Everything we wrote in April 2019: mostly barley wine

The blog turned 12 this month, did you know? It’s not a major anniversary but, still, we’re astonished that it’s still going and that we’re only 150 posts off 3,000.

April 2019’s contribution to that ridiculous total amounted to 17, including this one.

Mind you, almost all of them were reviews of barley wines, old ales or strong ales.

Collage of barley wines.

We tasted:

Not bad for a month associated more with spring-signalling golden ales. What we didn’t find anywhere except a supermarket was Gold Label, the classic mass market barley wine.

Which was our overall favourite? It’s a tough call but probably… The Bristol Beer Factory effort, with Marble shortly behind, and Fuller’s Golden Pride behind that.


A Guide by Betty James

We gave a run through of all the pub-related nuggets from a 1964 guide book to London written by Betty James. Here she is on the Grenadier:

This very old pub is impossible to find. You can wander around the chi-chi little mews surrounding it, absorbing the untraceable emanations of Guards subalterns and debutantes without actually ever seeing anything but a chi-chi little mews… A dread silence occasionally falls upon the place… [because] somebody has mislaid a debutante.


Ray wrote about his sense of being out of the loop on the latest craft beer trends and which breweries are cool. We followed this up with a poll on Twitter which made him feel a bit better:


Collage: a fractured pub.

The post that took the most effort, and which generated the most response, began as a bit of fun: which is the best pub in Britain? we asked on Twitter. We ended up with a decent looking list of places to visit although, of course, some people were aggrieved or surprised by certain inclusions or omissions.

A follow-up piece, on exactly what qualifies as a pub, is brewing. Suffice to say, it’s not easy, especially in the fuzzy borderlands around the middle.


There were also our usual weekly round-ups of news, nuggets and longreads:

06 April – Berlin, Brett, better lager

13 April – Peroni, pricing, perceptions

20 April – Pub crawling, Carslberg, Craftonia

27 April – Numbers, mild, craft beer frenzy


Our monthly email newsletter went out on Tuesday and contained 1,400 words of original stuff, albeit half of that was about blogging. If you’re not signed up, uh, you know, sign up.


On our Patreon feed we wrote about: the ideal barley wine | Cider With Rosie | our abandoned encyclopedia of pubs project | a dissertation on barley wine | how easily we’re fooled by dark beer | more on Cider with Rosie and pubs in fiction | our favourite beers from each weekend 1 2 3 4 5. We also posted a printable recreation of a 1949 tap room price list, just for larks. (We tell you this because, of course, we would like you to sign up.)


We also Tweeted lots of stuff but this was the thing that got most attention: