It’s not all that much by our standards, is it? The thing is, it was August, then suddenly it was October.
We started out with a bit of cautious optimism: if we’ve got to go through all this, wouldn’t it be nice if neighbourhood pubs at least managed to claw some custom back from city centres?
The Champion is a famous London pub with a deep Victorian look but, in fact, it was basically invented in its current form in the 1950s:
In 1954, Barclay Perkins commissioned architects and designers Sylvia and John Reid to bring it up to date by taking it back to the newly fashionable 19th century… Accordingly, they told the brewery that they didn’t intend to create a straightforward pastiche or reconstruction of a Victorian pub. Instead, their plan was to identify what made pubs feel pubby and then achieve the same atmosphere with modern materials and craft.
Summer Lightning was the first golden ale, right? Or maybe not. We’ve finally been convinced by the claims of one of the earlier examples of the style, from c.1887.
We spent a few days in Broadstairs in Kent and took the opportunity to visit a few micropubs in their natural environment:
The game in 2020 is all about confidence and reassurance and there was plenty of that at The Magnet. There were enough staff on to intercept every guest and cheerfully direct them to the sanitiser and guestbook, along with table service that felt as if they were doing you a favour rather subjecting you to a restrictive regime. Personality goes a long way, doesn’t it?
Comus Elliott was, or maybe is, Britain’s most famous pub crawler. He started ticking pubs in 1957 and visited his 10,000th in 1983.
We finished the month with a piece by Ray about Samuel Taylor Coleridge, his pub crawling adventures and the laxative properties of Gose.
We also put together our regular weekly round-ups of news and links:
- 5 September 2020: colonialism, Steinbier, cycling
- 12 September 2020: cats, culture wars, craft beer wankers
- 19 September 2020: aerosols, Anspach & Hobday, Out and About
- 26 September 2020: curfews, critical theory, conservatism
We posted a few bits and pieces on Patreon including notes on brewers playing cricket, Watney’s in New York and struggling pubs.
There were quite a few Tweets, like this:
“On the corner of East India Dock Road and Stainsby Road stands the Stainsby Tavern, Watney house, and one of the few buildings in the area which survived the blitz… it's tenant, Miss Winifred Wilson, has held her licence for 30 years… pic.twitter.com/0dUNQ5Bja0
— Boak and Bailey (@BoakandBailey) September 24, 2020
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