Everything We Wrote in July 2017: Bristol, Wetherspoons, Music

A game of cards in a pub: 'July 2017'.

It’s a relatively sparse round-up this month what with moving house in the middle so we’ll use the spare space to include a bit more from social media.

We start­ed the month with a brief account of a con­ver­sa­tion between bar staff about dreams and night­mares: ‘She wakes her part­ner up in the mid­dle of the night shout­ing out loud, “Who’s next then, please?”’

We were prompt­ed by Chris Clough to think a bit about Old School IPA and what it means to us:

What makes an IPA Old School in our view is and empha­sis on hop bit­ter­ness as well as, and per­haps more than, aroma/flavour; a pref­er­ence for Eng­lish hop vari­eties; mel­low orange char­ac­ter rather than pine or grape­fruit; and a cer­tain sto­ical pintabil­i­ty, despite rel­a­tive­ly high ABVs by late 20th cen­tu­ry cask ale stan­dards.

Hav­ing planned to give it a miss we sud­den­ly felt inspired to take part in Mark Lind­ner’s Ses­sion #125 on the top­ic of Sin­gle Malt and Sin­gle Hop (SMaSH) beers. (You can read his round-up of all the con­tri­bu­tions here.)

Cranes on the waterside in Bristol.

We gave our first ten­ta­tive, delib­er­ate­ly vague field report from our new neigh­bour­hood in Bris­tol. A cou­ple of weeks on we can report that the microp­ub is cur­rent­ly where we find our­selves drawn most often, on which more lat­er, but we’ve also tried a few more local pubs and found them decent in dif­fer­ent ways, too.

Young peo­ple might not be going to Prop­er Pubs but we can’t help but notice they seem to love Wether­spoon’s:

The younger drinkers we’ve noticed are often on hot choco­late, frothy cof­fee or pound­ing cans of ener­gy drink. A typ­i­cal par­ty, sat near us about a fort­night ago, between them had one pint of bit­ter, two of lager, a can of Mon­ster, and a pint of Coke. They were all eat­ing, too, treat­ing it almost like a din­er.

(Phil Edwards con­tributed some field obser­va­tions of his own from Man­ches­ter, as did Tan­dle­man.)

If you think your region is being over­looked as a beer des­ti­na­tion (i.e. not writ­ten about by the Usu­al Sus­pects) the answer is sim­ple, we reck­on: write about it your­self. The com­ments on this end­ed up focus­ing on Birm­ing­ham and the West Mid­lands even though we tried to keep it gen­er­al, but they’re inter­est­ing nonethe­less.

How do pubs smell? That’s some­thing we were prompt­ed to think about by the tenth anniver­sary of the insti­tu­tion of the ban on smok­ing in pubs, the debate around which often ends up wal­low­ing in foul aro­mas of one kind or anoth­er.

Fuller's vinyl-record beer mat, 1956.
This is by far our favourite – Fuller’s jump­ing on the pop music band­wag­on in 1956. Needs to be res­ur­rect­ed!

Here’s a real labour of love: we made a Spo­ti­fy playlist to accom­pa­ny our new book, 20th Cen­tu­ry Pub. Give it a lis­ten, or at least a skim – some of the tracks are real­ly inter­est­ing in their own right.

Wether­spoon’s pubs now have an app you can use to order food and drink from your seat. Boak gave it a spin with a spe­cif­ic thought in mind: how well does it work for beer geeks? TL;DR? Not very.

(The Pub Cur­mud­geon ref­er­enced this post in a piece on queu­ing at Spoons.)

There were also five week­ly round-ups of links and news:

Screenshot from Patreon

We post­ed a few Patron-only things on our Patre­on feed – behind the scenes notes most­ly, includ­ing stuff on how our book cov­er got designed and some thoughts on the upcom­ing British Guild of Beer Writ­ers awards.

We’re approach­ing our (fair­ly mod­est) sec­ond tar­get of $100 a month, by the way – thanks, every­one!

Our newslet­ter was a lit­tle more curt than usu­al because we typed it on a smart­phone in a packed-up house with no chairs to sit on but what we did write seemed to get peo­ple talk­ing:

In the wake of our Michael Jack­son arti­cle for Beer Advo­cate, and reflect­ing on the blo­gos­phere with our week­ly news round-ups in mind, we reached a con­clu­sion: free beer and hos­pi­tal­i­ty don’t guar­an­tee pos­i­tive cov­er­age but, when you’re just start­ing out as a writer or blog­ger, they aren’t half flat­ter­ing…

If you’re inter­est­ed in c.1,300 words of this kind of stuff every month sign up!

On Face­book there’s been some of this sort of thing…

…while on Twit­ter, it’s been more like this:

And we’re still per­se­ver­ing with Insta­gram even if we’re find­ing it faint­ly baf­fling – why can’t we just see what peo­ple we fol­low post in chrono­log­i­cal order? Grr.

The cor­rect colours for a pub: beer below, nico­tine above.

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