News, Nuggets & Longreads 28 April 2018: Training, Tadcaster, Telemark

A Victorian pub frontage in Islington.

Here’s everything on the subject of beer that piqued our interest in the past week from apprentices to diversity ambassadors, via one or two pubs.

If you like mess­ing around with your beer at the point of con­sump­tion – blend­ing it, adding strange ingre­di­ents – then you might want to try “roar­ing” your beer, Nor­we­gian-styleLars Mar­ius Garshol explains:

The first time I heard about it was in Tele­mark (south­ern Nor­way), where Halvor Nordal said that one of his neigh­bours used to some­times heat the beer very briefly in a saucepan before serv­ing it. His neigh­bour thought it made the beer taste fresh­er… Then, the year after, I vis­it­ed Ras­mus Kjøs Otterdal in Hornin­dal, 300km to the north­west, and he… explained what peo­ple did was to take an emp­ty saucepan and heat it quite well on the stove. Then you took it off the stove and poured the beer straight into the saucepan. The beer would give off a fierce fizzing sound and a thick head would instant­ly form on it. It tastes great if you drink it right away, but doesn’t last long, he said.


For Imbibe Will Hawkes has writ­ten about a new appren­tice­ship scheme for brew­ers ini­ti­at­ed by the peo­ple behind the Brew­house & Kitchen chain but with 25 oth­er brew­eries rang­ing from very big (Heineken) to tiny (Igni­tion) also signed up:

[Simon] Bunn and his team [at B&K] did con­sid­er run­ning the scheme inter­nal­ly, but decid­ed that it was an inno­va­tion that the whole brew­ing indus­try need­ed. There are lots of brew­eries in the UK, but not enough prop­er­ly-trained British brew­ers.… He acknowl­edges, too, that for­mer appren­tices will often seek to move on once they’ve demon­strat­ed their skills.… “They tend to go into jobs at big­ger brew­eries, or as head brew­er at a small start-up,” he says. “We don’t have too much turnover; I think we lose four brew­ers a year.”

Detail from a 1929 German beer advertisement.

For Vine­pair Evan Rail explains why you should be inter­est­ed in Andreas Krenmair’s new book His­toric Ger­man and Aus­tri­an Beers for the Home­brew­er – that is, because it’s already hav­ing an impact in the real world, among brew­ers eager to find new ter­ri­to­ry to explore:

Though his book has only been out for a cou­ple of weeks, its recipes have already start­ed attract­ing atten­tion from both pro­fes­sion­al and ama­teur brew­ers. Home­brew­ers have reached out to Kren­n­mair with feed­back after brew­ing his 1818-era Bam­berg­er Lager­bier. Lon­don micro­brew­ery The Owl & The Pussy­cat is cur­rent­ly serv­ing its own Merse­burg­er from Krennmair’s recipe, which he cal­cu­lates at a tongue-numb­ing 125 IBUs.

(Dis­clo­sure: Mr Kren­mair is one of our Patre­on sup­port­ers.)

Humphrey Smith

Sam Smith news: the UK Pen­sions Reg­u­la­tor is pros­e­cut­ing the Samuel Smith Old Brew­ery of Tad­cast­er and its chair­man, Humphrey Smith, for “fail­ing to pro­vide infor­ma­tion and doc­u­ments required for an ongo­ing… inves­ti­ga­tion”. Refus­ing to respond to cor­re­spon­dence from jour­nal­ists is one thing but ignor­ing agen­cies of HM Gov­ern­ment is quite anoth­er. We watch with inter­est.

Dr Jackson-Beckham

Progress: the Amer­i­can Brew­ers’ Asso­ci­a­tion (BA) has appoint­ed an aca­d­e­m­ic, Dr J. Nikol Jack­son-Beck­ham, as its first Diver­si­ty Ambas­sador. Dr Jack­son-Beck­ham “will trav­el around the coun­try to state guild and oth­er craft brew­ing com­mu­ni­ty events to speak on best prac­tices for diver­si­fy­ing both cus­tomer bases and staff and to lis­ten to cur­rent chal­lenges in this area.” There’s com­men­tary from Cat Wolin­s­ki and more quotes from Dr Jack­son-Beck­ham in this arti­cle at Vine­pair.

Portman Group logo.

Fur­ther progress, pos­si­bly, depend­ing on your point of view: the Port­man Group, which reg­u­lates pack­ag­ing and adver­tis­ing on behalf of the UK alco­hol indus­try, has launched a con­sul­ta­tion on its code of prac­tice and is keen to hear your views, includ­ing plans to intro­duce “a new rule with sup­port­ing guid­ance address­ing seri­ous and wide­spread offence, such as sex­ism in mar­ket­ing”.

Handpumps at a Bristol pub.

While we strong­ly dis­agree with his asser­tion that “peo­ple have nev­er heard of… Boak & Bai­ley” – we are, in fact, extreme­ly famous, prac­ti­cal­ly house­hold names  – this piece by Mark John­son reflect­ing on the chasm between the so-called beer bub­ble and the wider world of beer drinkers in the con­text of the CAMRA Revi­tal­i­sa­tion vote is a good read. He writes:

Peo­ple like cask beer.

Peo­ple pre­fer cask beer.

There are a large num­ber of peo­ple that are still drawn to pubs that serve a good pint of ale. For them, the fonts (or wick­ets, oh yeah) are where the eyes are pulled. The choic­es are sin­gled out based on colour, strength, famil­iar­i­ty. They know what they like and they know what is good. They don’t always agree upon bit­ter­ness, hazi­ness, adjunct flavour­ings or even sil­ly names but they could pick out off flavours bet­ter than most with­out know­ing their names.

Page spread from the booklet.

Those who enjoy wan­der­ing the streets of Lon­don will want to check out a new pub­li­ca­tion called Beer Bar­rels and Brew­hous­es: explor­ing the brew­ing her­itage of the East End. It’s been put togeth­er by not-for-prof­it organ­i­sa­tion Walk East work­ing with locals, using a Her­itage Lot­tery Fund grant. It is avail­able online as a flip­py-flap­py inter­ac­tive book­let and, we think, in hard copy at Tow­er Ham­lets Archives.

(Via Tim Holt @BeerHasAHistory.)

And final­ly, a chance to buy an heir­loom your fam­i­ly will trea­sure for decades to come…

2 thoughts on “News, Nuggets & Longreads 28 April 2018: Training, Tadcaster, Telemark”

  1. Hard copies of the East End thing were giv­en out at the last Brew­ery His­to­ry Soci­ety com­mit­tee meet­ing so they’re def­i­nite­ly out there some­where.

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