We all know the story: in 1971 a group of Englishmen on a walking holiday in Kerry created a beer drinkers' protest group to fight the rise of industrialised beer in Britain.
35 years later, a pair of young Scottish home brewers set out to shake up the staid UK beer scene with a daring and aggressive new venture: we all know that story too.
But neither of these well-worn creation myths are the full truth. The circumstances behind the formation of CAMRA and the founding of BrewDog are just two of the areas covered in Brew Britannia, a book about the changes in British beer culture from the middle of the 20th century to the present day, and one which shows a continuity between the events with which, perhaps, neither entity would be entirely comfortable.
Update: The results are in!
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On 23rd May Ireland will go to the polls to elect 11 members of the European Parliament, to serve a five-year term representing the citizens of Midlands-North-West, South and Dublin. Decisions taken by the parliament over its next term will affect voters in a wide variety of ways across many parts of their daily lives. It is of paramount importance that we choose the candidates which best represent our beliefs and will fight our corner on the European stage.
Beoir wants to ensure that, as far as beer policy is concerned, voters are making the right choice in this election. To this end we have joined with our colleagues in the European Beer Consumers Union to survey election candidates across Europe, seeking their take on issues which affect all European beer drinkers and which fall into the remit of the European institutions.
How it works
Later this week, an e-mail will be sent to every European election candidate* inviting them to participate in our online survey. The survey presents candidates with statements on issues such as:
- Beer's importance in history and society
- Responsible drinking
- The drinkers' right of choice
- The right to know what goes into our beer
- Taxation of beer
and asks their opinions on these matters.
Prior to the election, voters will be invited to visit the polling website and view the results, seeing what their candidates think on the issue of beer and drinkers' rights, or if they even care about it enough to offer any opinion. You'll even be able to take the survey yourself and be automatically matched to the local candidate whose views are most in agreement with your own.
Though this is just a bit of pre-election fun, the real business of fighting the beer drinkers' cause will continue after the election, by Beoir in Ireland, and by our EBCU representatives in Brussels.
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The annual springtime celebration of independent Irish beers and spirits begins across the Porterhouse estate from 10th April, running to the 27th. During this period, beers will be available from Rascal's, N17, Kinnegar, Metalman, Hilden, Galway Hooker, Carlow, Trouble, Mountain Man and more. It will also see the return of The Porterhouse's own much-loved Chocolate Truffle Stout.
Beer isn't the whole story, now that the Dingle Distillery is part of the Porterhouse family. The Celtic Whiskey Shop -- arguably Dublin's most-respected spirits retailer -- will be hosting craft spirits tasting in various Porterhouse pubs over the course of the festival, in addition to the beer tastings run by producers and distributors. Keep an eye on the Porterhouse's social media for details of tastings.
As an authority on the nuts and bolts of beer history, Ron Pattinson needs no introduction. Through his Shut Up About Barclay Perkins blog over the last seven years he has left no stone unturned in seeking out primary evidence of past beers, scouring brewery logs, media reports and marketing material from a swathe of breweries -- mostly British -- to find out exactly what they were brewing, how, and from what.
This book represents a distillation of that research into a single volume which not only describes how various beer styles evolved with reference to concrete historical examples, but also allows the amateur (or professional) brewer to recreate any beer covered in the most accurate way possible.