Inside pubs and breweries on Google Street View

Google Street View has been offering desk-bound tourists the chance to wander around their favourite cities for several years now, but, since 2011, has also begun to include panoramic tours of the interiors of selected businesses. A few pubs and breweries have already submitted to being photographed. Below are just a few that we’ve found.

1. The Dove (riverside pub), Hammersmith, London

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A London pub menagerie

The Prospect of Whitby - Mid 1960's
From Colin Pickett on Flickr.

The great thing about researching a book is what you find by accident. Take this passage from a 16 May 1959 article in The Times, for example:

Towards the end of the Lower Pool, The Prospect of Whitby is the most aggressively picturesque of London River taverns, with a veranda as a platform for the yarns of one-time smuggled cargoes. Wistful little Jenny, the monkey, has long since gone–

Whoah, hold on — a monkey? A wistful one? In a pub? A little more digging turned up this:

A visit to the “Prospect of Whitby” on the Thames-side at Wapping has long been an important item in the education of visitors to London who are lucky enough to have knowing guides. From 1939 it was run by James Saunders — “Slim Jim” — and his wife… Mrs Saunders, who even in the most difficult days of the blitz produced meals for 200 a day, had a specially soft spot in her heart for animals and birds. The population of the “Prospect” included in her day, three parrots, a monkey, four cats and three dogs. (The Guardian, 19 May 1947.)

(Here’s Mrs Saunders (or Sanders) in the Hulton Getty picture library.)

The author of the Times article, L.M. Bates, seems to have been a bit obsessed with Jenny the monkey, and she later cropped up in a 1980 book he wrote about the Thames, though, this time, he mentioned that she ‘rattled her chain along the rail’ — a grim detail, which reminds us that the idea of keeping exotic animals in pubs might not be quite as much fun as it sounds.

See also: donkeys in pubs.

Book Review: For the Love of Hops

Malt and hops only advertisement.

It would be a shame if any beer lovers were to miss out on Stan Hieronymus’s latest book, For the Love of Hops, because it resembles a technical manual for brewers.

We have another book in the series, on the subject of yeast, which we’ve found a little heavy going. FORTLOH (yes, that’s what we’re going to call it), though it certainly has all the details on, say, 4-mercapto-4-methylpentan-2-one you might expect, is quite the opposite. In fact, it’s almost a page turner, as the hard facts are woven into vivid reportage from hop fields around the world, laced with Van Klompesque profundities from brewers, and peppered with revelatory statements that bring the pint in your hand into sharper focus.

And ‘the love hops’, in this case, doesn’t necessarily mean that Randallizing, chest-bumping, BRING ON THE BURN!!! fanboy tendency: there is plenty of talk of balance and much insight into ‘classical’ European brewing techniques. The much-maligned ‘boring old’ Fuggle — too English for its own good — is given plenty of attention, and put into context as a kind of ‘stud’ from which many hipper hop varieties are descended.

For the Love of Hops front cover.

If you do brew, however, you will no doubt finish the book resolved to make changes in your technique. Where other brewing guides make assertions based on ‘thirty years’ experience’ or ‘common sense’, Hieronymus has dug out the results of industry experiments, so that he can suggest, with some confidence, that a mixture of post-boil hopping and dry-hopping will give the most bang for your buck in terms of aroma. Some mind-bending conclusions about how we perceive bitterness and ‘hoppiness’ are reached.

Throughout, there are reassuring references to trusted names (Martyn Cornell, Evan Rail), and a care with words which means, as far as we can see, that nothing is stated with more certainty than it deserves.

We like to include a balancing ‘on the downside’ paragraph but it’s an effort in this case. Perhaps the process of growing hops is a touch mysticised — the rustic Hop People with their queer ways, oneness with the plant, green-fingers and folk wisdom, and so on — but that’s arguably balanced by the demystification of other parts of the process.

So, in conclusion… how do those ratings systems work? ‘Five thumbs up’, or whatever. Buy it.