Reasons to be Cheerful

Victorian advert: smiling sun being offered a drink.

We don’t generally cast ourselves as cheerleaders but today, with the sun shining, we wanted to take a minute to ac-cen-tu-ate the positives.

1. There are loads of great pubs and bars still to dis­cov­er. We’re 143 pubs into our #Every­Pu­bIn­Bris­tol mis­sion and still find­ing gems like The Beau­fort

2. And new ones are open­ing or re-open­ing all the time in unex­pect­ed places, such as The Pur­suit of Hop­pi­ness in Exeter, or the Bar­rel at Bude.

3. Even with our Every Pub mis­sion, and hav­ing been in var­i­ous small towns, sub­urbs and vil­lages, we haven’t had a real­ly rank pint in months. We can’t recall the last time we felt the need to com­plain and ask for a replace­ment.

4. There’s more choice of beer and beer styles than most of us have the time to do any­thing about, even out­side the hippest cen­tres of craft beer cul­ture. For exam­ple, Marks & Spencer announced a new beer range this week which includes a Sai­son from St Austell, and our local CO-OP has a choice of canned ses­sion IPAs, all per­fect­ly decent. The aver­age small-town Wether­spoon can usu­al­ly do you a dou­ble IPA, a choice of stan­dard IPAs, a choice of wheat beers, one or two Trap­pist beers, and that’s with­out even look­ing at the taps.

The beer garden at The Pirate.

5. It’s near­ly beer gar­den sea­son! The evenings are draw­ing out, the grass is grow­ing over the mud­dy patch­es, and the pic­nic tables are being sand­ed down. If we don’t get to sit in the sun drink­ing pints of lager in the next fort­night, some­thing will have gone dread­ful­ly wrong.

6. There are people out there just dis­cov­er­ing how inter­est­ing and excit­ing beer can be, drift­ing towards the thrill-ride of becom­ing a Five. Some­one out there will drink their first West­malle Tripel today! (Fur­ther read­ing: ‘Dare I Say Wine for Wives?’)

7. Adnams, Fuller’s, Harvey’s, St Austell, Tim­o­thy Tay­lor and a ton of oth­er respect­ed fam­i­ly brew­eries are not only still going strong but (a) con­tin­u­ing to brew clas­sics such as ESB and Land­lord and (b) brew­ing gen­uine­ly inter­est­ing side project beers, includ­ing a flood of porters.

8. There is beer on TVIt seemed impos­si­ble a few years ago but now there’s beer most week­ends on Chan­nel 4’s Sun­day Brunch, brew­er Jae­ga Wise has joined the crew on ITV’s The Wine Show, and ‘Jol­ly’ Olly Smith is cur­rent­ly work­ing on series 3 of Ale Trails for the Trav­el Chan­nel.

9. Every week­end for the past few years we’ve man­aged to find enough inter­est­ing writ­ing about beer and pubs to pop­u­late a blog post with links. There’s more good stuff in 2018 than there was in 2014, cov­er­ing a wider range of top­ics from dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives. Recent­ly, for the first time, there was so much going on we had to resort to bul­let points to get it all in.

10. Beer in gen­er­al con­tin­ues to be real­ly tasty, and get­ting tip­sy with friends and fam­i­ly is still great fun.

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