A blank page in front of me, inconsolable in its emptiness and hungry in its need for words. Not just any old words though, words that make sense and give meaning to the world I live in, in this case the world of beer through which I flow like a river on its way to…

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As the sun blazed down outside the Café Hegeraad in the Jordaan district of Amsterdam, my wife led me straight past the crowds drinking on the market square and around a spare pair of seats to instead sit at a rickety table in the completely empty dark-wood interior of the compact front bar. Although the…

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There is nothing to write about apart from the continuing stamp of the lockdown boot on the way we have to live our lives. So I tramp through the streets of Exeter, a walking meditation if you like, which are as damp and forbidding as a Sunday from Wales in the 1930s. I pass the…

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When The Eagle in Farringdon Road opened its doors exactly 30 years ago, it confused many people with its ramshackle fit-out of mismatched chairs and tables, exposed wooden flooring, random mix of tableware, and a less-than-fine paint job, combined with its value-for-money, one-plate-dining proposition. The trend at the time for theme pubs was going full…

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I first went to a beer festival when I was 20. It was in Cambridge and I was handed a half of Tiger bitter from Everard’s (I don’t know why I remember that). I took a couple of sips and left it. Around me, men, yes it was mainly men, whirled about in alcoholic contemplation,…

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It was just a matter of days before Christmas and in the heart of London’s Soho the festive season would normally be going full throttle but when I opened the door to the compact Lyric pub on Great Windmill Street at 2pm, I was not met with the happy sounds of revelry but instead there…

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What shall I write about? It has been a familiar refrain of mine during most of this unsettling, frustrating and bilious year. It has been a question that has sometimes been answered with memories of what now seems like those strange times when hopping on a train or a plane was as easy as drinking…

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London has had a glorious run with continued growth in brewery numbers over the past decade but a combination of Covid-19 and serious overcapacity signals the end of the golden run with as many as 40% of businesses set to fail. According to a survey from the London Brewers’ Alliance (LBA) of its membership of…

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Here we are again, in the middle of another lockdown, closed pubs, closed lives, and livelihoods being hung out to dry as if on a celestial clothes line. I feel a bit more prepared this time, and unlike in March the unknown has become known. Coffee can be taken away, beer too, as long as…

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Many times over the past couple of weeks at the end of the day I’ve thought about popping out to the pub for a quick pint while I read the paper. But I’ve then changed my mind and instead cracked open a can of beer or poured a glass of wine at home. Once lock-down…

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