News, Nuggets & Longreads 21 May 2016: Pilsner, Mild and Pubs

Entrance foyer at the Punch Tavern on Fleet Street, London.

These are all the blog posts and articles touching on beer and pubs that have given us pause for thought, or told us something we didn’t know, in the last week, from Pilsner to pubs.

→ We some­how missed this one last week so it gets top billing today: Evan Rail’s blog is back from what­ev­er Inter­net worm­hole it got lost in (this is great news, gen­er­al­ly) and his lat­est post is about the influ­ence of the Czech influ­ence on Euro­pean lager brew­ing in the 19th and ear­ly 20th cen­turies. It makes a strong case, with ref­er­ence to some love­ly pri­ma­ry sources, for Czech brew­ing get­ting more cred­it than it has tend­ed to in the past:

For its low-grade Bav­ière, the brew­ery used Ger­man hops (gen­er­al­ly Haller­tau, Woln­zach and a less-expen­sive cul­ti­var, Bav­ière Mon­tagne), which it bought from J. Tüch­mann & Söhne and Bernard Bing in Nurem­berg. But for the high­er-grade Munich and the Bock that was lat­er renamed Pil­sner, the brew­ery gen­er­al­ly used 100% Saaz, pur­chased from hop ven­dors like the Kell­ner broth­ers and Son­nen­schein & Lan­des­mann, both in Žatec (aka Saaz), right here in Bohemia.

Detail from a Whitbread advertisement, 1937, showing beer with food.

→ For Eater Matthew Sedac­ca pon­ders how ‘food­ie cul­ture’ (which includes craft beer) sur­vived, and even thrived dur­ing, the Great Reces­sion. We don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly agree with all of his con­clu­sions but it’s a great ques­tion:

A large dri­ver behind the sus­tain­abil­i­ty of the “food­ie” ide­ol­o­gy dur­ing and post-reces­sion has been linked to the mil­len­ni­al generation’s shift in atti­tude towards mate­r­i­al goods —€” name­ly, they don’t real­ly want them. Sev­er­al reports have high­light­ed the phe­nom­e­non that, unlike the baby boomers and sev­er­al mem­bers of Gen X, mil­len­ni­als pre­fer con­sump­tion of ‘expe­ri­ences.’

→ Alec Lath­am con­sid­ers the var­i­ous ways in which pubs in St Albans, where he lives, have mutat­ed, changed or oth­er­wise been rein­vent­ed:

Some pubs come back from the dead, oth­ers change the ori­en­ta­tion of their ‘swing’… Though Mokoko’s isn’t a beery place, it’s still a great bar. After all, cock­tails are peo­ple too.

Greene King sign

→ In an inter­view with Aus­tralian Brews News the ven­er­a­ble brew­ing pro­fes­sor Charles Bam­forth has railed against gim­micks in brew­ing, like a Dog­fish Head beer made with chewed-up and spat-out grains: ‘Come on! You’re only going to do it once aren’t you?’ It’s not all grump­ing, though: he thinks black IPA, for exam­ple, is the right kind of bound­ary push­ing.

→ Ed vis­it­ed Greene King and brings us this inter­est­ing nugget, among oth­ers:

I also got to try their XX mild at last… Hav­ing var­i­ous milds in the port­fo­lio from the brew­eries they’ve tak­en over they ratio­nalised it to just one recipe, and had tast­ing tri­als to decide on the best one. Despite the name it’s sold under it was actu­al­ly the Hardys and Han­sons mild that won.

→ Gary Gill­man con­tin­ues to dig up tast­ing notes and opin­ions on Bel­gian beer from the 19th cen­tu­ry like this 1836 1847 diary entry men­tion­ing West­malle. (The mak­ings of a longer arti­cle or e-book here, per­haps?)

→ Not read­ing but lis­ten­ing: on the Robert Elms show on BBC Radio Lon­don this week a lis­ten­er asked if any­one remem­bered an estate pub in South Lon­don called The Apples & Pears. Peo­ple did (@ 2h 20m):

It was a very mod­ern pub… Myself and my three girl­friends used to dri­ve up on a Sat­ur­day night in our Austin A40… We used to go around ’72, ’73… We used to dress to match the era of the car, lots of long beads, head­bands, floun­cy frocks, sort of 1920s flap­pers was our style…

→ Carlisle is get­ting a State Man­age­ment Scheme muse­um with Her­itage Lot­tery fund­ing – fan­tas­tic new! Let’s gen­er­al­ly have more brew­ing, beer and pub muse­ums and exhi­bi­tions, please. (There’s no web­site that we can find so this Tweet with a screen­shot of a Word doc­u­ment will have to do.)

One thought on “News, Nuggets & Longreads 21 May 2016: Pilsner, Mild and Pubs”

  1. Thanks guys for the endorse­ment and thoughts, just a small point, that diary entry is 1847.

    Real­ly enjoyed your Wat­ney notes and inci­den­tal­ly the for­mer Bal­lan­tine IPA was very sim­i­lar to what you said for the pas­teur­ized ver­sion. Bal­lan­tine was that kind of beer but if you could imag­ine a twist of Clus­ter or that type in there too, a piney twang.


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