News, Nuggets & Longreads 9 July 2016: Coventry, Drinking Games, Home Brew

A pub garden with date overlaid.

Here’s all the writing about beer and pubs from the last week that’s made us laugh, think or take note, from drunken archery to home brewing competitions.

For the Mid­lands Beer Blog Col­lec­tive Bob Max­field pro­files Coven­try brew­ery Twist­ed Bar­rel whose mot­to is ‘More Folk than Punk’:

One of the direc­tors came up with that – we both looked at each oth­er and said yeah that explains it and encap­su­lates us. A lit­tle left lean­ing, like to work col­lab­o­ra­tive­ly, and work face-to-face with peo­ple… Punk has become more cor­po­rate nowa­days and we’re not the kind of peo­ple that stand on a rooftop and shout about our­selves.

(The lin­ger­ing influ­ence of Brew­Dog, even if only as some­thing to react against, is fas­ci­nat­ing.)

From the Econ­o­mist an inter­est­ing nugget: there is a grow­ing craft beer scene in the Mid­dle East held back less by reli­gion, as might be assumed, than by bureau­cra­cy, infra­struc­ture and eco­nom­ics.

Macro image: 'Hops' with illustration of hop cones, 1970s.

A round-up with­in a round-up: Stan Hierony­mus, the author of For the Love of Hops and a stu­dious watch­er of the hops indus­try, pro­vides sev­er­al inter­est­ing links that between them offer a snap­shot of where we’re at:

This would appear to be a sign of how inter­est­ed brew­ers are in find­ing just about any aro­ma new and dif­fer­ent. YCHHOPS is sell­ing eight vari­eties of exper­i­men­tal hops. One of these, pre­vi­ous­ly known as HBC 291, recent­ly got a name. Expect to see a lot more of Loral by the end of the teens.

Illustration: Two men playing a drinking game with knives.
Illus­tra­tion by Owain Kir­by. SOURCE: Hot Rum Cow. Used with per­mis­sion.

For Hot Rum Cow Mal­colm Trig­gs writes about the his­to­ry of drink­ing games, with love­ly illus­tra­tions by Owain Kir­by. Here’s one from ancient Chi­na:

Images of zodi­a­cal ani­mals were pinned to tar­gets in a court­yard. If a player’s sign was hit, he would have to drink; if he missed, he’d have to take a drink. Rules were strict: one report even claims a play­er was killed for fail­ing to com­ply, but this isn’t exact­ly hard to imag­ine con­sid­er­ing the cir­cum­stances. “Play con­tin­ued until no one could hold a bow,” says [researcher] Guil­laume [de Pyre­nees]. “I can’t think of a worse com­bi­na­tion.”

The Great British Home Brew Challenge 2016. (Logo)

Two big home brew com­pe­ti­tions have been announced: Thorn­bridge are run­ning their now annu­al tie-in with Wait­rose (dead­line 30 August) while Brew­Dog have launched a sim­i­lar project in part­ner­ship with Tesco, clos­ing 16 Sep­tem­ber. (Is this anoth­er episode in the low-key soap opera?)

And, final­ly, from Twit­ter, here’s a fun game we can all join in:

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