Everything we wrote about beer and pubs in August 2019

A bit of a low score this month – just 13 posts in total, although, to be fair, one of those was an absolute whopper.

Leeds has played a piv­otal role in the evo­lu­tion of British beer, as cov­ered in our first book, Brew Bri­tan­nia. We kicked off last month with an in-depth, in-their-own-words look at the city’s beer scene, fea­tur­ing insight from vet­er­ans such as Bar­rie Pep­per and rel­a­tive new­com­ers like Gareth Pettman. This piece end­ed up run­ning to 3,000 words and seemed to meet the gen­er­al approval of Leo­den­sians, to our great relief.

An update: Antony Ramm at Leeds Libraries (@rammalibrary), who first sug­gest­ed this arti­cle, is work­ing on an archive project around beer in Leeds in the past decade or two. If you’ve got orig­i­nal mem­o­ra­bil­ia or ephemera – leaflets, fly­ers, pro­grammes, papers and so on – he’d love to know about them for pos­si­ble inclu­sion in the col­lec­tion.


We also did some pon­der­ing on beer scenes more gen­er­al­ly – what makes a scene as opposed to just… some good pubs and beer? This prompt­ed some prick­ly but inter­est­ing reac­tions, both below the line and on Twit­ter.


Leap­ing back in time, Ray wrote about a cou­ple of pass­ing men­tions of beer and brew­ing he dug out of Wal­ter Ison’s book The Build­ings of Geor­gian Bris­tol. This led to some intrigu­ing con­ver­sa­tion about why well-to-do house­holds might have installed brew­eries in the ear­ly 19th cen­tu­ry: because the Napoleon­ic wars had reduced the avail­abil­i­ty of wine.


Illustration: a flat pint.

Fur­ther evi­dence that Bris­tol beer is by tra­di­tion and pref­er­ence head­less: we observed a pub staff train­ing ses­sion in which this point was made with some force.


We won­dered aloud why it seems so hard for peo­ple to cred­it oth­ers with sin­cer­i­ty when it comes to their taste in beer. Why do peo­ple assume that a pref­er­ence expressed is a pose or pre­tence? This gen­er­at­ed a fair amount of chat on social media with lots of peo­ple in agree­ment but a few oth­ers stick­ing to their guns: there sim­ply must be some­thing odd going on for so many peo­ple to express a lik­ing for Har­vey’s Sus­sex Best.


From the cor­ner of the saloon in a pub in a strange town, we watched a man des­per­ate to talk about music but denied at every turn:

So you’re not into prog much at all?”

I like Krautrock.”

The Old Rock­er thinks he’s done it – he’s found an in.

Oh, yeah, man – great stuff! That dri­ving motorik beat. Did you read the MOJO arti­cle a cou­ple of months back–”

Well, no, I don’t real­ly have time to read mag­a­zines. I work thir­teen days out of four­teen, and most evenings. The only music I hear is what’s on in here. And that’s on a loop.”


Do you know of a Whit­bread pub in Lon­don called The Gold­en Lion that was demol­ished or refur­bished in the mid-1950s? If so, maybe you can help solve the mys­tery of an Eng­lish pub that now lives at a Col­orado Springs hotel in the USA.


On Patre­on, we:


Our usu­al round-ups of links and news land­ed each Sat­ur­day, as usu­al:


There was also an arti­cle on The Ring in the lat­est edi­tion of CAM­RA’s BEER mag­a­zine – find a copy at your local pub if you’re not a mem­ber, or (we think this will work) online here.


The newslet­ter went out mid-month with notes on beer-lov­ing trolls (the mytho­log­i­cal vari­ety, not Inter­net dick­heads), an update from one of the sub­jects of 20th Cen­tu­ry Pub and the launch of Ray’s nov­el. Sign up now to receive the Sep­tem­ber newslet­ter.


Final­ly, we were all over Twit­ter with stuff like this:

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