An artisanally crafted blog curated by Cooking Lager for discerning readers of beer bloggery

Monday, 20 July 2009

Beer Books

Since becoming an avid beer blog reader, enjoying the tales of the ale that people record in regard to their boozing, I have become aware of the professional beer writer’s. Names like Brown, Jackson and Protz, names to revere’s as they actually make a living out of it. What? Go figure. People buy books on beer? They must do or otherwise there would be no living in it and beer writers would have to get proper jobs.

If anything it is a sign of the sophistication of our global economy that enables degrees of specialisation to the degree of creating such things as professional footballers, singers, and even beer writers.

Being a progressive sort of beer enthusiast, not for me the self limiting worship of only cooking lager, I am willing to drink anything if it’s cheap enough, I have on occasion broke the cooking lager code and drank other things. British cooking lager enthusiasts often look backward only to the past, attempting to preserve dying brands (in the UK) like Hofmeister, XXXX & Miller Lite. It’s about the preservation of tradition more than enthusiasm for interesting new innovation, unlike the craft cooking lager scene abroad, where beer is all the fashion.

But not for me, as a progressive I am keen to appreciate an ever wider circle of cheap grog. So long as it’s cheap and doesn’t send you blind, or at least only temporarily sends you blind, I’ll give it a go.

With this progressive attitude in mind I thought I’d read a book on beer. Pete’s Brown’s “Hops and Glory” is all the rage, but I’ve been beaten to the punch by dozens of other blogs, and anyway all the beer books on Amazon, tomes by the greats like Protz and Jackson cost over a fiver! For a fiver I can buy a week’s supply of cooking lager!

The answer came in a charity shop. There was an old copy of “Man walks into a pub”, marked up at 70p. A bit of bargaining with the old dear behind the counter and I got it down to 50p. “Bit tatty this book, give you 50p?”, “It’s for charity, sir. We sell things for charity”, “50p to whatever your collecting for is better than nowt”, withering look of scorn, “okay then sir, 50p it is”. Now I can take a look of withering scorn from a dotty old bat. 20p is 20p. Now you may think that it’s all for charity and I should have forked out the extra 20p, but charity begins with yours truly.

Now for the review. It’s a book about beer, and well, pubs. It’s interesting if you like that sort of thing. Better I suspect and more relevant to a beer enthusiast than Kerry Katonas autobiography and containing fewer gruesome sexual references that Jordan’s tome. Pete Brown doesn’t snap a Pop Idol contestant’s banjo string while robbing him of his innocence, for a start. Best bit of the book? It’s exactly an inch thick making it perfect for evening up an old sofa and giving the lady squeeze no excuse to drag me to a sofa shop to spend 500 sheets on a new one. Worth the 50p. Man walks into a pub, Pete Brown, 10/10 Read while swigging a can of special offer Carlsberg.


The Beer Nut said...

Doesn't it contain the only written account of the origins of British cooking lager? I thought it'd be well relevant to you.

I've not read it, mind. Must keep scouring the charity shops.

Also: as a beer blogger you can blag free review copies of books off of publishers. It's a bit of effort to write to them, but you could save yourself upwards of 70p a throw. And sell the book afterwards.

Cooking Lager said...

It was, I loved it, I gave it 10/10. Can I blag free beer too? Aldi have 20 bottles of Stella for £5.99, but I'd rather pay nowt to be honest. Teach me master, and I'll let you call me grasshopper.

The Beer Nut said...

Yes, you can blag free beer too. It's mostly pongy stuff that gets given away (obviously), but it is free.

All you have to do is write to the brewer and explain how you are a keystone of their viral marketing strategy. The worst they can do is tell you to shove it, you chancer.

It may not work so well with a discount supermarket, but worth a punt, I'd say.

Cooking Lager said...

You are a god in my eyes, and if I succeed in my blag for grog I shall toast your eternal health.

Woolpack Dave said...

Read "Three Sheets to the Wind". You'll love the end of the last chapter - trust me.