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Thread: Good pub and beer writing

  1. #1
    Spritzer Swallower
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    Default Good pub and beer writing

    What books would anyone reccomend relating to British pubs and beers, aside from the obvious Good Beer Guide from CAMRA?

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    This Space For Hire Aqualung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurchappell View Post
    What books would anyone reccomend relating to British pubs and beers, aside from the obvious Good Beer Guide from CAMRA?
    I found Brew Britannia by Boak and Bailey very good but haven't read the follow up. If you want to really go back in time, try Frank Baillie's Beer Drinker's Companion which came out roughly the same time as the fledgling GBGs. You'll probably only get a second hand copy.

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    Pub researcher (unpaid) rpadam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurchappell View Post
    What books would anyone reccomend relating to British pubs and beers, aside from the obvious Good Beer Guide from CAMRA?
    The range of Camra's 'Best Heritage Pubs' books edited by Geoff Brandwood are all excellent companions on one's travels.

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    For anyone interested in the Yorkshire beer scene, I’d heartily recommend The Yorkshire Beer Bible by Simon Jenkins. As the sub-title proudly proclaims, it’s a drinker’s guide to the brewers, beers and pubs of God’s own county.

    Informative and accessible, the book runs through all the breweries in alphabetical order, listing their better known brews, with the occasional feature on a chosen beer. Pubs are treated with equal reverence, with several favourites highlighted and most of the county’s major towns and cities have a suggested crawl.

    More info here:https://www.gnbooks.co.uk/product/yorkshirebeerbible/
    'And where he supped the past lived still. And where he sipped the glass brimmed full' John Barleycorn, Carol Ann Duffy.

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    Old & Bitter oldboots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurchappell View Post
    What books would anyone reccomend relating to British pubs and beers, aside from the obvious Good Beer Guide from CAMRA?
    Martyn Cornell (blogger The Zythopile) is very good especially on the historical background, I would recommend "Amber Gold & Black" as the definitive history of British beer styles, "Beer: The story of the Pint" is similar but not quite as good. Some people like Pete Brown's stuff, I think he's a dick but he's very readable and can be accurate. Boak & Bailey have been mentioned, their second (possibly third) book is "20th Century Pub", the other book being "Gambrinus Waltz" about Lager in London pre WW1.

    Most modern beer writing seems to be on blogs or in things like Camra's BEER magazine. A lot of the books around are pot boilers and mass market dross, the keg of beer writing if you like.

    Going back a few years (well quarter of a century and more), Frank Ballie has been mentioned and Micheal Jackson is considered the best by many, there is also "Beer & Skittles" by Richard Boston, and "Death of the English Pub" by Christopher Hutt. Before that landlord's memoirs were very popular and earlier (1930s) books on the glories of the English Inn (never the pub) were even more popular.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldboots View Post
    there is also "Beer & Skittles" by Richard Boston,
    I'd go along with Beer and Skittles. It's essentially a compilation of a series of Grauniad articles - "Boston on Beer" - in the mid-70s which were credited with kickstarting Camra at the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickDavies View Post
    I'd go along with Beer and Skittles. It's essentially a compilation of a series of Grauniad articles - "Boston on Beer" - in the mid-70s which were credited with kickstarting Camra at the time.
    Great suggestions, thanks everyone

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    Besides 20th Century Pub which has already been mentioned, The Pub Manifesto is another one I’ve heard about recently which I thought sounded good. I’ve yet to read either though, so can’t give a personal recommendation.

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