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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