Blogging and writing

Everything We Wrote in February 2019: Zero Degrees, Beer Deliveries, Connect Four

We managed a couple more posts in February than January, including one proper longread, and another chunky piece from the print archives.

As ever, we’re grateful to our Patreon subscribers for their encouragement. If you fancy joining them, you can sign up here. Or, alternatively, just buy us a one-off pint.

We started the month with one of our short pub life posts, recounting the tale of a flirtatious game of Connect 4 in an otherwise quite unerotic pub.

A new version of an old post next: we substantially updated our Bristol pub guide, removing some that have gone off the boil (the Commercial Rooms, for example) and adding a few that we’ve come to appreciate, as well as one that’s completely new.

Some interesting photographs led us to an interesting piece of writing from 1988 about the way men interact with each other in pubs, engaging in what the author regarded as forced camaraderie.

The Progress Inn, Sea Mills.

A passing reference in a book on social housing got us digging around in the history of beer in Bristol, and the way drinkers on new estates got their beer between the wars, from roving delivery vans.

Is it possible for a pub to be too minimalistic to qualify for Proper Pub status? We say yes, it is – pubs need a basic degree of comfort and character or they’re just boozers. Others (see the comments) disagree.

“The conclusion often drawn is that, perhaps counter-intuitively, if you price your product higher than the competition, many consumers will assume yours is better and worth the extra money… Conversely, if your product is too cheap, it might seem suspicious: “Hmm. What’s wrong with it? Does all of this also apply to beer?

We’ve got a new resolution: to try at least one beer from a brewery we don’t know every week. After all, there are around 2,000 of them these days. First up was Manual Brewing’s This Elevator.

Graffiti outside Zero Degrees.

This month’s big Patreon supported longread was an interview with Simon Gueneau of the Bristol branch of Zero Degrees, offering insight into how this unusual brewpub chain operates.

Boots Home Brewing equipment 1979.

Last year, a 1,500 word article we wrote on the history of home-brewing in the UK appeared in Hop & Barley magazine. Now, prompted by a conversation on Twitter about a perceived lack of writing on home-brewing, we’ve decided to share it on the blog.

As the month wound down, in the wake of a revelatory round of Bass in Long Ashton, we found ourselves thinking about the subtle, elusive magic that makes one pint of cask ale work while another of the same beer elsewhere… Doesn’t.

Finally, another brewery new to us: Bristol’s own Cocksure with an African hibiscus pale ale.

There were also the usual weekly round-ups of links to news, nuggets and longreads:

This was our best Tweet: