That Was 2012: The Blogs, The People

Ol Rooster pours for Tandleman

Ol Rooster pours for Tandleman

In lieu of a Golden Pints post this year I just thought I’d get some thoughts down in respect of the beers (see previous post), and now, the blogs. I remain, as you’ll see, a staunch optimist about blogging, despite the number of beer blogs out there seemingly increasing day by day. I’m pretty ambivalent towards this, and feel that – as long as people read your work – then you’ve got enough reason to keep going. Blogging, much like drinking great beer, isn’t exclusive. If everyone’s doing it, then surely that means- in a roundabout way –  more people are drinking beer – and that’s what we want, no?

I must say, however, that a recent conversation with a friend and fellow blogger revealed that actually, when I think about it, I’m still reading pretty much the same blogs every post that I was when I started, with a few notable additions. Is that a problem? Is it that I’m lazy or stuck-in-the-mud? Am I unaware of a whole new world out there that could amaze me? Perhaps. That’s for me to explore in 2013, I guess. I want quality, rather than quantity, I think.

So (I can hear you asking)  – what are you reading?

Well, to reiterate a point that many have made in the Golden Pints, Boak & Bailey’s blog has been wonderful this year. The balance is excellent between stats (and I am not a stat man), insight, grumbles, observations, journal and exclamations of joy. The last part is important. Thanks ,guys, and good luck with the book.

I find myself agreeing with Tandleman more these days. I’m not sure why this is; or whether it’s a good or bad (!) thing. I think his blog has got an excellent balance these days, personally, and I read every post now. Blogs like this and this were incredibly refreshing and really ‘cut through the chatter’ on a thorny, much-discussed matter. I met Pete for the first time at a Twissup, and was pleased to see him at the Beer Blogger’s Conference. We had a good chat, and maybe this has led to me seeing his blog in a new way. It makes a big difference, meeting a blogger personally that you’ve read for a while. Again, I’ll touch on that later on.

I don’t often go in for straight-up review blogs, preferring instead to dip in and out depending on what beer is being featured, but a couple deserve a mention here. CAMRGB’s tasting notes are excellent; ever-so-slightly over the top but in a really ,really good way. Tasting notes that make me want to read. Then go out and buy the beer. Surely that, friends, is the point? Also, Sheriff Mitchell’s commitment to tasting a beer a day has been really commendable; pulling a stunt like that and making something actually readable, informative and interesting is some feat, and he’s pulled it off. Not many do. I’m looking forward to seeing what he’s going to do in 2013.

Dogs in Pubs, Indeed

Dogs in Pubs, Indeed

Will Hawkes’ work on the Independent blog has been blinding – this piece on french brewing was possibly my favourite post of the year on any blog.  Winning a Guild award for his work on Craft Beer London was deserved, but how his writing got overlooked, I don’t know.

Finally, I find the wide-eyed enthusiasm of Phil and Bierebelle really, really invigorating. These are people discovering beer and exploring it with gusto – something I want to read about and share in, frankly. Dogs in Pubs is not only a blog with a subject close to my heart, but it’s such a lovely, simple idea it makes you wonder why it’s not been done before. An essential document of a particularly singular aspect of Pub life, if you ask me.

I have gripes, yes – mostly about people not blogging enough! Yes, I’m looking at you, Real Ale Reviews, Beer Birra Bier, HopZine (more video interviews, please Rob!) and Beer Reviews. I’ll let Zak off, I know he’s a busy bloke these days – but I do miss his regular blogging.

Anyway, there’s some bloody excellent blogs out there, and I’m always honoured to be a part of the community.


A Grinning Fool…And Garrett Oliver

Finally, I’d just like to say that it’s been a pleasure actually meeting people this year – from the Beer Bloggers Conference (thanks to everyone that made the Leeds pub crawl such fun), Twissups, Festivals and various jaunts up and down the country. People seem to generally be as hard working and genuinely friendly in real life as they are ‘behind the screen’ and you’re reminded of that when you’re sat in a pub, laughing and talking about things other than beer*.

You know, as normal people do. That, my friends, is the true test.

*Except Garrett Oliver. Meeting and eating with Garrett  was a pleasure, and Christ, can that man talk about beer. And you can’t stop listening – in a good way.


About leighgoodstuff

Blog: I'm Leigh Linley; born and bred in Leeds, and writing about it since 2005. TGS exists solely to highlight the great beers that are out there; brewed with passion by Craft Brewers around the World. I also edit the 'Tavern Tales' section of Culture Vulture, which looks at Pubs and Pub Life rather than the beer in the glass.

Posted on 21/12/2012, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Blimey. Thanks, Leigh. That really means a lot.

    As for sticking to the ‘usual suspects’, we’ve just got over checking every day to see if Maeib, Stonch or Random Rambling John have posted anything new…

    • No problems, guys. Jesus, funny you should mention RR John, I keep an eye out for him still, to this day. We met a few times too, had a great day drinking in Leeds with his Darlo gang and then met in York for a *very* boozy afternoon once. This was pre-York Tap etc and was a lovely, session – beer session. Ah, those were the days.

  2. One obvious ommission! Yours! Although I guess you don’t purposefully read your own blog, unless you’re editing it. Can I stop rambling now?

    I couldn’t agree more with your choices, especially Boak & Bailey, Oh Beery Me and Will Hawkes. CAMRGB will always have a special place on my blog reading list!

  3. oi i’ve been busy too, too much work and not enought play, setting your own company up is harder than it looks!….honest!

  4. Cheers Leigh, very kind mention. It means a lot.

  5. Cheers Leigh once again for the mention here in such accomplished company. As folks above have said, it means a great deal especially coming from someone who’s writing I hold in such high esteem.

    That top photograph puzzles me though, every time I look at it I think it’s me, I know it’s not, but it has me every time..


    #Daddy? 😉

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