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: