Blogging and writing

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

A post shared by Boak & Bailey (@boakandbailey) on

…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.