Following my general review of 2017, here’s a selection of my most significant posts from throughout the year. There are twelve in total, but they don’t fall conveniently into one per month.
A campaign designed by a committee – some thoughts on CAMRA’s Revitalisation Report
Local antihero – my love-hate relationship with our local family brewer, Robinson’s
Micro appeal – micropubs are the flavour of the month, but their appeal to the wider pubgoing population is actually very limited
False memory syndrome - despite what antismokers claim, it wasn’t difficult to find non-smoking provision in pubs before 1 July 2007
Ten years gone – for anyone who claims to support pubs to still argue that the smoking ban was a good idea is an exercise in the most breathtaking and contemptible hypocrisy
Murdered by the smoking ban – “So as you sit in your smoke-free gastropub commenting on how delicate Pierre manages to get those organic scallops you can rest easy knowing that you've taken away one of the few nice things in the lives of people you've never met.”
Beer from somewhere, or from anywhere? - real ale and craft beer, at heart they’re basically the same, surely? Er no, actually they’re distinct concepts that arise from very different sources
Nobody else has complained – the ins and outs of taking sub-standard beer back to the bar
Forty years of progress – the Good Beer Guide of 2018 is certainly very different from that of 1978, but is it, or the pub scene in general, actually better?
The undercutting fallacy – the role of “cheap supermarket alcohol” in the decline of the pub trade is greatly exaggerated
Standing at the crossroads – CAMRA comprises two camps of traditionalists and modernisers divided by mutual incomprehension
Quantity and Quality – a guest post from licensee Kieran Lyons on cask beer stocking and rotation policies to ensure consistent quality