News, nuggets and longreads 15 June 2019: Beavertown, Bristol, Boozeless Beer

The Laurieston in Glasgow.

Here’s all the writing about beer and pubs from the past week that struck as interesting, thought-provoking or otherwise noteworthy, from The Crumpled Horn to craft beer.

First, some bits of news.

> It used to be that if you want­ed to buy West­vleteren beer you had to vis­it the monastery at pre­scribed times and pur­chase a lim­it­ed amount under strict rules. (Or go into almost any beer shop, it seems, and pay over the odds.) Then, a few years ago, a tele­phone order­ing line was intro­duced. Now, though, you can order it online. (But you still have to pick up your order in per­son.)

> Last year, five post-war pubs were list­ed, includ­ing The Crum­pled Horn in Swin­don. Now, accord­ing to the Swin­don Adver­tis­er, it has closed. Wor­ry­ing news.

> When we vis­it­ed the Fel­low­ship at Belling­ham, South Lon­don, dur­ing research on 20th Cen­tu­ry Pub it was a near-wreck with only one decrepit room still oper­at­ing as a pub. Now, final­ly, its rein­ven­tion as a ‘com­mu­ni­ty pub’ is com­plete. We look for­ward to vis­it­ing.


It’s always worth read­ing Pete Brown on the state of the nation. For Imbibe he’s writ­ten a sub­stan­tial overview of where craft beer is at in 2019, reflect­ing in par­tic­u­lar on the takeover fever of the last cou­ple of years:

Fourpure’s beers are broad­ly sim­i­lar in style and qual­i­ty to Beavertown’s, and are avail­able about as wide­ly. Yet some­how, Fourpure’s 100% acqui­si­tion was not greet­ed with any­thing like the out­rage prompt­ed by Beavertown’s minor­i­ty sale. The rules of accept­able behav­iour among craft brew­ers, it seems, are flex­i­ble, depend­ing on who we’re talk­ing about.


Cranes on the waterside in Bristol.

Lydia and Lor­na at Liquor­Trips offer a review of the recent Bris­tol Craft Beer Fes­ti­val which might help you decide whether to attend next year:

With more than 35 brew­eries offer­ing their wares, it was dif­fi­cult to pace your­self too much with so much to try. We man­aged to get round the major­i­ty, even if it was just for tasters from some. Locals Wiper and True and Wild Beer Co were there, among oth­er nation­al and inter­na­tion­al names in beer such as The Ker­nel, To Øl, Mikkeller, Ver­dant, Lervig, Left Hand­ed Giant, Lost and Ground­ed and North­ern Monk to name a few… Some of the sours on offer were among our absolute best beers of the day – Gip­sy Hill’s Peo­ple Like Us fruit­ed sour, Wiper and True’s Bar­rel Age­ing Car­di­nal Sour and the Pome­lo Palo­ma by Com­mon­wealth Brew­ing Com­pa­ny stay in our minds.


The Waggon & Horses.

From The New Wipers Times, a blog about 1930s archi­tec­ture, comes an inter­est­ing note on an inter-war pub, the Wag­gon & Hors­es, in Lon­don N14:

With the open­ing of South­gate Tube sta­tion on 13 March 1933, as part of the Pic­cadil­ly line exten­sion to Cock­fos­ters, and the com­ple­tion of the near­by North Cir­cu­lar Road, the sur­round­ing area was heav­i­ly devel­oped dur­ing the 1930s and so South­gate became one of many new sub­urbs in Lon­don where Watney’s required larg­er, more suit­able premis­es… The North Lon­don build­ing was designed by the group’s Chief Archi­tect, A. W. Blom­field, F.R.I.B.A., (Alfred William Blom­field, 1879–1949), who also over­saw the design of “The Giraffe” in Ken­ning­ton, S.E.17. Both build­ings would like­ly now be described as Neo-Geor­gian in their exter­nal appear­ance.


Non alcoholic beer: 0,0

A pro­vok­ing thought from the Pub Cur­mud­geon: has the recent dri­ve to mar­ket non-alco­holic beers been a tac­ti­cal deci­sion in response to the threat of a ban on booze adver­tis­ing? Maybe. (Jess remem­bers TV adverts for vod­ka in Poland that weren’t for vod­ka – weird, but effec­tive.)


Scales and balance.

The ever-per­cep­tive Kate Bernot makes some inter­est­ing obser­va­tions about writ­ing about alco­hol in a piece for The Take­out, con­clud­ing with this zinger:

I think drinkers owe it to them­selves to under­stand the risks inher­ent in over­con­sump­tion, and to savor and appre­ci­ate respon­si­ble drink­ing all the more so. Per­haps those sen­ti­ments can coex­ist, and per­haps an aware­ness of the dual­i­ty makes the sub­ject of alco­hol even more fas­ci­nat­ing to cov­er.


Final­ly, we’re fin­ish­ing with one of our own Tweets:

For more select­ed links check out Alan McLeod on Thurs­days and Stan Hierony­mus on Mon­day (prob­a­bly).

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