News, nuggets and longreads 25 May 2019: Hyperlocal, Global, Superfresh

The back-bar a the Lyon's Den micropub.

Here’s all the beer and pub writing from the past week that made us pause to think, with something of a common thread emerging.

For Fer­ment, the mag­a­zine pub­lished by beer sub­scrip­tion ser­vice Beer52, Katie Math­er has writ­ten about the beer-drinker’s equiv­a­lent to the book group:

What’s espe­cial­ly grand about these hyper­local com­mu­ni­ties is that they’ve all grown out of neces­si­ty and pure enthu­si­asm. Even large groups like Craft Beer New­cas­tle, Ladies That Beer and the long-run­ning Twit­ter com­mu­ni­ty Craft Beer Hour start­ed off as ideas sparked by pub con­ver­sa­tions between beer lovers who want­ed to hang out more. Now, most areas have at least one super-small com­mu­ni­ty for you to take part in, whether they’re local CAMRA groups or self-start­ed clubs like Beer Mersey­side, Glas­gow Beer, Mid­lands Beer Blog, South Dublin Brew­ers, North Coast Bot­tle Share, Leeds Beer Bul­letin or CRAP (Cum­bria Real Ale Post­ings).

Oompah band at the Hofbrauhaus.

There are four First Class Beer Coun­tries, argues Ed, where the beer and drink­ing cul­ture is just bet­ter than any­where else:

1. Britain

A well kept pint of cask ale is indeed the great­est beer in the world. It has only been when drink­ing cask beer that I’ve felt the mag­ic come and angels dance on my tongue. Served as god intend­ed with­out arti­fi­cial car­bon­a­tion, there is no bet­ter beer. And to back it up it will be found in pubs, the great­est places that can be found to drink beer, where you can relax and unwind in a com­fort­able and cosy envi­ron­ment.

Barcelona in 2007.

Now, segue­ing well, here’s a month-old arti­cle that bare­ly men­tions beer: Rebec­ca Mead writ­ing for the New York­er on Airbnb and its impact on Euro­pean cities. The apart­ment rental ser­vice, she argues, is dri­ving the homogeni­sa­tion of cul­ture as part of ‘a glob­al trend in urban gen­tri­fi­ca­tion’, focus­ing on Barcelona as a prime exam­ple:

We crossed the Ron­da de Sant Pau, a boule­vard that sep­a­rates the Raval from its more mid­dle-class neigh­bor Sant Antoni. Quaglieri want­ed to show me a café, Fed­er­al, which Aus­tralian expats had opened a few years ago. We might as well have been in Hack­ney or the Mis­sion Dis­trict or any­where else that hip­sters gath­er: signs, in Eng­lish, request­ed that vis­i­tors with lap­tops con­fine them­selves to a large com­mon table, every seat of which was occu­pied by a young per­son using the Inter­net. We ordered drinks: a warm gin­ger infu­sion for me, a turmer­ic lat­te for Quaglieri.

Dom Cook.
Source: The Takeout/Tiesha Cook.

And anoth­er segue: what are the alter­na­tives to gener­ic, cos­mopoli­tan white hip­ster cul­ture? For The Take­out Kate Bernot has inter­viewed Dom Cook, author of This Ain’t the Beer That You’re Used To:

Dom “Doochie” Cook is also not the beer writer that you’re used to. I’ve read a lot of beer books, and I’ve nev­er seen prop­er beer and food pair­ing described as “like Jadakiss and Styles P going back and forth on a Swizz track in the ear­ly 2000s.” Cook and his Beer Kul­ture col­lec­tive have set out to change the way urban black Amer­i­ca thinks about beer, and vice ver­sa. They’re out to deliv­er a wake-up call.

Jaipur can
SOURCE: Thorn­bridge.

This one is about glob­al or local beer cul­ture… Or is it? Josh Far­ring­ton at Beer and Present Dan­ger was moved to come out of a year-long blog­ging hia­tus by a can of Thorn­bridge Jaipur from his local super­mar­ket which made him rethink his atti­tude to fresh­ness:

Crack­ing it open ready to enjoy a sim­ple glug­ging beer, I was stopped in my tracks, even before I took a swig – the aro­ma leapt out of the tin, a tuft of fruit sal­ad chewi­ness, and the taste was per­fect, part Nordic Fir and part mar­malade shred, decid­ed­ly bit­ter but with­out being harsh or dry­ing. It was sub­lime, a pla­ton­i­cal­ly good beer, and a per­fect rev­e­la­tion when I’d expect­ed mere­ly fine. I checked the can – and dis­cov­ered it was three days old.

And final­ly, an inter­est­ing look­ing book with a great title:


For more of this kind of thing check out Alan McLeod’s round-up on Thurs­day; Stan Hierony­mus’s Mon­day links are on hold.