Blogging and writing

Beery Long Reads, March 2014

'I Deny Being A Hipster Who Denies Being A Hipster' by Lorena Cupcake, from Flickr Creative Commons.
SOURCE: Lorena Cupcake, Flickr Creative Commons.


by Chris Hall (@cshallwriter)

For a long time, I’ve used the word affectionately, referring to hipsters in the same way I might say ‘Oh Morrissey, you silly Quorn sausage.’ I see people doing things that seem naive or gullible, fashion-following or amusingly trendy, and I think, somewhat patronisingly, oh, hipsters, shaking my head in fatherly amusement/disapproval. In the past year or so though, I have become increasingly aware and sensitive to the use of the word hipster in a decidedly non-affectionate way.

[Read more at the Beer Diary…]


[/ezcol_1third]Birmingham Beer Bash logo.[ezcol_2third_end]My, How We’ve Changed

by David Shipman (@othertonaleman)

I don’t know any more where (or who) it came from, or how it got shared, but initially sensible discussions fuelled by beer became bolder. A vision was born. Only an outline at first, blurred but recognisable. We created the Birmingham Beer Bash.

[Read more at Othertonales…][/ezcol_2third_end]


[/ezcol_1third]Kona Brewing logo.[ezcol_2third_end]Nineteen ninety-five: beer change afoot

by Stan Hieronymus (@stanhieronymus)

Fifteen years after Ken Grossman and Paul Camusi began selling their Sierra Nevada beers in 1980 America’s beer renaissance demanded attention.

[Read more at Appellation Beer..][/ezcol_2third_end]


[/ezcol_1third]Banana Bread Beer bottle.[ezcol_2third_end]Banana Bread Beer: an enduring oddity

by Leigh Linley (@LeighGoodStuff)

The aroma is the first thing you notice. You try to stop yourself thinking ‘Well it does smell like Banana’, but you can’t. It’s there all right; sweet and almost cloying, recalling those foam banana sweets.

[Read more at The Good Stuff…][/ezcol_2third_end]


[/ezcol_1third]Cardboard beer mats.[ezcol_2third_end]Cardboard Stupid — more box than beer

by Justin Mason (@1970sboy)

Cardboard, a heavy duty paper in all its forms, from the box your latest online order came in to the handy beer mat you scribbled that telephone number on in a hurry has had a long association with beer and our drinking habits…

[Read more at Get Beer. Drink Beer.][/ezcol_2third_end]


[/ezcol_1third]Detail from a photo by Dianne Tanner: bottled beer.[ezcol_2third_end]The Price of Craft Beer

by Matt Curtis (@totalcurtis)

My more avid Twitter followers will have recently witnessed a brief tirade against what I felt was an excessively high price for imported cans of Oskar Blues Deviant Dale’s IPA, one of my very favourite double IPA’s. The cheapest price I could find was £6.49 for a single 455ml/16oz can…

[Read more at Total Ales…][/ezcol_2third_end]


[/ezcol_1third]Ontario Beer Label.[ezcol_2third_end]Your Sunday Morning 1940s Ontario Beer Update

by Alan McLeod (@agoodbeerblog)

I give you excerpts from a late draft of Ontario Beer: A Heady History of Brewing from the Great Lakes to the Hudson Bay. Final tweaks continue…

[Read more at A Good Beer Blog…][/ezcol_2third_end]


[/ezcol_1third]Small Beer Illustration.[ezcol_2third_end]Has The Brewery Boom Made Beer Worse?

by Connor Murphy (@likethemurphys)

With so many nascent breweries now in operation, it’s fair to say there’s been a net decrease in experience throughout the brewing trade and, given the appeal of craft, there has been an increase in those keen to cash in on demand… That’s not to say the boom has been bad for beer but the current state of flux has caused quality to waver over the last couple of years.

[Read more at Beer Battered…][/ezcol_2third_end]


[/ezcol_1third]Detail from the cover of Home Brewing Without Failures by H.E. Bravery.[ezcol_2third_end]Homebrewing in the UK

by David Bishop (@broadfordbrewer)

It’s my opinion that the boom-and-boom of homebrewing is symbiotic with the general surge of interest in beer… 2013 was another good year for homebrewing, and 2014 is already full of promise.

[Read more at Broadfordbrewer…][/ezcol_2third_end]


[/ezcol_1third]The Golden Heart, Spitalfields.[ezcol_2third_end]The Snug Bar Preservation Society

by Boak & Bailey (@boakandbailey) with pictures by Ten Inch Wheels (@teninchwheels)

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 more…][/ezcol_2third_end]

We’ll add any stragglers to this list and when we find out about them either in the comments below or through Twitter.

Beer history london pubs

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.

Blogging and writing

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, or comment below.

Blogging and writing

Long Articles About Beer for May 2013

Cain's brewery logo

1. ‘Cain’s: the final chapter?’  and ‘Chapter 9: Full Circle’ by Chris Routledge

Routledge wrote Cain’s: the Story of Liverpool in a Pint and has followed the ups and downs of the brewery under the Dusanj brothers throughout the last decade. Now, as it looks as if it might finally be on its last legs, he offers a sort-of-insider’s view of the current crisis (actually not that long…) which is best read alongside the chapter from his 2008 book to which it refers.

Richard Marx

2. ‘Right Here Waiting’ by Edward McLelland

We found this through either Longreads or Longform — we can’t remember which — and enjoyed it for two reasons: first, because it’s a funny story about a journalist winding up a touchy local celebrity but, secondly, and more importantly, because of the lovely pen portrait of a Chicago bar and the universal struggle to become ‘a regular’.

Truman's ales sign, East London.

3. ‘When Brick Lane was Home to the Biggest Brewery in the World’ by Martyn Cornell

The king of the longform beer article doesn’t really do short. This piece tells the story of Truman, Hanbury & Buxton and its colossal ‘Black Eagle’ brewery in the East End of London from beginning (1683?) to today.

Brewdog bottle label.

4. ‘Byron, Brewdog, and the recuperation of radical aesthetics’ by Jonathan Moses

Moses is a left-wing political activist and teacher and so has an interesting perspective on Brewdog and what he calls their ‘aversion to association with the corporate market’.

Pub saved by irony

5. ‘The Pub That Was Saved by Irony’ by The Gentle Author (Spitalfields Life)

How an architectural heritage museum wanted to demolish a Victorian pub, and the campaign to save it, juxtaposed with the memories of George Barker who grew up in the Marquis of Lansdowne before World War II.

We read articles like this using Pocket. Beer writers and bloggers: why not stretch out and write something loooooooong?