Around the Beerblogosphere #4


Here we go with another round-up of beery blog posts and news items that have caught my eye in the last couple of weeks:

Another double-dose of Congrats – this time to BrewDog on their Hardcore IPA winning the Best Artisan Beer category in this year’s Independent Food and Drink Awards and to Burnley-based Moorhouse’s for taking the We’re Backing Business Award at the Lancashire Telegraph Business Awards.

Staying with BrewDog, remember when they launched the Zeitgeist blog, back when they launched the Zeitgeist black lager? The idea was that anyone who bought a Zeitgeist could then log into the blog and demonstrate their unbridled creativity by posting stuff. Seems they might have over-estimated the demand for that sort of service, as they’ve announced that the Zeitgeist blog is now open to all. I just hope they’re taking someone on full time to delete the inevitable flood of spam…

Although of course, the really big BrewDog news was their launch of the “World’s Strongest Beer”: Tactical Nuclear Penguin. A 32%ABV (yup, thirty-two) uber-imperial stout, prices at £30 £39 £35 y’say? Pah, in a few weeks that’ll be a whole 8% below the World’s Strongest Beer, according to Barry M. Veteran beer writer Roger Protz was publicly unimpressed with BrewDog (not for the first time), questioning both TNP’s ingredients andt he timing of the release, although his piece prompted howls of outrage by commenters which resulted in a subsequent clarification of his position from Mr P. Say one thing for the BrewDog boys: say they know how to get a debate going…

Meanwhile, Thornbridge have launched the first of a new range of beers brewed specifically to go well with traditional British food and endorsed by celebrity chefs. First up is ‘Brian Turner Amber Ale’.

Roger Protz and Pete Brown brought us some great news from Burton: Coors have announced plans to (re-)open the The National Brewery Centre – the new name for the former Bass Museum / Coors Visitor Centre – by Easter 2010 and open a new 30-barrel craft brewery as well. Mind you, Zythophile did rather take issue with the suggestion that Burton was the first place in the world to brew pale ales and provided a lengthy explanation as to why.

A few days later, Pete Brown wasn’t quite so happy with a truly atrocious Daily Mail article on alcohol consumption (and who can blame him?) although judging by how phis piece ends, it looks like he may have been instrumental in getting the article neatly neutered. Power to the beery people!

Marston’s-owned Jennings’ brewery was badly hit by the floods in Cockermouth last month, but the Publican reports they’re due to re-open in the new year, with production moving to other Marston’s sites in the meantime. Tandleman worries that this might have an adverse impact on flavour and quality and possibly set a dangerous set of wheels turning in the minds of the Marston’s decision-makers.

Also via Tandleman, news that love-em or hate-em pub chain Wetherspoon’s is planning to open another 250 pubs in the next 10 years, creating 10,000 jobs in the process. They can open one in my neck of the woods, definitely. I’ve got nothing against Holt’s you understand, but some choice within walking distance of home would be welcome…

So, you think you’re a bit of a scooper? You think you’ve got a tick or two in your notebook? Dale Van Wieren might just have the edge. Mind you it sounds like Mark Dredge was having a pretty good go at catching up, what with his visit to the 2 Kents beer festival and then the utterly awesome-sounding stout night.

The smoking ban continues to be a contentious issue. The Pub Curmudgeon kicked things off and Tandleman lit up a firestorm of debate (check out the comments thread). Woolpack Dave provided a publican’s-eye view of the issue and I think Mark Dredge rounded things up quite neatly. For the record, I said my piece in a comment on Dave’s blog.

Continuing a theme developed in Around the Beerblogosphere #3, it sounds like Boak and Bailey’s Christmas Pud will be a bit special this year as well. As usual, we’ll be having a supermarket gluten-free special and lumping it… <sigh>

Something we’ll all be familiar with, I’m sure: author Michael Marshall Smith shares a few painfully-crafted thoughts on the general inadvisability of hangovers.

Another couple of top-notch-sounding brews for the wishlist: Adnams Innovation, as recommended by Andy Mogg over at and Castle Rock Harvest Pale, highly praised by Paul Garrard on realaleblog. Plus, Jeff Evans recommends 10 great beers for Christmas (just in time for my planned shopping trip to Beer Ritz on Saturday, which is nice…)

Finally, I couldn’t pass up on the latest health research (which I’m sure you’ve all heard about by now): Alcohol protects mens’ hearts says the BBC. I’m sure Shane MacGowan’s liver will be delighted to hear that its sacrifice hasn’t been for nothing…

You can catch up with earlier Beerblogopshere link posts (you never know what you might find) via the beerblogosphere category archive here on

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