Monday, 24 November 2008

Around the Beer Blogs (4)



It's been quite some time hasn't it, but back by popular demand (well YCC demand actually) is this occasional look at what other beer bloggers have been up to. It was in fact May when I last did one of these and I keep meaning to, but you know how it is.

Right. Lets get cracking. I think I'll look at some newcomers first. Jeff Pickall used to be a thorn in the side of contributors to beer related "Usenet" sites such as uk.food+drink.real-ale, but this and these are more or less moribund now. Instead Jeff has started his own blog, plugging similar issues there. The good thing about a blog like his is the opinions are very personal and you have little doubt where he is coming from with posts like "Why I'm not a member of CAMRA" and "I feel Dirty and Ashamed" where he has a pop at JDW. I enjoy replying to him, even if I don't agree with everything he says.

The Bitten Bullet is written by an Irishman living in North Germany. Now I am a big fan of German beer, but he manages to squeeze out wonderful descriptions about beers I'd struggle on. Well done on that one. He has a mission to encourage the somewhat narrow minded German public to drink better and different beers. Now that's a worthwhile challenge. A blog that is always well written and interesting, especially if you have an interest in German beer as I do.

The Reluctant Scooper is quite eclectic in his choice of subjects. He admits (or is it boasts) of being a CAMRA member for economic reasons - to get into beer festivals cheap or free. And why not? He is also one of the Rate Beer gang, which somehow doesn't attract me. I liked his report on his day at Thornbridge Brewery and his views of the various beer festivals he attends. He is unafraid to criticise, which I also like. Anyone who says a beer is "shite" when he thinks it is, is a good 'un in my book. Unlike other reports, he actually made me feel as though I missed out by not attending "Beer Exposed". Not sure if his uncritical love of Thornbridge and Meantime is wholly agreed, but nonetheless, a very readable blog.

The last of the newcomers I'll mention this time is Dave's Beer Blog. Well written by a Cumbrian pub owner and brewer, I recommend this highly. Always thoughtful, covering interesting subject matter such as the beer tie, beer duty, CAMRA, beer tasting, JDW and more make this my kind of blog.

And now the old lags. I've always liked Boak and Bailey and their unique take on things. The last few months have been great and what photography. Their posts always have lovely illustrations which put mine to shame. Like me they are big fans of Germany, so that's not bad either. Ron Pattinson does some great stuff, particularly when he describes his various boozy jaunts. I loved his Copenhagen reports and his trips to other places are described in a way I like. Ron, you need to get out more, just so I can read about it!

One blog that has stuttered a bit is Impy Malting. I think this is one of the most acutely observed blogs there is (even if I appear to have been banned from commenting on it for reasons unknown.) When I say stuttered, I mean in quantity, not quality. I know Allyson felt she was getting too much flak and too many trolls, as she said so in her blog, but I hope she can overcome this, as her observations are so worthwhile, even when I don't agree with them. I love her use of words such as "tipsy", "swanky" and "grumpy" and her description of drinking herself "silly" in Brussels was sublime.

A few more to finish off with, as I really need to get packed for my trip to see my Mum in Scotland. The Beer Nut, who I met in London, has been out and about a fair bit. His notes on the Copenhagen bash were full and insightful as usual. He has also been up to Belfast for Belfast CAMRA's Real Ale Beano and gave it a slight demerit as the Yanks would say. The advice on cask ale fests though, is always get there on day one. The beer is best then. I also got a laugh from Knut Albert's comment on his visit "Did everyone have to shave their heads at the entrance to the festival?" Have a look at the photos to see why.

Tyson's back. After a pause of a couple of months, he has returned and is supping as well as ever. His observations on beer are well worth reading and his reflections on the antics of Eddie, WHB, the Manx Minx and the rest of his motley crew, must have his readers wondering if they really exist. They do! Good to have him back as waspish as ever.

Last couple - I do need to get on you know - Young CAMRA Collective have been bigging up Brew Dog, Hawse Buckler and a lot of excellent sounding pubs in their neck(s) of the wood. They have also joined the love in for Fullers Porter, which I singularly failed to find on my last London visit and which I won't now it seems, as I'll be too late. I like that they comment on parts of the country that I don't know so well.

No round up would be complete without a reference to Jeffrey Bell or the blogger formerly known as Stonch. A lot of his stuff these days is based around the pub which he runs, and why not? He still shoves in a lot of other well observed stuff - I thought his Gastropub post deserved a few more replies and his piece on Eatin's Cheatin' was excellent too. As always Jeff has his own angle on things, but that's what a blog should do. His posts tend to be short and to the point these days, but a few follow ups would be good though; for example on Wallsend Brown Ale. Did it go well? We don't know, but I'd be interested to find out.

So that's it for the time being folks. As always, sorry if you didn't get a mention this time, but no doubt next time you will.

11 comments:

The Woolpack Inn said...

Thanks for the nice comments.

Rednev said...

Is this entry called Rock Around The Blog? Or, perhaps, New Kids On The Blog?

Jeff Pickthall said...

Newcomer! Pah! My first post was Aug 05! Ok, I'll let you off, I restarted the blog sometime later.

Tandleman said...

Jeff - I guess I meant new blogs to me!

Jeff Frane said...

"trip to see my Mum" ?

Don't you mean, "Chance to pubcrawl Glasgow while bunking for free with m mum"?

I wish I was going with you.

Tyson said...

"Don't you mean, "Chance to pubcrawl Glasgow while bunking for free with m mum"?"

Oh how cynical. Then again it is Tandleman...

maeib said...

I love "Around The Beer Blogs." Please don't leave it so long next time.

southport drinker said...

not being included is like waking up on Christmas morning to find Santa has left no prezzies

haddonsman said...

Cheers for the shout - I have had dodgy Meantime, just not written about one. But I've never had a bad Thornbridge beer...

Tandleman said...

Frane - I did no pub crawling of Glasgow, unless you count a swift canter round a couple of pubs near the station. You haven't been in either so read about them when I get round to it.

Boak said...

Thanks. You might be lucky with the London porter -- it does stay around in some pubs, where the philistines don't know what they're getting. And it's even more sublime after a month or two (or at least was last year)