News, nuggets and longreads 17 August 2019: Harvey’s, Guinness, Star Wars

The bar at the Victoria, Clifton.

Here’s all the reading about beer and pubs that struck us as bookmarkworthy in the past week, from Star Wars to Sussex Best.

First, a bit of interesting news that we missed earlier in the month: Tower Hamlets Council has added 37 historic pubs to its local preservation list, giving them protection against development and demolition. Local listing is a way of safeguarding buildings that aren’t formally listed by Historic England but are of importance within individual regions or communities. They’re particularly handy for pubs which aren’t often especially notable in terms of their architecture, especially after multiple comprehensive refurbs, but which are culturally and socially important.


Another bit of news, from The Brewers Journal, via @longm8: Bowness Bay Brewing has acquired two other local breweries. This is something we’ve been expecting to see more of for a while, as part of the Great Cycle. If you hear of local examples, do let us know.


Plastic footballs.

Kirsty Walker wants to cut down on her booze consumption a little which is why she’s come up with the goal count challenge 2019:

Simply put, on a match day in the 2019-20 season, I will only be drinking one alcoholic drink for every goal my team scores… I go out on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday nights, and Manchester United’s first match of the season is on Sunday. Of we score no goals, I shall not drink. If we score three goals, I’ll have my usual three pints. If we score eight goals against Chelsea, in the first game of the season…well I’m off work on Monday so let fate decide.


Non alcoholic beer: 0,0

Related: for Drinks Retailing News, veteran commentator Phil Mellows has been looking into the (non) drinking habits of young people:

Remember Binge Britain? Only a few short years ago we were really worried about young people drinking too much, falling over and showing their pants. And now, suddenly, we’re worrying they’re not drinking enough. What are they up to? Judging by the top-line statistics, the move away from alcohol among the young has been dramatic, driving the decline in UK consumption over the past 15 years. A study of 10,000 16 to 24-year-olds last year found that 29% of them didn’t drink at all, up from 18% in just 10 years. Burrow beneath the surface, though, and a more complex picture begins to emerge.


Oga's Cantina
SOURCE: Disneyland website.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is a new attraction at Disneyland in California which offers an immersive experience in the world of George Lucas’s space opera film series. Lisa Grimm, a dedicated Star Wars fan, has been and answers the question we all want answered: what’s the pub like?

Yes, it was crowded, even with the required reservations, but the atmosphere in Oga’s Cantina is pure Star Wars, which, for me, is pure bliss, with the added bonus chuckle that those who wring their hands over KIDS IN BREWPUBS will find them standing at the bar here; they may not serve droids, but there are great non-alcoholic options for younger set, or, equally, those not looking to get bombed at 10 am, if that happens to be your appointed time.


Fuggles hops at Harvey's.
SOURCE: Pellicle.

For PellicleMatt Curtis has written a great example of one of our favourite types of article: an in-depth look at a single notable beer. In this case, it’s Harvey’s Sussex Best – a beer that’s quirkier than its name and appearance might suggest, as Matt explains:

“[Harvey’s Best] represents the quintessence of the beauty of traditional English beers,” Yvan de Baets, co-founder of lauded Belgian brewery Brasserie de la Senne tells me in a recent email. “It imparts a perfect balance between malt and delicate hops, a subtle fruitiness, a great body and a fantastic, unique yeast character, due to the magic of open fermentation and the fact that they haven’t propagated [yeast] in decades.”

(We’d like someone to publish an anthology of essays like this – twelve beers that shook the world, or whatever.)


Guinness Extra Cold

And, in fact, from Bring on the Beer, here’s the basis of another possible entry – a love letter to Guinness:

But for me, despite Anheuser Busch’s marketing, there is only one true king of beers. One that I will always rank higher than even the finest, bestest, most tastiest beer of the lot. And I am well aware that by revering this drink, I am putting myself at odds with a lot of the values I claim to espouse; yet at the same time placing this drink on a pedestal is entirely in sync with my belief that quality, subjectivity and individuality rules.


Finally, this Tweet was bounced our way by @IanGReeve who, quite understandably, wants to know more…

That’s it for this week. If you want more reading, check out Stan Hieronymus’s Monday links round-up, and Alan McLeod’s from Thursday.

4 thoughts on “News, nuggets and longreads 17 August 2019: Harvey’s, Guinness, Star Wars”

  1. I think it’s that the binge drinking culture is now the only drinking culture many young people know, and they quite understandably don’t want anything to do with it. “Going out” in most cities involves visiting terrible bars playing dreadful music and drinking awful beer or anodyne spirits. Then you wake up the next day with a hangover and no money. It doesn’t appeal to me so why should it appeal to them?

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