Everything We Wrote in June 2018: RATs, Beavers, Kittens

June was hot and hectic, and yet somehow we managed 20 posts here and 13 over on the Patreon feed.

There was also the usual barrage of Tweets, bits and pieces on Instagram and Facebook, and 1000+ words of exclusive stuff in the newsletter. (We don’t normally make those publicly viewable but this one is, if you want to see the kind of thing we write about.)


The month began, as they so often do, with a contribution to the Session, this time on the subject of farmhouse brewing. The fun thing about the Session is how often we think we have nothing to say but start typing anyway and… Oh, there’s a thing.

You can read a round-up of all the entries at Brewing in a Bedsitter.


The first of this month’s Pub Life posts records a conversation between bar staff on important philosophical questions: are zebras black with white stripes, or white with black? (Do check out the hilariously (knowingly) literal comments on this post…)

Continue reading “Everything We Wrote in June 2018: RATs, Beavers, Kittens”

Everything We Wrote in May 2018: Pints, Drinks, Staropramen

"What a Lot of Words!"

It was a busy month for us — almost too busy, really, because we set ourselves rather too much of a challenge with #BeeryLongreads2018. Still, the results were probably worth it.

We began the month with one of our ‘Pub Life’ pieces based on observing an odd character one Sunday afternoon. We didn’t intend any criticism — the pub seemed to tolerate him well enough and it’s their business, really — but some of the comments suggest that freeloaders are a real problem in some pubs.


In the wake of a piece we wrote for CAMRA’s BEER magazine we asked people to tell us about their local beer mixes and beer mixing traditions. You’ll see there were plenty of comments and we gather CAMRA has also been receiving correspondence on the issue.

Continue reading “Everything We Wrote in May 2018: Pints, Drinks, Staropramen”

Newsletter Competition Winner

In our most recent email newsletter (sign up here) we challenged people to produce a 100-word bit of writing about beer or pubs under the banner #BeeryShortreads, as the antidote to #BeeryLongreads which is now only a few weeks away.

Here are all the entries we received, with the winner of a paper copy of Gambrinus Waltz and a set of badges named at the bottom.

Gambrinus Waltz and badges.


Studying for the Beer Sommelier exam turns beer into homework. You drink the style you need to study rather than the one you feel like drinking. You taste four beers side by side in the middle of the day because that’s the only time you have free. But it’s the middle of the day, so you taste just enough and pour the rest away. It can be lonely, sat there obsessing over tiny variations in flavour. Drinking in a way most people wouldn’t consider. Nerding out over off flavours and food pairings. I love it though. This feels like me.

Anthony Gladman | @agladman | blog


Remember when you could get a pint for less than three quid? Remember when pubs used to smell interesting? Remember when you could order a drink without being stuck behind people waiting for Gin cocktails? Remember when everywhere shut at 11pm? Remember when pubs closed in the afternoons? Remember when this place was heaving every lunchtime? Remember when I could drink six pints without needing a piss? Remember when she used to be in here with me every night? Remember when the police were called? Remember when this place got shut down?

No?

Just me then?

I’ll have a lucky dip for tonight too….and some green Rizla.

Ta mate.

Gareth | @barrelagedleeds | also on his own blog


‘Do you realise it’s really sour?’ asks the barman at ‘t Brugs Beertje. It is 2011. I’ve ordered my first ever sour beer – 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze. I have been in Bruges for a whole day and now I am ready. I have read about champagne flavours, tartness, beer-that-isn’t- like-beer. ‘Oh yes’ I say, confidently. I take a sip. My tongue shrinks, I worry my teeth might dissolve. It takes me an hour to finish it and I feel a little traumatised. Yet days, weeks later, I think about it. One stiflingly hot summer’s day I realise a cold, sour, cheek-puckering beer is the only answer, and I am right.

Lorraine Bland


Pi Bar Altrincham. Or a Bar called Pi? Untappd seems to think so. By design or chance you can see right down the road. Big windows. Like a moving small town painting. Looks better when it’s raining. Gives it a watercolour sheen. Noisy. Especially THAT laugh. Dogs welcome, as are children. Staff who stick around. Chatty. The Boss always lets on, knows your name. Beer artwork. Boddingtons. Fancy American brewery. Belgian. All bases covered. Early drink after buying the veg from the market. The old couple are in. As they leave, ‘See you next week!’ Him: ‘I hope so’.

Mark Bailey (no relation)


100 words is a challenging limit,
To write a blog post with something interesting in it.
Carefully selecting a subject to cover,
something to appeal to the UK beer lover.
What can I talk about? I know, revitalisation,
It’s the latest buzz word issue, dividing the nation.
Only its a bit too intense to fit into some prose,
And my thoughts on the subject I think everyone knows.
I could talk about a cracking West Coast IPA,
But everyone does that, every day.
I need something controversial, make everyone shout,
I can write loads of words, except, wait, I’ve run out..

Myles Lambert | @myleslambert | blog


Growing Dilemma

“Pour smoothly and in one motion.”

I’d love to, but your can has outgrown my glass!

Why increase in size from schooners to size/strength combinations rarely available even in specialist bars?

Whether delicious or terrible I’d prefer smaller sizes when unable to share. Smaller mean more different beers can be tried. Smaller mean Fewer should miss out.

Is it even sensible to routinely sell Doubles, Triples and Imperials in 440 millilitres and larger?

I think not; but still I buy.

Time to choose between multiple glasses, a murky top-up or pouring some away.

<Grabs another schooner>

Rob Shaw


RUSHED HALF DOWN ORWELL’S MOON

What’s great about Orwell’s fantasy boozer?

The strawberry pint pots – bar service – minimalist menu?  Lovely… but isn’t it quaint to the point of twee?

The scariest thing: George Orwell’s there. What does one say to the man? “Loved Animal Farm, but 1984 was a bit heavy…” – “tell us about the wars”? “Y’like Corbyn then”? I’d want to hear the man speak… but my banality would ruin the ambience for us both.

I’d find the presence of the literary giant intimidating. Orwell would spoil The Moon Under Water. I’d be happier, miserably, at Wetherspoons…

Tim Kingston

* * *

We’re really grateful to everyone for taking part (imagine throwing a party and nobody comes) but our favourite was by…

[annoying pause]

[annoying pause]

[annoying pause]

[seriously, one pause too many]

[oh, for f–]

Mark Bailey.

Well done, Mark!

Everything We Wrote in April 2018: Real Ale, Beer Gardens, Amsterdam

April was a relatively quiet month because we went on holiday for ten days in the middle of it, but we managed a few decent posts nonetheless.

If you got something out of this lot, and the peripheral activity on social media, then do consider signing up for our Patreon. We’d love to get to to 100 sign-ups by the end of this year. Or, failing that, buy us a one-off pint — we’ve had a few of these already and it’s a lovely boost when they land in the inbox.

Orbit beers in a row.

Anyway… The month started with another entry in our series of tasting notes on beers suggested by our Patreon subscribers, focusing on beers from Siren as requested by Tim Thomas. Then, later in the month, we tasted a bunch of beers from Orbit as chosen by Paul B. Finally, we worked our way through a whole bunch of beers from Ireland at the prompting of the Beer Nut:

Kinnegar Rustbucket, at 5.1%…. smelled wonderful, taking us back to those days of a decade ago when Goose Island IPA was considered Way Out There, all orange and pine. Red-brown in colour, it tasted like a well executed, tongue-coating, jammy IPA of the old school, and gave the impression of being a much bigger beer. It was perfectly clean, nicely bitter, and just a touch peppery by way of a twist. What a breath of fresh air, and good value, too. We’d drink more of this.

(Side note: we had a couple of private messages from brewers of the back of this run of posts, offering follow-up information on what might have been wrong with beers we hadn’t enjoyed, and updating us on background goings-on that should mean better beer in months to come.)


Cheery-beery!

Longform subtweeting at Mark Johnson and Peter McKerry in an effort to raise their spirits (they spotted this was aimed at them immediately) we came up with a list of reasons to be cheerful about beer. This was Stan Hieronymus’s favourite:

10. Beer in general continues to be really tasty, and getting tipsy with friends and family is still great fun.

Continue reading “Everything We Wrote in April 2018: Real Ale, Beer Gardens, Amsterdam”

QUICK ONE: New Beer Bloggers — Say Hello!

"Hello" overlaid on a pint glass of beer.

If you’ve started a beer blog in the last year or so and would like to let other beer bloggers know about it please Tweet using the hashtag .

Here — like this:

We’ve been corresponding with someone who has just started a beer blog and isn’t sure how to go about making connections with others in the same boat, and we reckon this might be one solution.

To some extent blogs stand or fall based on links in and out, comments and mutual boosting, and we hope this might help people find their Class of ’18, just as we had our Class of ’07.

This will hopefully also be useful for us in recharging our RSS feeds with active beer blogs that we might otherwise have missed, with this kind of thing in mind.

If you’re not on Twitter… Well, if you want to promote a blog, you probably should be. But if you’re not, for reasons, then if you like you can comment below with something along the lines of Katie’s blurb above and we’ll Tweet on your behalf.

Further Reading: How to Beer Blog, by us, 2015