Here’s all the news and commentary in the world of beer that grabbed our interest in the last week, from Dublin pintmen to lone wolves.
From Stephen Bourke for the Dublin Inquirer comes the story of ‘pintman’ Paddy Losty who allowed himself to be photographed in the pub by a roving author and 20 years on has gone viral:
His fans set up a dedicated splinter group, which has now spun out to a Twitter account controlled by the group’s admins… His celebrity is secure, at least for the 4,548 fans of Photoshop jobs of Losty in the guise of characters ranging from Hans Moleman to Dionysus.
Pints & Pubs is undertaking to visit every pub in Cambridge this year and the project is throwing up interesting case studies such as this reflection on the dominating force of an always-on television:
I look around and everyone’s either staring at the TV or at their phones. One couple finish their drinks and get their coats on to leave, then stand there for 5 minutes transfixed by some wingsuit wearing stuntman landing in a pile of cardboard boxes. Another couple come in and go straight for the two chairs directly under the tv, then sit in silence, arching their necks to watch it. At one point, loud screams attract everyones attention – not the shriek from a customer laying eyes on one of the pub’s ghosts, but from a woman caught in a tornado in Alabama.
BrewDog has asked a Birmingham bar to change its name because it infringes on its spin-off spirits trademark Lone Wolf. To some, this reeks of heavy-handed nastiness, not to mention bitter irony – BrewDog were themselves challenged over this trademark by Wolverhampton Wanderers and also claim to be in dispute with the estate of Elvis Presley over their beer Elvis Juice. But for the corporate blog of White & Black Legal Nicholas Mitchell explains that, in effect, BrewDog has no choice in the matter:
It should not be entirely surprising that, regardless of its unconventional corporate philosophy, a public limited company that has invested in a portfolio of registered intellectual property rights should seek to enforce them. If it did not, its ability to rely on those rights later could suffer… It can be hoped that the change of name will not be very detrimental to the relatively new “Wolf” pub. Indeed, its owners might usefully exploit the story for some free publicity, which is exactly the type of cost-effective marketing on which BrewDog built its own success.
(Disclosure: we met the author once and he bought a round; he also gave our book a positive review on his now defunct personal blog.)
The ever eloquent Pete Brissenden has turned his attention to the hot topic of the day – how much haze in your beer is too much? Having worked in various capacities in the beer industry for years he is able to provide interesting insight:
All the haze does is add mouthfeel to the beer, that creamy body that so many people mention in their tasting notes of this type of beer. For me at least the haze seems to muddy the hop flavours. They don’t sing and dance with the same brightness as they do in beers with greater clarity. It seems to be harder to pick out individual flavours and aromas in these kinds of beers.
Somewhat related: a while ago we predicted that one of the larger UK brewers might soon release a hazy pale ale into the mainstream; the new Fuller’s keg beer London Pride Unfiltered might be that beer. We say ‘might’ because we had struggled to ascertain the extent to which it is intended to be hazy or cloudy at point of service but Paul Bailey (no relation) has dug up a quote from Fuller’s Head Brewer Georgina Young which seems definitive:
By only using a centrifuge, we get a hazy beer but retain additional flavour, to give London Pride Unfiltered more of the traditional character that you have in the cask beer than in the conventional London Pride keg version.
The tensions between conservatives and reformers within the Campaign for Real Ale are being played out, quite unsurprisingly, in the National Executive election, as reported by Claire Churchard for the Morning Advertiser. Oddly, the reformist group includes one of the Campaign’s founders, Michael Hardman, and veteran James Lynch who was chair of CAMRA back in 1978. Hardman is quoted as saying:
Where James Lynch, Ben Wilkinson and I stand apart from [the other candidates] is that we very firmly believe the Revitalisation proposals represent CAMRA’s last chance to safeguard its relevance and reputation. We want an end to the prevarication, an urgent vote on the proposals, and implementation of the long-overdue change this Campaign needs to wrench itself out of the mid-20th century and make itself fit for the mid-21st.
We encountered our first beer with lupulin powder listed in its ingredients recently and thought, ‘Huh, interesting.’ Hop guru Stan Hieronymus offers a bit more insight here suggesting that perhaps this will be The Next Big Thing.
Brewery Takeover News
2. In a long-rumoured move Lake District brewer Hawkshead has sold a controlling interest to Halewood whose brands include Crabbie’s Ginger Beer, Lambrini and Whitley Neill gin, among others. Alex Brodie of Hawkshead gave an interview to Connor Murphy for the Manchester Beer Week website.
Finally, here’s a bit of food for thought from one of our previous Golden Pints Tweeters of the Year:
The preferable “aesthetics” of smaller bottles? It’s like the whole argument about CD vs LP cover art never happened…
— Simon James (@Gueuzel) February 27, 2017