Around the Beerblogosphere #2


I’ve been rather lazy on the beer blogging front since getting back from Tenerife at the end of October, I know. That goes double for beerblogosphere link-harvesting, but I’ve finally pulled my finger out and pulled the latest batch of links-of-interest together. But this first post-holiday round-up of beer-related blog-posts is going to be a bit of a monster so why not crack open a bottle of your favourite ale while you settle in for a skim-read?

Oh, incidentally, the big buzz while I was away was obviously all around the launch of Brewdog’s Equity For Punks share scheme, but I’m hoping to round that one up in a separate post as there’s a tonne of material to digest and I think it rather deserves a stand-alone.

Right then, without further ado…

We’ll start with more good news from Tyson’s Beer Blog: this year’s Bury Beer Festival is back on at The Met / Malt Bar! That’s our evening out for Friday November 20th sorted, then. And I have to say I’m deeply intrigued by mention of “an emphasis on live music throughout both days” given that The Met is one of my absolute favourite venues and a key node on the UK folk circuit…

Boak and Bailey have been on their travels again and spent an evening in Malaga sampling a few Spanish premium beers (absolutely none of which are anywhere to be found in the Canary Islands, in my experience at least). Back in the UK, Boak and Bailey also report on the first in a new range of experimental brews from Suffolk-based Adnams, which will be on sale in selected London pubs this month.

Impy Malting highlighted some new “beer is good for you” research. Low calories, b-vitamins, lower risk of hypertension and heart disease, plus sedative, anti-anxiety properties from the hops? Adrian Tierney-Jones provided corroborating additional material as well. Someone call the head buyer at Holland & Barrett…

The decision by Scottish & Newcastle Heineken UK to relocate production of Newcastle Brown from Gateshead to Tadcaster had Jeffo musing on the importance of provenance. It’s a topic that Pete Brown got quite grumpy about as well.

Pete Brown wasn’t happy with mainstream media reporting on the issue of binge-drinking, either. Meanwhile, he posted a very interesting piece on beer marketing: how to sell barley wine. He’s absolutely right, you know, it’s all about the story. And speaking of stories, Pete has also posted a ‘lost chapter‘ that was edited out of his book Hops and Glory prior to publication.

More great beer-pics from Beer Lens: giant bottles of beer, and a couple more likely-looking candidates for my list of London pubs to visit in the shape of the White Horse on Parson’s Green and The Old Doctor Butler’s Head in The City.

Quite a few bloggers seem to have had nothing but good things to say about‘s first 52 Week Beer Club selection. I think our very own Ed has been signed up as well, so he’ll be bringing you the low-down in due course.

Zythophile’s posts are generally rather fascinating, and speaking as something of a medieval history geek, I thought his post on how to brew like an Anglo-Norman Knight was just top-notch and I enjoyed his beer-history debunking piece – beer: NOT the oldest drink in the world – and Kieve, Tierce and Bub post as well.

Woolpack Dave reports from the presentation of the International Beer Challenge 2009 awards, but wasn’t all that impressed with the overall winner: Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier.

Dave also mused on the question of just how small does a brewery have to be to be a microbrewery?

Steve Williams, a.k.a. The Beer Justice, reckons he’s found his perfect pubThe Old Poet’s Corner (and after reading the piece, I think we might have to move to Ashover).

Steve was also asked to judge the Beer category at The National Honey Show and had a damn good time in the process by the sounds of things.

Tandleman informs us that the Punch Bowl – the Yorkshire pub bought by Neil Morrissey and Richard Fox and immortalised in the Channel Four series Neil Morrissey’s Risky Business – has gone out of business. According to The Publican the two entrepreneurs are now looking for another freehouse in the Yorkshire area (and, at a guess, a follow-up series with Channel Four..?)

One of the many contributors to The BeerCast has taste-tested a couple of canned beers from the US and has come to the conclusion that “canned beer is absolutely no different to its glass-dwelling cousins” as a result.

Barm sings the praises of 5 Great Organic Breweries, including Manchester’s own Marble, over at I Might Have a Glass of Beer.

Zythophile again, this time with a few thoughts on the mystery of sessionability. And Woolpack Dave also speaks out on the subject, declaring himself to be firmly in favour of session beer. And Tandleman reminds us that ordinary beer is what the majority of the pub-going public want and that breweries would be mad not to give it to them. (For the record: I agree, nothing wrong with a nice session ale – or even a smoothflow if that’s genuinely what you prefer. I just wish more ‘real ale’ pubs would offer something stronger / more interesting alongside their core session range, rather than just a selection of identikit session pale ales and bitters, is all.)

Various beer-blogging types are supporting the Movember mens’ health campaign: BrewDog have released a Movember brew with a portion of the price going to the campaign, whilst The Reluctant Scooper and Ms Impy Malting are going the whole, mo-growing, hairy-faced hog. Mark Dredge is definitely with them all in spirit, if not in ‘tache.

Mark Dredge has also declared: Beer Blogging is Cool. And who am I to disagree?

And to finish off, a few more reviews / tasting notes of superb-sounding beers for the ‘must-try’ wishlist: St Austell’s Smuggler’s Ale (via The BeerCast), new brewery Steel City Brewing‘s Hop Manifesto (via The Reluctant Scooper) and Fuller’s 2009 Vintage Ale, one to keep and mature for a few years, (via The Beer Justice).

Right, that’s your lot for this instalment. I’ll try to get the next round-up out in much better time. This one has been exhausting… I don’t know about you, but I could do with a pint.

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