This week, we have spied with our little eyes…
→ It’s been one of those weeks when everyone seemed to be writing about writing. First, Beergraphs drew together some of the lessons from a recent symposium, including this exhortation from Stan Hieronymus to look beyond the frankly immature world of beer writing for inspiration: “Read last year’s best science writing. Then read last year’s best food writing.”
→ Then Jacob McKean of Modern Times Beer put the boot in:
[Accessibility] and [a] casual vibe leads countless uninformed observers to believe that they can authoritatively comment on craft beer.… In an industry with an almost total absence of real journalism, the cheerleading is virtually indistinguishable from the “reporting.”
→ In the UK, food bloggers and writers have been having a row over ethics prompted by the leaking by a chef of an email from one blogger who seemed to be suggesting that he would write a positive blog post in exchange for a free meal. Food/wine/beer writer Fiona Beckett defends ‘freebies’ here, arguing that it is perfectly possible to write an honest review of a free meal. (As long as you don’t mind the supply of free meals drying up, that is.)
→ Finally, a bit of bad news for those of you who find this kind of writing about blogging about writing tedious and navel-gazing: the topic for the next beer blogging session (Friday 4 April) is ‘Beer Journalism’.
→ On more wholesome topics, David ‘Broadford Brewer’ Bishop turned in a late #beerylongreads entry about the state of UK home brewing based on correspondence with some key figures on ‘the scene’. The bit that leapt out to us was this provocative statement from James ‘Kempicus’ Kemp, late of Fuller’s, Thornbridge and Buxton breweries:
Already I see a short supply of quality commercial brewers in the UK, who’s going to fill that need? I think it’s time for the homebrewer to step up, the same way that the homebrewer in the US stepped up… I recently had a conversation with a beer retailer who said “you’ll get better brewed and packaged beers at the national homebrew comp than you will from the majority of commercial UK breweries”.
→ Outside the beer bubble, there was a piece in the Guardian on the rise in popularity of ‘craft beer’, while the Londonist attempted a history lesson through the medium of beer.
Here’s a London Keeper gyle from 1911 – 31 years after the recipe we used for our special bottling. pic.twitter.com/WI5GUpLETw
— TRUMAN’S BEER (@TRUMANSBEER) March 11, 2014
→ We weren’t exactly blown away by Fuller’s Imperial Stout, but Martyn Cornell has urged everyone to give it another go now it’s had chance to age a little. So, last night, we did, and found it much improved, but still, for some reason, lacking whatever it is that makes us say WOO-WAH-WOW-WEE!
→ On Facebook, we asked: ‘What are the essential beer experiences?’ Why no have a look at what the hive mind thought, and add your own suggestions?
→ Brew Britannia book news: we’ve added some dates for public appearances we’ll be making in Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham, with a few to be added as details are confirmed, but do get in touch if you’d like us to speak/read/loiter about your event or venue. We also now have a proper, definitely finished, final cover design and blurb.