News, Nuggets and Longreads 18/01/2014

Bloke drinking beer.

Before we sit down to watch Going Live! it’s time to round-up links to beer-related writings that have caught our interest this week.

→ Continuing the discussion on sexism in the world of beer, Yvan Seth (a ‘progressive’ active CAMRA member) suggested some ways in which the Campaign might be more active in making women feel welcome. As always, there’s a risk of imposing too many rules, but his ideas seem very practical to us. Are there really any blokes who would come away from a beer festival saying, ‘Well, it was OK, but I’d have enjoyed it more if there’d been a few more pump-clips with tits on’?

→ This week’s inspiring home brew recipe is from Ron Pattinson and Kristen England’s series of ‘Let’s Brew Wednesday’ posts: Tetley’s Mild, 1945. It’s interesting to see flaked barley among the ingredients — a hangover from wartime restrictions, Ron reckons. We’re definitely going to make this at some point.

Saved to Pocket this week: Rebecca Lemon’s lengthy essay on drunkenness in Shakespeare, and boozing in Elizabethan theatres, from the Lapham Quarterly:

But more than snacking, this audience joins Falstaff in drinking heavily, ordering up their ale and wine straight through the performance and the intermission… As Thomas Platter, a Swiss visitor to London, noted in his diary in 1599, “During the performance food and drink are carried round the audience, so that for what one cares to pay one may also have refreshment.” The distractions were many, not only from drunk patrons themselves: ale produced a hissing noise when tapped, and those opening it were shouted down by audience members annoyed by the sound.

For the second time in a year, Hollywood actor Shia LaBoeouf has been involved in a fracas at the Hobgoblin pub in New Cross, South London. What next — Channing Tatum in a dust-up at a former Firkin in Lewisham? (This story brought to our attention by Bailey’s former flatmate, with whom he used to drink at the Hobgoblin c.2001, while living nearby.)

→ Nick Wheat of Dronfield CAMRA kindly emailed to tip us off to the imminent release on DVD of an obscure proto-Ealing Comedy, Cheer Boys Cheer:

Two young lovers are caught on either side of a dispute over the territorial ambitions of the monolithic Ironside brewery against an ‘olde-worlde’, traditional family-run concern, Greenleaf.

News, Nuggets and Longreads 11/01/2014

Bloke drinking beer.

It’s Saturday morning and time to highlight a few interesting items we’ve spotted around the Blogoshire, and beyond.

→ Emma at Crema’s Beer Odyssey took a deep breath and explained why it is a bad idea for bloggers (and especially brewers who blog) to glibly wade into the issue of gender. The now-deleted posts by Dave Bailey which triggered this brouhaha were more David Brent-style clumsiness than mean-spirited, but they did leave us banging our heads on the table.

→ Alan at a Good Beer Blog has posted some ‘new beer resolutions’, including ‘explore crafty’ — that is, self-consciously ‘craft’ beer made by big brewers. That, in turn, elicited some interesting statements of intent from readers: drink more lager, more Belgian beer, more session bitters. Is it John Wesley Harding, White Album, Beggars Banquet back-to-acoustic-basics time?

Jeff Alworth at Beervana attempted to ask two distinct questions about Goose Island: (a) are their beers any good; and (b) have they ‘dumbed down’ since the takeover by AB InBev in 2011? His conclusion seems to be that, for his part, he’d like them a little more if they were ‘dumber’, but that beer geeks are letting prejudice interfere with the facts if they think GI has been neutered.


→ Last Saturday, we Tweeted a link to Fiz, a new game for iOS and Android tablets and phones which challenges you to manage a brewery. Some people, it turned out, were already addicted. Others have spent the last week, with us, boring everyone else sick by cursing the name of evil nemesis Gary Blau. We wrote a review but decided against posting it (we’re not games writers, it turns out), but you can read what Steve at Beers I’ve Known thought.

→ Inspiring home brew recipe of the week: Andy Parker’s Beetroot Sorachi Ace Saison, which sounds like more of a Satanic Majesty’s Request of a beer than a Beggar’s Banquet. If you’re going to brew crazy beer, make it really crazy, right?

→ We learned from Tasting Nitch that Science-fiction writer Neal Stephenson likes ‘craft beer’ but is angry that a lot of it is ‘over-hopped’.

→ A ‘long read’: Hot Rum Cow have a piece on Belgian Lambic beer, and Frank Boon in particular, by Liz Longden. We’ve only skimmed it, but it’s this week’s pick for saving to Pocket.

→ And on the subject of ‘long reads’, we’re writing one for 1 March. JOIN US!

News, Nuggets and Longreads 04/01/2014

Bloke drinking beer.

This is what we’re using Saturday mornings for now: round-ups, snippets, and things that don’t warrant full blog posts of their own. First, some news.

Weird Beard Brewing revealed that another London brewery, Camden Town, had threatened legal action over a perceived trademark infringement. We’re not trademark lawyers and don’t know the full story, so we keep our nose out of these things, but we can see Camden’s point — what if a small Cornish brewery launched a beer called St Austell? Camden’s heavy-handed approach, however, is undoubtedly very bad for their image.

A long read

The Voice of America website has a long article on craft brewing in South Africa (via @beerhasahistory on Twitter). If you can ignore its offhand attempts to define craft beer, and the assumption that ‘craft beer’ is necessarily ‘good’, it’s an interesting glimpse into yet another burgeoning brewing scene. Highlight? This Afrikaans idiom:

“I think people think I’m a spoilt brat. I think that’s what a big part of it comes down to. You know: ‘Daddy gave her a brewery; sy’t met haar gat in die botter geval…’” [She fell with her bottom in the butter]

Around the Blogoshire

If you’ve spotted any other interesting blog posts (other than those you’ve written yourself…) let us know in the comments below.