Many Manchester pubs have more or less elaborate tiling and we managed to snap a few pictures on our visit last week.
After the longest break we’ve taken from blogging in a while, here’s our usual Saturday morning round-up of what’s good to read.
(A report on ‘what we did on our holidays’ will follow tomorrow.)
→ Tony Naylor’s piece on unfiltered/unfined beer for The Guardian rather echoes our thoughts on the matter:
I can’t deny the aesthetic appeal of the perfect clear pint. But I also realise that is a rather daft, inherited prejudice. Moreover, this criticism of “London murky”… seems to spring from a general cynicism about the febrile creativity of the craft beer scene, rather than objective fact.
→ Adrian Tierney-Jones found a fascinating letter from 1921, concerning questions of the clarity, quality and price of beer: “How are we to reconcile the taste for acidity, common or peculiar to the cider districts, with the taste for soft drinking mild, free from the slightest acidity, pertaining to the next county?”
→ Saved to Pocket this week: a piece by Jonathan Moses about the architecture of the famous Black Friar pub in the City of London.
→ ‘Even Ulan Bator has Irish Pubs‘ is the latest beer-related piece from the BBC news magazine, which seems to be committed to the subject:
IPC’s designers offered to fit out Irish pubs abroad in one of four basic styles – the “country”, a cottage-like room with stone floors and wooden beams; the “shop”, intended to resemble a bar which doubles as a hardware store or pharmacy; the “brewery”, with cobbled floors and upturned tables; and the “Victorian”, an ornate interior fashioned after Dublin’s grander hostelries. There later came the “Celtic”, which saw Gaelic-style swirls and patterns carved into wood.
→ We liked this portrait of a brewer, and wondered why we don’t see more of these on social media:
— Robin LeBlanc, from work (@TheThirstyWench) May 23, 2014
To accompany the publication of Brew Britannia we’re producing a series of ten 1 minute films featuring objects which reflect part of the story.
This second film is about Which? magazine’s April 1972 report on keg beer.
Footnote: it wasn’t the first time they’d written about beer — we understand there was a similar report in 1960.
Dear readers: if our calculations are correct, you will receive this blog post on Saturday morning.
(We wrote most of it on Thursday before heading off on our grand tour of the North.)
→ We can’t claim to have had anything to do with this one (unlike Dogbolter) but it seems another seminal beer which has a starring role in our book — Brendan Dobbin’s Yakima Grande Pale Ale — is making a return from the dead. Tandleman has all the details here.
→ Saved to Pocket this week is this piece from All About Beer on British family brewers and historic brewing by Adrian Tierney-Jones.
→ This 1905 essay/lecture on ‘The Popular Type of Beer’ (via @YvanSeth) is worth a look in light of ongoing questions about the historic importance (or otherwise) of beer clarity:
I think it is pretty well agreed that an ideal beer for modern taste must have the following characteristics:—
Brilliancy which is not dimmed by cooling.
Low alcoholic strength.
Good condition with a permanent head.
A clean, fairly full, and mature character, a delicate hop flavour, and pleasant aroma.
→ Phil Mellows’ portrait of a distinctly old-fashioned Welsh pub is highly evocative: “After the smell of wet dog, what struck me first about the place was that, in 21st century terminology, it’s a micropub.”
→ They’re making a film about the kidnapping of Freddy Heineken starring Anthony Hopkins as the wealthy brewing heir. But it turns out it’s not the first — Rutger Hauer had a go at the role a couple of years ago.
→ After a week of sometimes fraught discussion about the intricacies of beer cellaring techniques, here’s another nugget from Ed.
→ We’re hosting the 88th beer blogging session on Friday 6 June, with the topic of ‘traditional beer mixes’: if you blog, get involved.
We’ve never heard of Hopjutter and know nothing about them. We’re going to look them up after we’ve written this review of their Triple Hop (7.3‰).
The bottle suggests amateurism and we braced ourselves for the bottle to explode on opening. It did not: it hissed and emitted a leafy aroma that made us think of dandelions and daisies.
It is carbonated like a saison, and 330ml easily filled a pint glass with a steady Mr Whippy-like foam.
The first sips were dominated by a punishing bitterness and a numbing quality, like Szechuan peppercorns. Getting through that, an underlying hedgerow-weed and cats’ pee character became apparent. It seemed thin and sweaty, with some clove and aniseed (fennel?).
We were ready to write it off as nasty at this point, more useful as a paint to stop children sucking their thumbs than as a drink, but something made us persevere — perhaps that moreish bitterness — and, eventually, we began to warm to it.
There was certainly evidence of generous hopping, and a strident lemon peel note riding high over everything else ultimately made it quite bearable.
Is it rough and amateurish; or is it complex, challenging and an acquired taste? It’s so hard to tell the difference sometimes.
We wouldn’t buy it again, but we certainly don’t regret having paid €2.80 for this one bottle and giving our palates a work out.