Everything We Wrote in August 2018: Old Haunts, Wheat Beer, Bierkellers

Here’s everything we wrote in August 2018 in one handy round-up, from blog posts to magazine articles, via a blizzard of social media.

This was our lowest output since April this year, pressing family and work business for both of us meaning that we just didn’t get round to the huge list of posts we’re itching to write and have half-drafted in our heads.

Anyway, never mind — what we did turn out wasn’t bad, and we’re hoping to find time for a bit more writing over the course of this blessedly empty weekend.

If you think all the effort below is worth anything do consider signing up for our Patreon (with yet more exclusive stuff) or just buying us a one-off pint via Ko-Fi.

Continue reading “Everything We Wrote in August 2018: Old Haunts, Wheat Beer, Bierkellers”

Everything We Wrote in July 2018: Community, Mild, Tripel

July 2018: hot sun, parched land, cool beer.

Here in one handy round-up is everything we wrote in the past month. We managed to keep up the output up despite the heat, including one whopper of a post.

The month began with the kick-off of our Tripel Taste-Off. This time, we’ve gone with a knockout competition. The first round games so far have been:


In what turned out to be quite a history-filled month we dissected Ted Elkins 1970 book about the history of the Northern Clubs Federation, AKA The Fed, and its empire in the north east of England:

What is the maximum output possible to the brewery?
Answer: One hundred barrels per week.
What is the minimum required to make the brewery solvent?
Answer: thirty barrels.
Then am I right in understanding that you can live on 30 barrels and will grow rich on 100 barrels weekly?
Answer: Yes.
Then three of four large clubs in any locality could easily and profitably free themselves of private brewers?
Answer: Yes.

Continue reading “Everything We Wrote in July 2018: Community, Mild, Tripel”

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!