with­in the world of beer. For exam­ple…

→ Brew­ery takeover news: It’s not a brew­ery but UK online beer retail­er Beer Hawk has been tak­en over by (sor­ry – has ‘teamed up with’) glob­al booze giant AB-InBev. (Fed up with re-iter­at­ing his stance every time a sim­i­lar Big v. Indie takeover occurs Dave S has writ­ten a ‘Gener­ic Response to a Brew­ery Sell­ing Out’ that we reck­on gets it about right.)

→ For The Desert­er ‘The Dul­wich Raider’ gives an account of a pub crawl through Peck­ham, South Lon­don, reflect­ing on change and gen­tri­fi­ca­tion:

Don’t wor­ry about what the estate agents say, it’s not Hamp­stead or Chelsea and nor will it be any time soon. And unlike a Hamp­stead or a Chelsea, Peck­ham will still star­tle a yokel, which, let’s face it, is what it’s all about.

Crackers, bread and sunflower seeds -- malt-type flavours.

→ Adri­an Tier­ney-Jones has shared 5000 words of a work in progress about Proust and bis­cuits and beer and… Well, just read it. There’s a rea­son he’s appeared in ‘Pseud’s Cor­ner’ in Pri­vate Eye more than once and you either like his style or you don’t, but it’s some­thing dif­fer­ent and at least it has style.

→ For The Brew­ers’ Jour­nal edi­tor Tim Shea­han pro­vides an in-depth look at hop sup­ply in the UK‘More than 80% of Cit­ra in the ground today has already been sold through to 2019.’ (It’s frus­trat­ing­ly spread across six indi­vid­ual pages to max­imise ad views with no sin­gle-page or print view option but prob­a­bly still worth the effort.)

→ Alec Lath­am con­tin­ues his pon­der­ing of what makes the per­fect pub focus­ing this time on ‘tat’:

Archae­ol­o­gy is lit­er­al­ly the unearthing of rub­bish; archae­ol­o­gists in the field sift through what­ev­er the bygone peo­ples hoard­ed, left behind or threw away. If Britain had suf­fered its own Vesu­vius, dig­ging up a pub would be the pay dirt. It would house the accre­tion of years of cul­tur­al obso­letes and dis­pos­ables reveal­ing not just a snap­shot, but whole pas­sages from his­to­ry in need of an archive.

→ As haze and/or murk­i­ness in beer con­tin­ues to be a bat­tle­ground the Rook & Gaskill pub in York has decid­ed to hold a mini-fes­ti­val where drinkers can try both fined and unfined ver­sions of the same beers. (Ad-laden local news web­site – sor­ry; via @Maria__Aurora.)

→ Mark John­son con­tin­ues his explo­ration of the role of men­tal health in his own rela­tion­ship with pubs and alco­hol… Or is it the role of alco­hol and pubs in his men­tal health? His most recent piece is about the pos­i­tive effects of becom­ing a pub reg­u­lar:

It means that I drink more than I used to as one activ­i­ty becomes the oth­er. As alco­hol is a depres­sant there are inher­ent risks with this. Yet it nev­er has this affect on me; it is out weighed by the calm­ing effect the pub atmos­phere gives me. Though I’m not always cheery and that is to be expect­ed, some­times I’m bet­ter in there than at home. I don’t need to be there all the time, but it’s know­ing there’s an escape. Often just know­ing it’s there is enough.

→ And, final­ly, there’s this mon­stros­i­ty.