For those of you anticipating the rapture today, you were left disappointed, if my personal experience is any guide. But fear not, signs of the end of the world continue to show themselves. Not the least of which is the latest hit to my physical USPS mailbox today.
My subscription to Beer Advocate magazine arrived today with the latest edition of beer respecting news. I’m not sure if this is the first episode to have this feature or if I’ve just been too unaware to notice it, but Ron Pattinson has a column in the magazine this edition.
For those of you who don’t know, Ron Pattinson is the author of the fabled beer blog “Shut Up About Barclay Perkins”. His main thing is formulating tables of information based on old books written in different languages. Like German books from the 17th century about how to brew a proper Weissbier. There’s also a lot of British stuff in there. Ron is one of the guys that could easily tirade for an hour about the IPA myth (strong beer with lots of hops for India to survive the long journey made for officers diluted for soldiers etc.) Beer Advocate has long been a target for Ron, as they represent the quintessential American-centric Papazian-esque view of beer styles (another favorite is “mild” – let’s just say it wasn’t always low ABV and dark).
I see this as an acknowledgement by BA that they don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about most of the time. They are enlisting a real researching historian to write a column for them. And it is a damn fine first column. “Beers in a 1914 London Pub”. It scratches the surface on some of the basic differences between what we call beer now and what they called beer then. As well as what those beers were like.
I hope this column stays alive because I think that Ron is one of the best in the biz of beer writing. He may be a bit prickly sometimes, but if you want to know about beer history, I could hardly recommend a better option. He’ll open your mind about the assumptions we all have about beer today.