Everything we wrote about beer and pubs in March 2019

We managed about the usual number of posts in March, despite trips to London and Penzance, with a handful of real good ‘uns among them.

Before we get to the round-up, though… If you like what we do, and want to give us some encour­age­ment to keep doing it:

We began the month, as we so often have late­ly, with some notes from the Guin­ness archives, this time on the stout brew­er’s attempts to appeal to female drinkers in the late 1970s. Even if you saw this first time round, it’s worth click­ing the link again as Jon Urch was kind enough to send us a scan of the glossy mag­a­zine ad we had­n’t been able to track down when we first pub­lished the post.

We tried (and appar­ent­ly failed) to make sense of revised Port­man Group guide­lines that had every­one in a tizz.

Neon Raptor stout.

Per our pledge to try one beer each week from one of the 2,000 UK brew­eries cur­rent­ly in exis­tence that we don’t already know, we tast­ed and took notes on:

At a new Bris­tol pub, we had a pleas­ing expe­ri­ence with the ser­vice of a hazy pint: “Now, before I pull a full pint, I’m going to put a bit in a glass so you can see how it looks. It’s just gone on, and it’s hazier than we were expect­ing. But we got some pho­tos up from the brewery’s tap­room, and this is how it looks there. It tastes great to me, but do you want to try it before you com­mit?”

A crowd in a pub.
Detail from the end­pa­per of the book.

Hav­ing acquired a book on pubs we’d nev­er come across before, from 1950, we set about our cus­tom­ary fil­let­ing, high­light­ing all the most inter­est­ing bits to help you decid­ed if it’s worth track­ing a copy down for your col­lec­tion.

Intrigued by a ref­er­ence in a 19th cen­tu­ry ref­er­ence book we want­ed to find our more about leg­endary Lon­don pub­li­can Ben­jamin Ken­ton and the trick for treat­ing beer for export that made him fab­u­lous­ly rich. Here’s what we learned.

Ray went solo on the sub­ject of pubs, inspired by Dylan Thomas to rec­ol­lect grow­ing up in a pub, and to get lyri­cal on the sub­ject:

Soon after open­ing and nico­tine-tint­ed frost­ed glass soft­ened the light, warmed it, and weak­ened it so that the far cor­ners stayed black as bot­tled stout. Last night’s spills and cig­a­rettes, twen­ty years of dust in the car­pet, and the gush of pumps into buck­ets, trailed the next turn of the cycle – anoth­er round of hands in pock­ets and make it a dou­ble, why not, and dirty play­ing cards slid­ing through pud­dles, darts drum, drum, drum­ming into a board more hole than fibre.

Prompt­ed by cor­re­spon­dence from a stranger (BTW, do email us – we love it!) we dug into the world of Aus­tralian trav­ellers in Lon­don in the 1960s and 70s and how their very dif­fer­ent drink­ing habits looked to uptight Brits:

One girl liv­ing in Earls Court says ‘The only Aus­tralians I have met have only been inter­est­ed in two things: rug­ger and beer.’

Then, with the news of the Mag­ic Rock takeover loom­ing, we wrote in the abstract about rumours – why do or don’t peo­ple share them? And what’s the point of them in 2019?

There were also our usu­al round-ups of news, links and good blog read­ing, writ­ten between 6am and 8am each Sat­ur­day morn­ing by whichev­er of us drew the short straw, for those inter­est­ed in the logis­tics.

This (which took 12 sec­onds effort to put togeth­er) was our biggest hit on Twit­ter: