News, nuggets and longreads 3 August 2019: Apollo, Bass, curation

Pub snacks on display.

These are all the stories about beer and pubs we enjoyed most, or learned the most from, in the past week, from Wetherspoons to museums.

From Jeff Alworth, an epic – a two-parter pondering the question of why we like certain beers and dislike others:

Let’s try a thought experiment. Select one of your favorite beers and think about why you like it. If I ask you to tell me the reasons, my guess is that you will talk about the type of beer it is and which flavors you like. Since you’re reading this blog, you might talk about ingredient or even process (Citra hops! Decoction mashing!). If I asked a casual drinker, someone who drinks Michelob Ultra, say, I’d hear different reasons, but probably something along the lines Elizabeth Warren offered: it’s “the club soda of beers.” No matter one’s level of knowledge, our opinions about beer appear to come from the liquid itself.

Part one | Part two


The carpet at the Imperial, Exeter.

Tandleman has been observing what he calls the “slightly tense calm” of early morning in a Wetherspoon pub:

By 8.50 there is a palpable sense of expectation in the air. Eyes flick towards the bar. A few more arrive. Minutes tick away and suddenly there are people coming back to their tables with pints of beer and lager. One dedicated soul has two, which he arranges carefully in front of him, rims almost touching. Overall pints are evenly split between lager and John Smith’s Smooth.


The Apollo Inn
SOURCE: Manchester Estate Pubs

Stephen Marland has turned his nostalgic eye on another lost Manchester pub – the topically named Apollo Inn in Cheetham Hill. Construction, conversion, conflagration, collapse… The tale is familiar.


A recreation of a historic pub.
The Riverside Museum, Glasgow.

From our old Penzance pal Tehmina Goskar comes a piece not about beer but that will perhaps be of interest to anyone who’s ever been to a beer event or received a box of beer in the post:

Everything is curated these days. We’ve all seen it. The Curator restaurant, Curators’ snacks, Curator clothes labels, beard curation and even curated ears–which has nearly 40,000 posts tagged on Instagram. By comparison #museumcurator is tagged in 4700 posts. But when is curating, not really curating at all? In this post we explore this question with museum curator Emma King, Director of the Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre and Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association at the University of Huddersfield.


Related: archives come into their own on #InternationalBeerDay.


Bass on Draught plaque outside an English pub.

Ian Thurman has updated his list of pubs that consistently sell draught Bass. The text hasn’t changed since he first wrote it last year but is worth revisiting as a heartfelt tribute to this cult beer.


This exasperated Tweet thread from Beth Demmon made us laugh:

There’ll no doubt be more links from Stan Hieronymus on Monday and Alan McLeod is regular as clockwork every Thursday.

One thought on “News, nuggets and longreads 3 August 2019: Apollo, Bass, curation”

  1. Hmm… not sure about Jeff’s epic but these days I drink what’s in the fridge out in the yard by myself after almost killing myself through sweaty gardening. Often what’s in the fridge is what the lad brings home from his brewery summer job. And Sam Adams Boston Lager is one of my least favourite commonly available beers. Don’t most folk just have what’s going and get themselves to a supply in a shop or a bar that should provide something reasonably in the ball park?

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