News, Nuggets & Longreads 16 June 2018: Football, Motorbikes, Public Toilets

Here’s everything about beer and pubs that grabbed our attention in the past week, from Russia to New York City.

This is a local sto­ry for us: for Bris­tol Cable Maff Tuck­er writes about The Ban­jo, as the coun­cil estate at Cad­bury Heath in east Bris­tol is affec­tion­ate­ly known, and the pub around which life there is cen­tred:

There’s a wall of pic­tures in the Lamb that remem­bers the reg­u­lars that have passed away. Les points at a framed bik­ers jack­et: “Jamie Eng­land, he was aban­doned when he was a kid, his nan took him in and brought him up, along with me and my broth­ers and sis­ters because our dad worked days and our mum worked nights.”


Plastic footballs.

At Lady Sinks the Booze Kirst Walk­er offers advice for dis­cern­ing beer drinkers on how to go about watch­ing the World Cup, which is now under­way:

30 min­utes before kick-off – get two drinks

At 38 min­utes, get two drinks (stud­ies** have shown that most peo­ple will attempt to avoid the half time rush at 40 min­utes, by which time you’re already at the bar like a genius).

If you need a fur­ther drink before 90 min­utes, or if there may be sig­nif­i­cant extra time because Gary Cahill has straight up mur­dered some­one, the time to go is on 67 min­utes when sta­tis­ti­cal­ly a goal is unlike­ly to be scored.

Relat­ed: this seems like a good time to remind every­one of the exis­tence of the craft beer and foot­ball map at Beer Fron­tiers which lists pubs with inter­est­ing beer that also have TVs. It’s also worth not­ing that some chains (Brew­Dog, Craft Beer Co) that don’t nor­mal­ly show foot­ball are mak­ing an excep­tion for the World Cup.


Text illustration: "FRAGILE FINICKY POLARISING".

Here’s a provoca­tive sug­ges­tion from George Rivers at Beer Strength Mat­ters: drink-fresh hazy NEIPAs are the true Amer­i­can equiv­a­lent of British cask ale. We think that’s what he’s sug­gest­ing, any­way:

After decades of wor­ship­ping at the altar of the hand pump, Amer­i­can drinkers now have their own coun­ter­part that is just as frag­ile, finicky, and polar­iz­ing as cask-con­di­tioned ale.… Get­ting one’s hands on the Holy Grail of con­tem­po­rary beer can be almost as cum­ber­some and cost­ly as jet­ting across the pond for a pint of Fuller’s Lon­don Pride. First, you’ll need some sort of online equiv­a­lent of CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide to direct you to the right loca­tion. Once there, you may have to stand in line—sometimes for hours—then pay an exor­bi­tant fee for a lim­it­ed quan­ti­ty of prized elixir. With the clock now tick­ing, you have less than two weeks to con­sume all the 16-ounce cans you can cram into your trunk or suit­case before your invest­ment turns into drain-pour. Not since the hey­day of Eng­lish mild in the mid-20th cen­tu­ry has the win­dow of fresh­ness been nar­row­er or more tyran­ni­cal.


Katie Tay­lor at The Snap & The Hiss gives a beer- and pub-cen­tric account of her time on the Isle of Man for the TT races:

The Rail­way Inn sits on the elbow of Union Mills, the first right-hand­ed bend before a swift S on a busy 30mph road just before the local Methodist church and the old post office. Usu­al­ly steady with traf­fic mov­ing to-and-from Peel, today nobody’s on it. We’re not even allowed to step on the pave­ment. The sun has strength­ened to a mid­day siz­zle in a stonewashed den­im sky. Red and white crash bar­ri­ers, hot to the touch, stand between us, Vic­to­ri­an stone walls and the road. A set of yel­low crowd con­trol bars have been shift­ed to block off a con­nect­ing minor junc­tion, to state in full-colour that we are not to leave our tem­po­rary island, and that we should stay here, where it’s safe, where we can be out of the way, and where we’re in close prox­im­i­ty to good beer, clean toi­lets and burg­ers with fried onions. We tune in our radios to the local sta­tion as heat shim­mers over the tar­mac and we lis­ten for the first chu­pa-chu­pa-chu­pa of the press heli­copter, announc­ing the advance of today’s heroes.


Three people posing by a half-built bar.

For Unde­feat­ed Maya M. Jones pro­files Harlem Hops, a new bar in New York City owned and oper­at­ed exclu­sive­ly by African-Amer­i­cans:

The vision of Harlem Hops began for [Kim] Har­ris, a grad­u­ate of Clark Atlanta Uni­ver­si­ty, near­ly five years ago. Born and raised in Harlem, Har­ris appre­ci­at­ed her neigh­bor­hood, but good beer was hard to find. Her quests to drink beer she enjoyed includ­ed trav­el­ing to Brook­lyn to get it.

(Via @BeerWithDooch.)


Bert and Harry Piel.

Still in New York, for Craft Beer & Brew­ing John Holl looks into the res­ur­rec­tion of a famous brand, Piels, own­er­ship of which recent­ly came into the hands of peo­ple with a fam­i­ly con­nec­tion:

[It] was a bit of a sur­prise to see Piels Lager behind the bar and on shelves through­out the New York metro area ear­li­er this spring. Adding a pleas­ant lay­er to that sur­prise was that the beer actu­al­ly tastes great. Long a sta­ple of Brook­lyn’s brew­ing her­itage, going back to its found­ing by broth­ers Got­tfried, Michael, and Wil­helm Piel in the 1880s, Piels grew into a region­al pow­er­house and by the 1950s, thanks to ani­mat­ed tele­vi­sion and mem­o­rable radio ads, was a brand many called “their beer.” … [Pab­st] shed the brand in 2015, and it was pur­chased by Shan­non Deg­nan and his fam­i­ly… Deg­nan’s grand­fa­ther, Thomas P. Hawkes, was the last pres­i­dent of Piel Bros., so the cur­rent revival is per­son­al.


The High Cross.

News of an inter­est­ing arrival on the scene comes via Jez­za at Beer Guide Lon­don: The High Cross, Tot­ten­ham, is a pub occu­py­ing a for­mer pub­lic toi­let. (The bar staff will have heard all the jokes already; spare them!)


Want more read­ing? Check out Stan’s Mon­day links, and Alan’s Thurs­day round-up.

4 thoughts on “News, Nuggets & Longreads 16 June 2018: Football, Motorbikes, Public Toilets”

  1. There is (or was) a bar in cen­tral Man­ches­ter called the Tem­ple of Con­ve­nience that occu­pied a for­mer under­ground pub­lic toi­let.

    Of course it’s quite easy for Brew­Dog to show the World Cup as, unlike the Pre­mier League, it’s on free-to-air tel­ly. I think at least some Spoons make an excep­tion too.

  2. I thought the NEIPA piece was rather pok­ing fun at the whole “fresh­ness” thing in an “Emper­or’s New Clothes” way. NEIPA fans as the Amer­i­can equiv­a­lent of the Real Ale Twats? And, in the man­ner of Dav­ey Jones with the RAT’s, recog­nis­ing a bit of it in him­self.

    A pro­pos shelf-lives: I think that some beers up here in Scot­land have been com­ing out with ever fur­ther BBE dates. I noticed Williams Bros beers, which pre­sum­ably pret­ty much rolled off the bot­tling line onto the shelves of Lidl, with BBEs eigh­teen months ahead. Oth­er brew­eries were fif­teen to six­teen months ahead. (I par­tic­u­lar­ly checked after read­ing in anoth­er blog of some­one’s shop being shipped Cam­den beers with only six weeks left.)

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