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:
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.