Visit the Boak and Bailey's Beer Blog site

Here’s the best of what we’ve read about beer and pubs around the internet in the last week, from London to Lisbon.

→ Des de Moor has published a free update to his book*The CAMRA Guide to London’s Best Beer, Pubs and Bars accompanied by some state-of-the-nation commentary on London’s beer scene:
London breweries continue to expand whatever their size, with Moncada and Redemption among those in the midst of long-needed upgrades. The startup rate has definitely slowed, though, and the brewery total in my latest update is down to 75 from 78 last July: a handful of closures include the last remnant of the 1970s Big Seven in London at the Stag, Mortlake, and a number of would-be brewpubs that evidently found it easier to sell other people’s beer.
→ For the*Midlands Beer Blog Collective Bob Maxfield and Dave Hopkins interviewed the people behind Birmingham’s craft beer and pinball bar, Tilt, eliciting a great case study of what’s been going on in British beer in the last decade or so:
I fell out of love with CAMRA when, some years later, while following a Ramstein tour, we decided to visit the Brewdog Bars we had been reading about. I then found Stirchley Wines who did a half decent selection at the time and had a bit of Great Divide and some Mikeller. They had all the Brewdog stuff and it was at that point that I started to get really excited, and begun to get more involved with Beer Advocate again, and started trading beers with others.
SOURCE: Cigar City Brewing website.→*Takeover news #1:*US brewery Cigar City, long-rumoured to a target for takeover by one of the multi-nationals,*‘has agreed to sell controlling interest to Boston-based private equity firm Fireman Capital Partners’, according to Chris Furnari reporting for beer news website*Brewbound. Or it was taken over by another brewery, Oskar Blues, according to, er, Cigar City:*‘Putting months of acquirement rumors to rest, the decision is driven by mutual irreverence, respect and desire to stay true to craft beer roots.’
→*Takeover news #2:*Last month global brewing giant AB-InBev took over The Beer Hawk, a small UK online beer distribution company; now it’s bought a similar firm in France according to French website*Beer Time. A strategy emerges? (Translation from French here; via @BryanDRoth.)
→ One for fans of historic details: Gary Gillman has found what he thinks is a previously un-mined source of information 18th century malting that illuminates how porter was made.
→ These struck us as twin pieces: Craft Beer & Brewing*has produced a list of slang used by extreme beer geeks in the US, from beached whale to porch bomb; while, for*Draft, Kate Bernot asks ‘Why Are Beer People so Outraged?’:
Will Gordon…*sees beer as so central to some people’s lifestyles that they’re unable to tolerate opposing views.
“There is a peculiar, loud 1 percent of craft beer fans who are people with an absurd*lifestyle that they want validated,” he says. “If you make fun of driving up a dirt road in Vermont at 7 in the morning to get a bottle of Hill Farmstead, what those people hear is their wife’s voice saying they should have gone to the kid’s soccer game that morning instead.”
SOURCE: The Beermack. (Cropped.)→ Alex at*The Beermack’s*guide to*‘Good Beer in Lisbon (and where to find it)’ is (a) like a virtual city break in its own right and (b) potentially useful if you’re planning on visiting Portugal this summer.
→ Finally, via*Beer Today, research firm Mintel has published new research into craft beer in Britain with some interesting nuggets to chew on:
What’s more, just one in four (24%) beer buyers are willing to spend more than*£4 on a pint of craft beer in the on-trade and 21% are unprepared to even go above £3 per pint. On the other hand, there are a small number of consumers who clearly have strong beliefs in craft credentials as 5% of beer buyers are prepared to exceed £5 on a pint of craft beer.
→ in his budget on Wednesday the Chancellor, George Osborne, froze beer duty. Brigid Simmonds of the BBPA thinks it’s good news; others (to summarise chatter on Twitter) think it largely inconsequential, at least from the perspective of consumers. This is an interesting thought, though:
That business rates cut is great news for so many pubs, beer shops and breweries more important than a duty cut in my opinion.
— Tom Norton (@MillGreenTom) March 16, 2016
→ And, finally, this from Gavin Hutsby is nice:
@BoakandBailey price list from my Grandparents corner shop they sold beer on draught. Common back then apparently.
— Gavin Hutsby (@SirGawain82) March 16, 2016
News, Nuggets & Longreads 19 March 2016 from Boak & Bailey's Beer Blog - Beer blogging since 2007, covering real ale, craft beer, pubs and British beer history.