News, Nuggets & Longreads 18/10/2014

Pint of beer illustration.

“Ha ha, bacon, ha ha, all the bacon, ha ha, it’s funny how people keep mentioning bacon! Bacon o’clock! Hahahahahahahaha! BACON! Hrr, hrr. Bacon. Yeah. Bacon.” Yeah, hilarious. Here are some links.

→ A potentially interesting development: Justin Mason and Ed Razzall have been working together on a beer guide for East Anglia.

→ Ten Inch Wheeler, who is handy with words as he is with a camera, recounts a pub crawl from East London to Marylebone:

Telegraph Man wants to know if Yorkshire will go for devolution if Scotland separates. A pure Bradford boom-voice declares that they should have marched on Downing Street after the end of the Tour De France. Big laughs.

Continue reading “News, Nuggets & Longreads 18/10/2014”

News, Nuggets & Longreads, 11/10/2014

Bloke drinking beer.

Links! Get your beer-related links! Paaaahnd a bowl! Lovely fresh links, perfect in a stew!

→ The Port 66 home-brewing site continues to impress with this very practical advice on achieving clarity by James ‘Kempicus’ Kemp, late of Fuller’s, Thornbridge and Buxton breweries.

→ Lars Marius Garshol argues that judging beer can lead to bad habits when tasting it: “There are foods that smell so intensely they make people vomit. Yet other people love those same foods with a passion. And now you want to tell me the taste of green apples is always bad? Come on.”

→ We always rather enjoy detailed accounts of group beer tasting sessions and this blow-by-blow account is particularly interesting because of the inversion of the usual state of play: it has Belgian drinkers tasting Irish beers.

→ The big debate in the American blogoshire this week (flagged by Stan Hieronymus) has been about ‘local’. If you want to catch-up, you need:

→ In his contribution to that conversation, Craig at Drink Drank does not mince words: ‘big craft’ (e.g. Sierra Nevada) is, he argues, just as ruthless as big beer when it comes to squishing the little feller, but they’ve learned how to do it with more subtlety and guile.

→ Ron Pattinson’s posts this week on lambic beer in the 1930s have given us ideas: why shouldn’t we just cut beer with vinegar and syrup to get the lambic effect..?

→ This Tweet combines two of our favourite subjects: 20th century pub architecture and the spread of ‘craft beer culture’ in the UK.

→ We asked people to nominate pubs or bars that need a copy of Brew Britannia on their bookshelf, and now we’re going to send copies to The Flying Pig, East Dulwich; The Head of Steam, Durham; The Hanging Bat, Edinburgh; Buxton Tap House, Buxton; and the Craft Beer Co., Clapham. If you’re too stingy to buy a copy, pop along to one of those boozers in the next couple of weeks and read their copy over a pint or two.

News, Nuggets & Longreads 06/10/2014

Pub window, night.

Better late than never, here’s the round-up of links we would have posted on Saturday last if we had been able to summon any enthusiasm for using the WordPress app on an iPad over holiday apartment Wi-Fi.

→ Jeff ‘Beervana’ Alworth is now a regular guest blogger at All About Beer and his most recent piece gets to the bottom of how Pabst went about recreating Ballantine IPA without original recipes or spec to work from.

→ When we Tweeted innocently that we didn’t know actually really understand what Zwanze Day is (there’s too much going on in beer to keep on top of, frankly) we were a little surprised to discover how much the event irritated some people. In this post, Chris Hall addresses that tension, and also sets out a case for limited edition beer releases being (a) fun and (b) good value. Interesting comments, too.

→ We were involved in judging the blog category for the North American Guild of Beer Writers awards. The winners were Oliver J. Gray for Literature and Libation, Bryan D. Roth for This Is Why I’m Drunk and Jessica Miller for Hey Brewtiful, all of whom have back catalogues worth exploring.

→ This will be a semi-familiar view to anyone who has ever visited the William IV in Leyton to drink Brodie’s beer: the Baker’s Arms pub (DOUBLE DIAMOND) in this shot is now a branch of the bookmaker Paddy Power. (Via @teninchwheels.)

→ There have apparently been several attempts to produce a Great British Brew Off TV show but, so far, none has made it to air. In the Netherlands, however, competitive celebrity brewing show (and Grolsch advertorial) Brouwersch has just hit the air. Here’s a trailer. (Via @andrewdrinks.)

→ It’s not beer-related but there’s plenty of food for thought for bloggers in this piece reflecting on lessons learned from fifteen years of blogging by veteran Anil Dash:

The most meaningful feedback happens on a very slow timeframe. It’s easy to get distracted in the immediacy of people tweeting replies in realtime, but the reason I write is for those rare times, years later, when I get an email from someone I might only barely know, saying that something I wrote meant something to them.

→ And that’s it for this week. If your insatiable appetite for beer-related reading hasn’t been sated, Stan Hieronymus posts his selections every Monday.

News, Nuggets & Longreads 27/09/2014

Adapted from Adnams, Southwold, by Martin Pettitt, via Flickr, under a Creative Commons licence.
Adapted from Adnams, Southwold, by Martin Pettitt, via Flickr, under a Creative Commons licence.

We’re off on our holidays this afternoon but have a few posts scheduled to pop up during next week. Though we’re determined not to do any work, we’ll probably have a beer or two and visit the odd pub, so expect Tweets and Facebook updates.

In the meantime, here’s our usual round-up of interesting things to read around the beerier corners of the the internet.

→ Saved to Pocket this week: recollections of the 1940s from a former employee of Adnams, on their rather superior corporate blog.

→ Also saved to read later, an account of a visit to the Baird’s Malt plant in Witham Essex from It Comes in Pints.

→ The Cask Report 2014 has landed and here’s the author’s handy digest.  Pete Brown’s findings echoes one of the underlying arguments of Brew Britannia: ‘Cask ale and craft beer are not the same thing, but neither are they entirely separate — there is a pretty big overlap.’

Richard Taylor at the Beercast continues to prod at Brewmeister as the Advertising Standards Agency censures the Scottish brewer over marketing for Snake Venom. There’s good stuff in comments, too, including more measured responses than we’ve previously seen from Brewmeister’s Lewis Shand.

→ Sabina Llewellyn-Davies’s article on Lebanese craft beer for All About Beer is worth a read: ‘Lebanon does not boast a huge beer drinking community; the total yearly consumption of beer is about equal to the amount of beer consumed during the month long Oktoberfest in Munich.’

→ The Gentle Author at Spitalfields Life has put together a list of the language of beer, including some phrases new to us — a noggin of Merry-Goe-Down, anyone?

→ We shared this on Twitter but it’s too good not to flag here as well: ‘Rick Wakeman Consumer Guide to the Beers of the World, by Chris Salewicz, from 1974 (enlargeable scan of a page from the NME about halfway down).

→ There’s a lot of information about beer and British culture packed into this one family photo.

→ And this is nice, isn’t it?

News, Nuggets & Longreads 20/09/2014

West Germany, München, Oktoberfest, Bier Tent, September 1978, by Barbara Ann Spengler, from Flickr under Creative Commons.
West Germany, München, Oktoberfest, Bier Tent, September 1978, by Barbara Ann Spengler, from Flickr under Creative Commons.

Here’s our usual Saturday morning round-up of links to accompany your steaming Weiβwurst and refreshing urn of breakfast wheat beer.

→ For All About Beer, Patrick Dawson exposes the strange world of enthusiasts willing and able to pay ‘soul crushing’ prices to drink super-rare vintage beers, and how they go about sharing these ‘ghost whales’ with each other:

For a beer to be deemed a ghost whale, it must not only come from a deeply respected producer, but also have a scarcity that limits remaining bottles to numbers you learned to count to in kindergarten. These extraordinary near-extinct beers, such as the original ’03 batch of Cantillon’s cloudberry masterpiece, Soleil de Minuit, or Lost Abbey’s for-friends-only Veritas 005, can fetch over $4,000 apiece among private collectors.

→ Rob Lovatt, head brewer at Thornbridge, explains why the Derbyshire brewers aren’t rushing to put their beer in cans.

→ Pete Brissenden has continued his blogging frenzy in the last week. Read the whole lot, but especially this post on ‘intrinsics and extrinsics’. (Pete works at Meantime Brewing and this post, we think, reflects the personal philosophy of its founder, British craft beer pioneer Alastair Hook.)

Alan ‘A Good Beer Blog’ McLeod opines on consistency as sameness — a new kind of blandness. Much as we like our beer clean-tasting and relatively reliable, we think he makes a good point about where ‘big craft’ is at.

→ Paul Bailey (no relation) has been writing a series of long blog posts about British family breweries and, more specifically, his personal relationship with them over the course of the last 40-odd years. This piece on recent Champion Beer of Britain winners Timothy Taylor is especially good.

→ A slight piece, but interesting because it exists: wine writer Will Lyons praises real ale and recommends three bottled bitters in The Wall Street Journal. (His choices are odd.)

→ We were strangely captivated by this series of articles by Janis Blower for the Shields Gazette recalling ‘the beer boats’ which transported beer by sea from Scotland to Tyneside between the 1920s and 1950s. ( 1 | 2 | 3 )

→ The Beer Nut has been in Bamberg where he captured this ironic image:

J. Wilson at Brewvana liked Brew Britannia:

This book really delivered. I saw familiar threads of information, but Boak and Bailey really fleshed out the details for someone like me, who possesses only an American’s cursory knowledge (despite paying attention like a fairly high-functioning beer nerd) of what was really happening on the ground in England all these years.

And we think Phil did too. He’s certainly urging people to buy it.