News pubs

News, Nuggets & Longreads 5 March 2016

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.