We managed a slightly slim 17 posts last month what with the lingering effects of the Christmas break and a cheeky holiday towards the end. Still, there were a few good ‘uns you might have missed in the January fog.
We kicked the month off, as usual, with a contribution to the Session. January’s edition was a bit weird because there was no host until the last minute when co-founder Jay Brooks stepped in to ask ‘Three Questions’. His round-up of all the responses is here.
We went to Cardiff which prompted Keith Flett to ask us a question: “Why Drink Brains?” We answered.
A relic from the pre-CAMRA era of beer appreciation arrived in our actual snail-mail postbox: a pub crawl schedule from Cup Final day, 1967.
Some pubs are famous for doing one beer really well — Bass, Landlord, usually one of the classics. People suggested examples in the comments and a good discussion was had all round. (This one got lots of attention, as the throwaways often do.)
We were sadly unimpressed by Boundary Brewing, Northern Ireland’s co-op outfit; commenters seem to broadly agree with our judgement, even as they yearn for the brewery to do well.
Reader Robin Oldfield urged us to watch a 1979 documentary about caving in Yorkshire. It didn’t sound promising but, oh, how we’re glad we gave it a go. (Feedback since suggests that actually was a pretty typical night in that particular pub, contrary to our assumption.)
We got a bit flowery reviewing beers from Northern Monk and Wylam as part of our ongoing Patreon’s Choice feature.
Maybe our favourite post of the month was this piece on the beer-selling boatmen of old London town. Go to snigger at the word ‘bum-boat’, stay for the social history.
Imagine owning the rights to a brand as universal as Bass and doing nothing but the bare minimum with it. Imagine owning the rights to Boddington's, *the* cult Manchester bitter, and not being arsed to produce or market a cask version. AB-InBev is daft. pic.twitter.com/E6gSMR6C93
— Boak and Bailey (@BoakandBailey) January 19, 2018
We put together a reading list on the subject of lager, pointing to portions of books and articles we’d like to see in an anthology. Alan McLeod had some follow-up thoughts here. (We hope people copy this idea — we’d love to see similar lists on all sorts of beer- and pub-related subjects, and we’ll even design covers for them if you like.)
Via our ever-growing collection of old in-house magazines from breweries we shone a spotlight on a significant post-war pub, The White Knight in Crawley, West Sussex. Some Twitter chat ensued, leading us to more (and better) pictures.
— Boak and Bailey (@BoakandBailey) January 23, 2018
Drawing from the same well we put together a piece on a forgotten example of a largely forgotten trend: Rigby’s Bier Keller in Liverpool. Our favourite detail here is that the landlord was a German former prisoner of war.
Continuing our series of tributes to great libraries and librarians we offered a quick tour of the beer-related material at Manchester Central Library and Archives+.
And, finally, after a few days in Harrogate, we had some thoughts on Landlord, Yorkshire Bitter and pale-n-hoppy cask beer.
There were also the usual round-ups of links and news, though we skipped a couple of weeks:
- 06.01.2018 — There’s A New Year for That
- 13.01.2018 — Rawtenstall, Lincolnshire, Mars
- 20.01.2018 — Listening, Little Pubs, Lemp
We also managed eight exclusive posts for Patreon subscribers including a proper good one on Humphrey Smith, the brewing world’s answer to Scott Walker or Howard Hughes. If you like the sound of that, and want to encourage us to keep doing stuff like the above, do consider signing up.
And sign up to the email newsletter while you’re at it. In January we sent out 1,000 words of exclusive stuff including a beer blogging pep talk, reflections on optimism in the beer industry, and opinions on diet lemonade and peppermint tea.