Sunday, 18 May 2008

Around the Beer Blogs 3

Slightly overdue, but this is my third beer blog summary in which I sum up and comment on what is concerning other bloggers.

First up this time is Shut up about Barclay Perkins, Ron Pattinson's Blog. I hardly know where to start. To call it prolific and diverse would scarcely do it justice. The last few weeks have been eclectic and entertaining. Among historical posts, we have an excellent discourse on mild (very dear to my heart) and a liberal dash of tongue in cheek baiting of American style gurus with some fictitious styles for them to consider; triple Russian Imperial Mild anyone? Ron continued to bait Americans by stating in his view (evidenced I should add) that Koelsch is NOT an ale but a top fermenting lagerbier. I am not sure whether he came off best or not, but he didn't seem to convince many on Ratebeer that he wasn't just being perverse - me excepted! I liked too the more mainstream recounting of his travels through Franken and the Czech Republic. Ron has an engaging style and is unafraid to heckle those he considers wrong or lazy and has a vitriolic turn of phrase from time to time. "Homebrew Twats" is probably as pithy and pointed as you are going to get. This is for me a "must read" blog, as I love the historical aspects, but am far to indolent to research it for myself. I enjoy his well observed personal beer travel stuff too.

has been out and about a bit, visiting various beer festivals in pubs and CAMRA venues as well as attending his first ever CAMRA meeting. He also mentions a beer for our four legged friends. Regrettably he didn't try the Dog Beer himself. Nor did I, even though it was sold in our pub. Maeib said he would have tried it. I am not so sure! He also celebrated a year in blogging about beer, so well done on that one. This is a blog where there is many different themes and topics and I like that.

I have mentioned before that I like Boak and Bailey's Blog and I continue to do so. They have a unique take on subject matter, often picking up stuff that causes me to say to myself "I wish I'd thought of that". An example was an interview with an old mate of mine Mike McGuigan who is behind Betwixt Brewing of the Wirral. Very innovative I thought. Another example was to do with night buses, which gave us all a chance to reminisce It was not all plain sailing though, as they ran into a little trouble - mainly from me I admit - over "Beer. A luxury or a right". This month they hosted "The Session" which is something I haven't got involved with. I am not sure why, but somehow it doesn't appeal to me, seeming to me to be a bit too "clubby and aren't we all clever" for my liking, but who knows, I might change my mind. I must also mention another innovation, occasional forays into Spanish. As I say, there is always a different take on things here which makes for an enjoyable read.

Stonch has changed direction a bit. I get the impression that this is a concious decision rather than a drift. His blog is always the first I reach for, indeed I have a button on my toolbar for it, such is the esteem in which I hold it. This is an unashamedly Londoncentric blog, but nonetheless always manages to set the cat among the pigeons. He did so again this round up, but from rather an odd angle. Recommending another beer blog to us all resulted in him being held to account for some opinions that he couldn't in the end sustain. It was entertaining stuff and can be found here. This blog is innovative too with Stonch bringing his father on board for a couple of well written pieces and his hilarious account of "Veg Stout" conjured up some very unpleasant visions, while his hangover experience surely chimed with us all.

The Beer Nut
posts from Ireland though he has been worryingly missing for a while now. Are you OK over there? I loved his post on "The Session" - damn - entitled "A moment of clarity" I think for me it was the best thing written on that this time. Just a superb piece of writing. He continues to find interesting beers and writes about them in a way I like. My own tasting notes are far too clinical.

Tyson continues to set a fierce pace for pubs visited and beers drunk. He is a pub man through and through and shows a dedication to the task that few could keep up. Notable posts since my last review included a visit to a Bury Knocking Shop - yes really - and the astonishing fact that he managed to "do" so many Prague pubs in a short time. One piece that received no comments, but deserved to, was about Outstanding Brewing of Bury. Believe me you will hear more of this, so keep your ears pinned back. There is much serious comment and content tucked in amongst the gallons of beer drunk and a lot of common sense written by this keen observer of the pub scene.

Real Ale Blog
written by Paul Garrard brings up the subject of mild. Unlike other bloggers who mention this subject, Paul has a gripe. He reckons CAMRA has got the month for its mild campaign wrong. As the weather turns warmer, he thinks not of mild, but golden ales. I always think of golden ales, though I do drink a fair bit of mild. Paul suggests March for Mild Month to enable the alliteration to continue unimpeded. He may well have a point. Paul also mourns the demise of two well known micros, Arran and Mordue. He hopes this isn't the thin end of a very big wedge, as do I. He also encountered Greene King's new font designed to dispense beer Northern or Southern style at the flick of a switch. He ordered Southern style but didn't take the opportunity to do a comparison side by side. Pity that. This is an interesting blog written from an East of England perspective, thus creating its own niche.

Lastly in this round up, we have a welcome newcomer about whom we were all alerted by Stonch. Impy Malting is written by Allyson, an American ex-pat living in London. Two interesting things right away, is that this is written by a female and by someone whose culture is different, so we can hopefully see ourselves with fresh eyes. She immediately and I suspect unwittingly courted controversy with an assertion that real ale and racism went hand in hand. Needless to say that brought opprobrium down on her. So much so that she barred all further comment on her blog. Stonch having pointed her original post out in the first place, picked up the baton and allowed it to play out on his blog. I'd merely comment that as a blogger what you write is open for challenge at all times, so you have to develop a thick skin. To return to the blog, Allyson has a neat observational style with a slightly idiosyncratic fixation with race and gender. She refers to the "lack of people of colour" - whatever they are - in pubs. As a female her concern about the lack of women in some pubs is understandable. I too am in favour of many more women in pubs, though I dare say my motives may be less egalitarian than Allyson's. Nonetheless this is a well written, perceptive and genuinely appealing blog which I recommend without hesitation.

As always if I have missed your blog out, don't worry. It'll likely be your turn next time!


Tyson said...


I too am in favour of more women in pubs. In fact, I go further and would like to see more women everywhere.

I also note your comments about the GK dispense. I have heard there is one near to me and most get round to a comparison.

Anonymous said...

I'll try and pluck up courage to try northern and southern side by side next time I get the chance. Good call!

Boak said...

Ah, you're sweet.

I'd merely comment that as a blogger what you write is open for challenge at all times, so you have to develop a thick skin

Yes and no, I think. Constructive criticism of your opinions is one thing, but personal insults and abuse is another, and I'm not surprised she blocked the comments on her blog given some of the animosity she was getting via Stonch's. Maybe a few commentators need to think "would I say that to someone's face?" before they hit submit?

Thanks for the roundup!

Tandleman said...

boak - You are right of course, but it cuts both ways! You have to be very careful with some subjects both as a writer and as a commentator.

Tandleman said...

Boak - About the above. I thought long and hard about mentioning the subject at all. I did also consider adding words like "seemingly" or "apparently" or "inadvertently" as a qualifier, but thought having said "unwittingly" I'd just leave people to make of it what they will.

I don't think personally, it was meant the way it came across though.

The Beer Nut said...

Thanks for the complement, T. I am back among the capitalistas once more (see here) but am totally out of bloggable beers.

I feel a trip to the pub coming on...

Stonch said...

...resulted in him being held to account for some opinions that he couldn't in the end sustain.

Hmm. If you were being fair you'd say I was held to account for grossly mischaracterised versions of someone else's argument, and you wouldn't imply I somehow had to "sustain" anything! I stand by what I said in comments on that thread though I consider the matter closed.

I do think your monthly round-up of blogs is a good idea, but be careful it's not just a way of having the last word on whatever arguments you've entered into! ;-)

Tandleman said...

I certainly didn't mean to be unfair and if I was I am sorry. Like you said it has all moved on and that is that.

The intention of the round up is just for me to comment on other blogs for a bit of fun, not have the last word though I see where you are coming from and the warning is fair in that it could be seen that way.