Saturday 24 September 2022

Thoughts on beer blogging

Boak and Bailey were recently asking about why beer blogs die, which got some interesting replies. I don't blog much myself nowadays so it did get me pondering. Partly I post less because I've been doing it so bleedin' long I've said a lot of things already. And for me anyway Twitter definitely has a part because things now move more quickly and more briefly. 

I'm not sure the world of beer bores has become more toxic though. When I started blogging whinging on about CAMRA was one of the main topics, something I myself indulged in until I realised the danger I was putting my immortal soul in. Then there was the rise of Craft Beer in Britain which was new and exciting and an excellent opportunity for conflict to arise. And nothing drives social media like conflict. As craft beer has now moved from being "revolutionary" to business as usual the craft crusaders seem a lot quieter. I mean there may have been some wailing and gnashing of teeth when Heineken's takeover of Beavertown was completed but I can't say I noticed anything. 

I also think that as time as moved on my interests have moved on. I spend less time reading beer blogs as well as less time writing them. For example, at the moment I'm more likely to read Ron's blogs about wandering around getting pissed than I am his ones about beer history. I'm also trying to get out training more often, admittedly not entirely successfully, and as far as beer goes there is something more worthwhile to devote my time and effort to. Having a blog still has it's uses though and I will continue to post stuff up at times but my output is likely to remain sporadic. 

Friday 16 September 2022

Back to a hop farm

It feels like I haven't been to a hop farm since 1911, though I suppose it can't be quite that long ago. So it was good to return to one of the Redsell's farms for an IBD do. 

They grow 90% English hops (mostly East Kent Goldings, Challenger and Fuggle with some Admiral) though they do have some foreign varieties. 

American hops Cascade and Centennial are grown and the high alpha variety Eureka is being trialled.

Lager hops Perle, H. Tradition and Akoya are being trialled. Akoya has been bred as a Perle replacement, having greater drought resistance.

They do have trickle irrigation at Redsell's but it's not as good as rain. 

They don't seem to have safety shoes though. 

The English hop crop is estimated to be down 20% and overall Europe down 22%, the American crop is expected to be close to average. 

And in amongst the CPD and networking I managed to get some green hop beer in too :-)