I first used the above title here in February 2008 and haven't done one since later that same year, so I'm a bit overdue Seven years overdue in fact, so it's time I caught up with what others are doing. You won't have missed it as new reader, as the basic idea, adjusted a bit, has been used elsewhere though I never claimed it to be original.
First the Old School
It must be fitting to start with my old mate Stonch. Well hasn't the lad changed over the years? Not quite so bombastic, but just as enjoyable. Having had a few years off blogging while he ran a couple of pubs, he has come back with some marvellous insights into how it all works nowadays and a slightly different approach. His return to blogging was in his old manner, giving out comments on this and that, but now he has widened his blog team of just him, to a team of four. Good to see a former blogger Jesus John returning to the fold in his cerebral way and Arthur Scargill is just brilliant and no doubt a pain to some. The irreverence of his comments reminds one - and that reminder is needed - that blogging should be individual and should be at least cheeky at times. There seems to be a tendency to prick some of the silliness around craft beer and that is sure to get him noticed. Funnily enough the crafteratti don't see themselves that way. For the old Stonch watch out for various comments under his real name, where he attracts both praise and criticism.
Boak and Bailey were minnows in the blogging world back then (we all were really apart from Jeffers) and in fact they gave it up for a while too. They have returned to the fold with a determination that would put most obsessives to shame. Still, a book later, Number one blog in most lists and British Guild of Beer Writers awards tucked up their jumpers, they have reaped the success such effort deserves. They have though changed tack a lot, using much historical data as the basis of blogging as well as a somewhat anal interest in de-constructing beer and drinking. Still it works for them and if you want to know all about how to drink in a pub and even how to write properly, they will and have advised accordingly. Whether you like that or not is up to you, but hey, it shows confidence. One interesting point is that they used to identify which person had written each blog piece, but now they don't, using "we" like literal Siamese twins. (I reckon Ray does it all these days). Some of the newer bloggers have taken a more critical look - yes you Matthew - but I is all sweetness and light, as was the original point of Around the Beer Blogs. Still, they set the bar high for those around them and they do write well. That's a good thing.
The Beer Nut continues on merrily, drinking his way through the beer world. He was around in 1997 too when I started -so an old mate - and in fact commented on my first ever "Around the Beer Blogs", . His output is prodigious, his descriptions of beers the best in the business and his enthusiasm for writing about beer undiminished by time. He is unusual that he writes only about beer he has drank in the main, but this does not lessen his impact but rather gives his blog direction and purpose as well as conveying the excitement and disappointments of an eclectic approach to beer drinking. It probably isn't true, but you just can't imagine him sitting down and drinking the same beer twice in a row, though he may have to soon, as I reckon there must only be about ten beers in the world he hasn't had and he'd give Alan Whicker a run for his money on the air miles front. He is also a very nice fella, good company and does a nice line in Cadbury's Tiffin.
More soon about some of the newer bloggers. Probably in seven years.
Other Around the Beer Blogs are here, here and here. I didn't include Ron Pattinson in this review as basically, he hasn't changed a bit. Make of that what you will, but I still love his stuff. Well some of it anyway.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
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