News, nuggets and longreads 8 June 2019: Key-keg, Kigali, Krunchy Pork

Here’s all the beer- and pub-related writing that grabbed our attention in the past week, from GBBF politics to Jarl.

First, three bits of news:

1. CAMRA has announced that it will have a key-keg beer bar at its flag­ship nation­al event, the Great British Beer Fes­ti­val (GBBF). There’s com­men­tary from Ben­jamin Nunn here (this, he says, is a non-sto­ry) and Dave S, who argues that CAMRA has put too many restric­tions and caveats on this to make it as mean­ing­ful as it ought to be.

2. Heineken has bought a chunk of Ams­ter­dam craft brew­ery Oedi­pus. This fits the pat­tern.

3. Brains has had to dump 36,000 pints of Bit­ter after reports that the batch in ques­tion had a ‘tang’ when served in pubs.

The Nation­al Brew­ing Her­itage Trust in Bur­ton-upon-Trent has launched a crowd­fund­ing cam­paign to pay for an online cat­a­logue of every item in its vast col­lec­tion. They need to make £20,000 and £3,500 is already in the bag. We’ve chipped in; if you’re inter­est­ed in Britain’s brew­ing his­to­ry, you should too.

Various books and magazine from the last 40+ years of CAMRA.

On a relat­ed note, here’s Jeff Alworth on the fragili­ty of brew­ing archives, and how easy it is for them to end up in skips dur­ing peri­ods of suc­ces­sion or cor­po­rate takeovers, quot­ing Matt Swi­hart at length:

Miller had no inter­est in the Olympia his­to­ry or its archive. There was a 100-year-old plus library of old brew­ing jour­nals, mag­a­zines, research arti­cles, tech­ni­cal jour­nals, and brew­ing records all stored in that library. Paul was sor­row­ful that it was all slat­ed for the dump­ster as of some com­ing week­end. I asked if I could have the library if I came up and picked it up. He gra­cious­ly accept­ed and I went up the next day with my old Toy­ota pick-up with a camper shell, and filled the entire truck with every­thing I could.


We’re in the mid­dle of a hol­i­day in Scot­land and can­not help but agree with Mark John­son’s dec­la­ra­tion that all he wants to drink is Fyne Ales Jarl:

Sat fac­ing the bar with my pint of hand­pulled Jarl I realised that this was all I want­ed from this indus­try, that this was still as good as it got for me. I’d take this 16th cen­tu­ry toll­booth-struc­ture-come-pub over school chairs and Edi­son bulbs any day. I’d take this beer on cask over any clichéd milky Impe­r­i­al Gose you can stick in a plas­tic keg. It doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy those places and those beers at times, but they are becom­ing like new Hip Hop to me.


We’ll con­fess that we weren’t imme­di­ate­ly moved to click on the link to this arti­cle about Rwan­dan banana beer by Eoghan Walsh for Pel­li­cle – who wants to read anoth­er arti­cle about a Euro­pean or Amer­i­can beer writer explain­ing a coun­try they’ve only been in for ten min­utes? But then we read it and realised, oh, that’s his point:

I scut­tled back to my hotel to soothe a bruised ego. I was sup­posed to be the voyeur, the for­eign inter­lop­er in search of a bit of African exoti­cism I could par­lay into a bot­tle-share anec­dote when I got home. Con­front­ed with my obvi­ous and pathet­ic white­ness, I felt keen­ly out of place and uncom­fort­able in self-reflec­tion. It turns out I didn’t real­ly want to expe­ri­ence Kigali as it was, but instead a care­ful­ly pack­aged ver­sion that I could eas­i­ly digest dur­ing my vis­it through the region. For the rest of the week, I drank macro lagers that tast­ed of noth­ing except an acrid taint of self-loathing.

Final­ly, there’s this:


You can find more sug­gest­ed read­ing via Alan McLeod on Thurs­day and maybe from Stan Hierony­mus on Mon­day.

5 thoughts on “News, nuggets and longreads 8 June 2019: Key-keg, Kigali, Krunchy Pork”

  1. GBBG and KeyKeg
    The link to ‘Dave S, who argues that CAMRA has put too many restric­tions and caveats on this to make it as mean­ing­ful as it ought to be’ takes you (again) to ‘Ben­jamin Nunn here (this, he says, is a non-sto­ry)’.

    1. I fixed that at 7.30 this morn­ing and it looks ok now to us. Give it anoth­er go?

      1. Both links still point to the ben­viveur blog. Tried sev­er­al times to be sure.

          1. Thanks. That’s very help­ful.
            On both Mac and iPhone, both links still point to the ben­viveur blog.

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