design News

Brocket's Beer

brocketsbeer.jpgThe Independent’s list of the 50 best beers in the UK included one brewed for Lord Brocket.

Lord Brocket is an old Etonian who is (just about) famous for (a) having been in prison and (b) appearing on the appalling reality show “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!”

He now has a side-line selling Brocket’s Bacon, Brocket’s Bangers and so on.

I wonder which marketing genius thought that having a minor celebrity mugging on the label would make people want to drink Brocket’s Beer? I mean, the beer itself might be perfectly nice, but, well, just look at him! He’s grinning like a maniac and wearing a tweed jacket. We should probably be grateful he hasn’t got his thumbs up, I suppose.

Still, it could be worse. At least no-one is expecting us to buy Jeffrey Archer IPA or Jonathan Aitken Stout. Not yet, anyway.

design photography

More fancy beer photography

A couple of months ago, I spent some time off photographing my pint of Summer Lightning. Tragic, I know. But I’ve gone further — I spent today building a special light box specifically for taking risque images of flirtatious, nubile glasses of beer.

Here are some sample photos:



I didn’t do anything to either photograph in GIMP, other than shrink them for the web.

I say “built” but, not being a proper man who’s comfortable with tools and wood, it’s actually an old carboard box modified with a Stanley knife and Sellotape.

I cut holes in the top and one side, which I covered with greaseproof paper. I then put in a large sheet of white card, curved from the top at the back, and Velcro-d in place. I used Velcro so I could put in different coloured card. Here’s a photo of something other than beer, with a red background:


For a light, I used two angle-poise type lamps with daylight bulbs, one shining through the greaseproof paper on the top; the other shining through the greaseproof paper on the open side.

The end results aren’t perfect, but they’re my best beer photos yet.

Bonus tip: use your camera’s macro mode for close up shots, usually indicated by a picture of a flower. The difference can be amazing.


Beer Glasses

SAHM’s tradition gobletWilson’s comment on the beer glass we used for the photo of our blackberry wheat beer yesterday got me thinking: is everyone else as weird about beer glasses as us?

We’ve got boxes of different glasses stacked around the house. The idea is that we’ve got the right style of glass, in the right size, for almost anything that gets chucked at us. In a lot of cases, we’ve even got glasses with the right branding.

I think, as a bare minimum, you need:

  1. Two half-pint stem glasses — for sharing 500ml bottles.
  2. A straight-sided pint glass.
  3. A “goblet” for Belgian beer.
  4. A tall wheat beer glass.
  5. A half-litre “krug” for drinking German stuff.
  6. A litre stein for drinking German stuff in the summer…

Optional extras would be a tiny US pint glass; a koelsch glass; a tall “pils” flute… I could go on.

Of course, like a lot of people, I have a favourite glass that I use more than all the others. Mine’s a nice, sturdy, straight-sided pint glass from the George Inn, Middlezoy, Somerset, which honours the Queen’s Golden Jubilee with an inscription in Comic Sans. Ha.

So, who else is fussy about their glassware? And if so, do you know where I can get a Marston’s glass…?

breweries design london photography pubs

The coolest building frontage in London?

I’d like to live in this building.





I took these photos on my wander round Walthamstow the other day, but I’m not the first person to have spotted it. It’s on Edward Road, at the bottom of the market, near the marshes, and is abandoned.

design photography

Photographing Beer — tutorial

I’ve often wondered how they got those very attractive pictures of the beers in Michael Jackson’s 500 Great Beers book, and I’ve also been increasingly frustrated at how bad my own photos are. They tend to look like this:


So I spent a few hours trawling the web for tutorials on how to photograph food — this was a great one — and then tried to use some of the same techniques to photograph a nice pint of beer using my very basic digital camera. Here’s the result:


I’ll tell you how I did it after the jump, if you’re interested.