Going Long in August 2014

Reading in the pub (illustration)

We’re writing something longer than usual (1500+ words) for Saturday 30 August 2014. Join us!

Our last attempt to nudge the Blo­goshire into pro­vid­ing us with meati­er read­ing mate­r­i­al was on 1 March, fol­low­ing on from sim­i­lar exer­cis­es in Novem­ber and Sep­tem­ber last year.

This time, to give peo­ple time to recu­per­ate and work on their mas­ter­pieces, we thought we’d set a longer dead­line, hence 30 August.

Here’s the deal if you want to join in:

  • Write some­thing longer than usu­al. (Our stan­dard posts are 300–700 words long, so we aim for at least 1500 before we con­sid­er it a ‘long read’.)
  • You could just stretch a nor­mal post out by adding lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of unnec­es­sary words, phras­es, sen­tences, and indeed para­graphs. But that’s quite the point. Instead, choose a sub­ject which requires more words.
  • We’re not in charge and there are no ‘rules’; you can write what you like, post when you like; and you don’t have to men­tion us or link to this blog in your post. (Though of course it would be nice.)
  • If you want us to include your con­tri­bu­tion in our round-up, let us know. The sim­plest way is by Tweet­ing a link with the hash­tag #beery­lon­greads.
  • TIPthink of some­thing you want to read but that does­n’t seem to exist – an inter­view with a par­tic­u­lar brew­er, the his­to­ry of beer in a spe­cif­ic town, the sto­ry of a famous pub – and then write it.
  • Drop us a line if you want advice or just to run your idea past some­one.

Last time we did this, we had a flur­ry of mes­sages from peo­ple say­ing: ‘I did­n’t know this was hap­pen­ing!’ We’ll issue a few reminders at tac­ti­cal inter­vals but, in the mean­time, put it in your diaries!

We haven’t decid­ed what we’re going to write about yet. If you have any sug­ges­tions (our Newquay Steam Beer post was prompt­ed by an email from a read­er) let us know in the com­ments below.

The Snug Bar Preservation Society

With photographs by Teninchwheels.

For those of us who feel sad when­ev­er a pub van­ish­es, this is a sad life. Progress, recon­struc­tion, town-plan­ning, war, all have one thing in com­mon: the pubs go down before them like pop­pies under the scythe.

Mau­rice Gorham, The Local, 1939

Early in 2012, regulars at the Ivy House, a 1930s pub in Nunhead, South London, were stunned when its owners, Enterprise Inns, gave the manager a week’s notice and boarded the building up.

Howard Pea­cock, a sec­ondary school teacher in his 30s who regard­ed the Ivy House as his ‘local’, felt what he calls a ‘sense of mas­sive injus­tice’:

[The] pub was one that should have been able to stay open in any fair trad­ing envi­ron­ment. The small local pub­co that was run­ning it… had been mak­ing a go of it even with restrict­ed stock­ing options and lim­it­ed prof­it mar­gins thanks to the beer tie…

But he and his fel­low drinkers (Tes­sa Blun­den, Emi­ly Dres­ner, Stu­art Tay­lor and Hugo Simms) did some­thing more than mere­ly grum­ble and begin the hunt for a new haunt: instead, they launched a cam­paign to SAVE THE IVY HOUSE!

Nowa­days, the idea of a com­mu­ni­ty cam­paign to save a pub hard­ly seems remark­able – they are seen as an endan­gered species, the cru­el prop­er­ty devel­op­ers’ har­poons glanc­ing off their leath­ery old skin – but a hun­dred years ago, thing were very dif­fer­ent. Then, a cull was under­way.

Read the rest of this ‘go long’ post after the jump →

Let’s Go Long on 1 March 2014

Once again, we’re planning to post a ‘long read’ about beer, and would love it if other writers and bloggers joined us.

Our post will be going live on Sat­ur­day 1 March 2014.

We’ll post as many reminders as we can get away with with­out annoy­ing peo­ple here, on Face­book and on Twit­ter.

There will be a round-up of every­one else’s posts (like this and this) on Sun­day 2 March.

If you decid­ed to give it a go, as before, there are no rules, but…

  • Do write some­thing longer than your usu­al posts. We aim for 1500 words min­i­mum – about three times as long as usu­al. If you usu­al­ly write 1500 word posts, then shoot for 3000.
  • Try to make it some­thing peo­ple will find it worth­while down­load­ing to read lat­er using Pock­et/Instapa­per or oth­er sim­i­lar apps.
  • Use this as an oppor­tu­ni­ty to chal­lenge your­self: do some­thing dif­fer­ent; do some research; step out of your usu­al rou­tine.
  • Pro beer-writ­ers: this is a good chance to revis­it old mate­r­i­al or final­ly air an unpub­lished gem.
  • Will Hawkes is a beer writer and jour­nal­ist who knows what’s what – try not to bore him:

You don’t have to link to us or men­tion us (though of course we appre­ci­ate it when peo­ple do), but you will want to use the Twit­ter hash­tag #beery­lon­greads and/or email us a link if you want to be includ­ed in the round-up.


We have already agreed to review and edit anoth­er cou­ple of writ­ers’ posts, and have some­one lined up to edit ours. If you’d like us to look at your post, give some advice on struc­ture and gen­er­al­ly help you pol­ish it up, we can prob­a­bly han­dle a few more if you can email your draft to us by Fri­day 28 Feb­ru­ary.

What we’re writing about

We’re going to attempt to write a cap­sule his­to­ry of the pub preser­va­tion move­ment. If you’ve had a his­toric involve­ment in pub preser­va­tion, or think there are books and arti­cles we ought to read, drop us a line at boakandbailey@gmail.com, or com­ment below.

Beery Long Reads, November 2013

Alaskan Brewing
Source: Thomas Hawk, from Flickr Cre­ative Com­mons.

Getting it Right Takes Time

by Stan Hierony­mus

Not long after Geoff Lar­son dumped the thir­teenth batch of what would even­tu­al­ly be the first brand Alaskan Brew­ing sold he poured out the four­teenth. Then the fif­teenth, and the six­teenth… [read more at Appel­la­tion  Beer]


[/ezcol_1third]fad[ezcol_2third_end]Are fads the kiss of death for ‘craft’ beer?

by Con­nor Mur­phy (@likethemurphys)

As a beer geek it’s not uncom­mon to feel like the intrud­er at the par­ty… My inten­tion is not to mock but instead to point out that the ways of the devot­ed beer hunter can often seem quite for­eign to vir­tu­al­ly every­one else on the plan­et. [Read more at Beer Bat­tered…][/ezcol_2third_end]


[/ezcol_1third]kirkstall_bitter[ezcol_2third_end]Here’s to York­shire Bit­ter 

by Leigh Lin­ley (@leighgoodstuff)

Along­side Mild, Bit­ter is the beer style that prob­a­bly trou­bles peo­ple the most; the def­i­n­i­tion is broad, some­what cum­ber­some and with no ‘sexy’ aspects to it. Yet Bit­ter defines a UK region like no oth­er.… [Read more at The Good Stuff][/ezcol_2third_end]

More long reads after the jump…

Newquay Steam: Cornwall’s Own Beer

In 1987, a pub-owning entrepreneur looked at British brewing and decided it wasn’t working.

Styl­ish­ly pack­aged ranges of bot­tled beers trum­pet­ing their puri­ty and qual­i­ty are easy to find these days. Back in 1987, though, bot­tled beer meant, in most cas­es, brown or light ale gath­er­ing dust on shelves behind the bar in pubs, with labels that appeared to have been designed before World War II. If you want­ed to know their ingre­di­ents, or their alco­holic strength, tough luck, because the brew­eries didn’t want to tell you.

A cult beer from Corn­wall would play a major role in chang­ing that scene.

Read the rest of the sto­ry →