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.
TIP: think 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.
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 SAVETHEIVYHOUSE!
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment below.
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]
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]
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]
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.