Blogging and writing

The Month That Was: September 2016

We were busy in September with The Big Project, day job stuff, weddings (not ours) and family business so only managed to post a few times. Hardly worth rounding up, really, but for the sake of consistency…

We started the month with what we called a footnote to a footnote when we found an interview with pioneering UK microbrewer Bill Urquhart from 1974 that we missed first time round.

For the 115th Session we argued that, really, beer books aren’t important: ‘Breaking News: you can drink and enjoy beer without ever reading a word about it, except perhaps what’s written on the label.’

Person A and Person B compared: each thinks the others characterful beer is bland or over-the-top respectively.

Michael Jackson used to use it a lot but what does the word ‘character’ really mean in relation to beer?

Boak tasted a Harvey’s beer from the back of the stash and it got her thinking about yarrow, alecost and herbs that go bump in the night.

Also from under that trap door we tried two limited edition imperial stouts, or rather two version of the same imperial stout, from Gadd’s:

As we get more used to Brettanomyces we find it easier to taste other things through it and here, we got a mix of sourness, Marmite, liquorice and dark chocolate, with the funk suggesting that it was somehow extra-fermented. Alive. Pickled.

We tried to answer a reader’s question: what was the first kegged craft beer? (He very carefully avoided saying ‘craft keg’.) We ran through a few candidates and opened up the floor for suggestions, of which there were several.

When Sue at Waen announced that the brewery was to cease operations she blamed, among other factors, other breweries selling beer so cheap she couldn’t hope to compete. We tried to unpack this issue a bit, hampered as usual by the difficulty of naming names.

Black and white photograph of pub tables and chairs.

You know those pubs that you kind of like but you can’t quite say why and don’t feel confident sending friends to without footnotes and context? Here’s 100 words on that.

With news that cold war era beer brands are being revived in Eastern Europe we ask, not for the first time, why more European brewers aren’t making this kind of thing the focus of their ‘craft’ experiments rather than pale imitations of US IPAs.

We’ve been filleting another dusty, slightly smelly old book, this time a pub manager’s how-to manual from 1951. The first choice morsel is a run-down of the beer styles of the day, including some decent tasting notes.

There were also the usual links round-ups and a ton of stuff on Twitter, like this: