News, Nuggets & Longreads 30 December 2017: Helensburgh, Hammers, Home-brewing

Here’s everything that grabbed our attention in the world of beer and pubs in this final week of 2017.

It’s been slim pick­ings with the Christ­mas break and the ubiq­ui­ty of Gold­en Pints (check out the hash­tag on Twit­ter) but we found a few things to chew on. First, there’s this stream of rec­ol­lec­tion by Peter McK­er­ry at Brew Geek­ery which amounts to a tour of pubs that have meant the most to him over the years:

Then it was the Clyde Bar in Helens­burgh, a well-healed town on the Clyde coast, dur­ing a pro­longed peri­od of unem­ploy­ment in my ear­ly 20s. I’d drop in for a few Tennent’s on ‘Giro Day’, and it was here that I wit­nessed taxi dri­ver and reg­u­lar, Der­mot, res­cue eight pence from the trough WHILE I WAS URINATING IN IT. While that event is imprint­ed onto my mind (it was a 5p, 2p and a 1p), it gives a false impres­sion of the pub. It was a great live music venue, and fea­tured in a video from pur­vey­ors of beige jock rock, Travis, if such triv­ia inter­ests you.

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News, Nuggets & Longreads 23 December 2017: Thornbridge, Theatre, Tinsel

This is, obviously, the last Saturday news and links round-up before Christmas, featuring theatres, hot beer and juicy IPAs.

First, a bit of news: in part­ner­ship with Pivo­var (Sheffield Tap, Pivni, &c.) Der­byshire brew­ery Thorn­bridge is to open ten bars across the UK. They’re a sen­si­ble, fair­ly cau­tious bunch and this reads to us as a vote of con­fi­dence in the health of the UK craft beer scene.


The George Inn, Southwark.
Illus­tra­tion from Walks In Lon­don Vol. 1, c.1896.

As part of a project on the his­to­ry of British the­atre Andy Kesson gives us notes on the role of inns in the days before Shake­speare:

When we think of Eliz­a­bethan Lon­don play­hous­es, most of us think of an amphithe­atre: big, round and out­doors. Some­times we might also think of indoor play­ing spaces, par­tic­u­lar­ly at the Black­fri­ars: small, rec­tan­gu­lar and indoors… [But inns] are rarely includ­ed in accounts of the play­hous­es at all. This, I’m going to sug­gest, would have sur­prised Eliz­a­bethans, who may well have con­sid­ered the inns as the pri­ma­ry, most pres­ti­gious play­ing hous­es in town. As we shall see, fig­ures as diverse as the Queen’s Men, Richard Tarlton’s horse and Satan him­self all sought access to per­for­mance at the inns.

(Via @intoxproject/@andykesson)

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