Blogging and writing

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:

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