This was a relatively light month for us because we treated ourselves to a week off when we visited London. We managed a few interesting bits, though.
We started the month with some first-hand observations of the malice-free but frustrating resistance to following the simple rules laid down by pubs trying to comply with COVID-19 distancing. This prompted a bit of subtweeting here and there from people who hadn’t seen any such worrying behaviour – your mileage may vary, and so on.
In London, we saw a whole range of systems in operation, some more successful than others, and generally managed to have a pretty nice time visiting different bars around Stratford and Hackney over the course of week.
As the Government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme kicked in, we fretted about how it might make things worse for wet-led pubs already struggling with decreased business. As it happened, we had chance to talk about this with a publican who confirmed that trade dropped off for them in August.
Ray read Lament for a Maker by Michael Innes and was delighted to find, amid the Gothic castles and murder, a portrait of a rural Scottish pub where the temperance battle is played out.
Nosing around in the British Newspaper Archive we found mention of a German-style Bier Keller in Coventry which, as we tugged the thread, led us to reflect on another time when people and staff were nervous to go to the pub – the mid-1970s when the IRA was running an active bombing campaign in England.
Yesterday morning, we asked for your help identifying a pub in a brilliant archive film from 1955.
And finally, this morning, we had some thoughts about the advantages of ordering by app in bars with extensive beer lists.
There were five editions of our regular Saturday news round-ups with plenty of good stuff, including from some sources new to us:
- 1 August 2020 | Civil war, wort, Watney’s
- 8 August 2020 | Politics, pool tables, Palestine
- 15 August 2020| Wine, IPA, Olga’s beer
- 22 August 2020 | Flights, Harp, Braumeisters
- 29 August 2020 | Festbier, Horner, Chinese beer
Patreon subscribers got some bonus bits, too including thoughts on the difficulty of telling it like it is; some beers of the weekend notes; pub life observations; an audio reading by Ray of a piece from last year; and a brief comment on the tell-tale Bacchus which gives away a former pub.
We put out a 1,000+ word newsletter with thoughts on London pubs and news on what’s been keeping us busy beyond beer. Sign up for next month’s here.
And there were bunch of Tweets like this photo of a pub door on a hot day.
Inviting doorway. pic.twitter.com/KXDHoECuq3
— Boak and Bailey (@BoakandBailey) August 4, 2020