Everything We Wrote in September 2018: Munich, Memoirs, Market Research

September 2018

September was, as it often is, relatively light on posts because we spent a week of it on holiday, pointedly not writing, or even thinking all that much.

Still, a few of the things we did post were (a) sub­stan­tial and (b) attract­ed a bit of inter­est.

We start­ed the month with a ‘Pub Life’ post, giv­ing a (delib­er­ate­ly vague) para­phras­ing of a con­ver­sa­tion about an impend­ing refur­bish­ment over­heard a few months ago. By way of an update, we have since been back to the pub in ques­tion and the refurb was… Not as bad as it could have been. The old reg­u­lars were still there, at any rate.

The Gamekeeper, Harlington.

Hav­ing acquired a par­tic­u­lar­ly jam-packed issue of Wat­ney’s Red Bar­rel mag­a­zine we decid­ed to scan almost all of it and share the pic­tures. (@Pubs_Of_Mcr liked some of them espe­cial­ly, and pro­vid­ed addi­tion­al con­text.)

Come­di­an Ted Ray’s 1963 mem­oir My Turn Next! is as much about pubs and beer as it is about his own life. We pro­vid­ed our cus­tom­ary fil­let­ing:

Every pub, I mean when they’re com­fort­ably full, has nine men in suits, or sports jack­ets — six are bald, but they all keep their heads cov­ered; and ten woman — eight fair­ly home­ly, two rav­ish­ing.

There’s near­ly always an old man in a long over­coat, a cloth cap, and a cig­a­rette (near­ly all ash) that nev­er leaves his mouth, even when he coughs. His name is Bert and he can get you any­thing. Then there are two men in tril­bies and rain­coats who look like TV detec­tives, and are detec­tives.

For the 139th edi­tion of The Ses­sion we reflect­ed on the part beer plays in our life, and how (if) it improves it:

If beer dis­ap­peared from our lives tomor­row, would we cope? Yes, prob­a­bly. Between knit­ting and archi­tec­ture and music and films and explor­ing we’d have plen­ty to occu­py our­selves, and tea ain’t so bad as drinks go either.

You can read a round-up of all the con­tri­bu­tions here.

Trachten clothes in a shop window.

After a week off in Munich we came back rar­ing to… write about Munich. This was almost ten or more sep­a­rate blog posts but we asked our Patre­on sup­port­ers and they urged us to do one big one. We’re quite pleased with this for­mat – cul­tur­al obser­va­tion, pho­to, beer notes, pho­to, cul­tura. obser­va­tion, beer notes, pho­to, repeat – and will prob­a­bly use it again.

Among the Guin­ness papers we’ve been sort­ing we found a 1981 dic­tio­nary of tast­ing notes that we reck­on might have informed the way peo­ple like Michael Jack­son wrote about beer:

skunky — an odor, resem­bling close­ly that emit­ted by a skunk, pro­duced only when beer in a clear bot­tle is exposed to vis­i­ble light. The use of brown glass pro­tects from this effect.

Our most read and shared post of the month was ‘It’s Easy to be Intre­pid When You’re a White Bloke’. It’s only half our work and con­tains a huge con­tri­bu­tion from @amethyst_heels.

Omnibuses outside the Royal Exchange.

Hav­ing explored the 1960s with Wat­ney’s we jumped back half a cen­tu­ry to the Edwar­dian peri­od thanks to a tat­ty old sou­venir album we picked up for a few quid in a sec­ond­hand book­shop.

Con­tin­u­ing our beer mix­ing exper­i­ments we tried using Leffe Blonde as a sub­sti­tute for Gold Label in pep­ping up tired cask ale, to great effect. Has any­one else tried this since?

Back to the 1960s: we dis­sect­ed wine cur­mud­geon Tom­my Lay­ton’s account of run­ning a pub in Kent, which veers from slag­ging off his staff to beer tips: Frem­lins was the hop pick­ers’ choice, appar­ent­ly.

Yes­ter­day, we pub­lished anoth­er whop­per – not so much in terms of word count as in the faff required to get the data into graphs suit­able for a blog post. It con­tains the high­lights of a report into the UK beer mar­ket c.1963, with a par­tic­u­lar empha­sis on stout, and an even more par­tic­u­lar­er focus on Guin­ness, for it was them wot com­mis­sioned it.

There were also the usu­al round-ups of news and links, though we missed two weeks:

There was a 1,000-word newslet­ter cov­er­ing craft beer in Munich (we did­n’t see much); epic pub tick­ing; wel­come signs; and a hor­ri­ble goose. Sign up for the next one here.

We Tweet­ed quite a lot…

…Insta­grammed a bit…


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Parp parp pump pump honk honk parp. #music #oom­pah #münchen #munich #hof­brauhaus

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…and even made the odd post on Face­book.

For $2+ Patre­on sub­scribers there were posts on Google’s inabil­i­ty to under­stand what pubs are | Pub life: can you rec­om­mend…? | Thoughts on beers from Twist­ed Oak | Notes on beers from the week­end of 14/09 | and 23/09 | Obser­va­tions on Gin and microp­ubs | and a few oth­er odds and sods, too.

Do con­sid­er sign­ing up if you enjoy read­ing what we write here or else­where – the sup­port from peo­ple like Jan Halvor Fjeld and Doreen Bar­ber real­ly is very much appre­ci­at­ed.