I have just read that Richard Boston, one of the founders of the great river of interest in good beer (upon which this small blog plays the role of tiny canoe) passed away a few days before Christmas:
Richard Boston, founder of one of Britain's first environmental magazines and a proponent of real ale, has died after a short illness. He was 67. Boston became a feature writer and regular columnist for The Guardian newspaper in 1972 and was well known for his column, "Boston on Beer," which noted the highlights of drinking true British-brewed ale at a time when large breweries were attempting to impose mass-production on the nation.Sadly, the internet being what it is, there is no archive of the "Boston on Beer" articles for me to link to for you. I can't even find a reliable photo - just a book cover and a group shot at a conference. The obituary in The Guardian does give a good sense of the man:
Anne Boston, his wife for a few years from 1968 until the mid-1970s, says he was the only man she ever knew to wake himself up laughing. He was not a natural joiner, but freelancing for the Guardian was home from home for him. In the early 1970s he and I sat one lunchtime in the Blue Lion opposite the then Guardian office in Grays Inn Road and cooked up the idea of a column on the Saturday features page. Or rather, the conversation went - Boston: "How would it be if I wrote a weekly column about beer?" The Guardian: "Good idea. Your round..."The cheery eccentricity of the earlier beer writers who popped up after the release of home brewing from its bonds and concurrent rise in the interest in real ale is worth remembering as we move deeper into the era when beer is the new wine, when we and our wallets risk being assaulted by a rise in snobbery. I have ordered the last book to see if there is any of his beer writing in the collection.
...His own books included An Anatomy of Laughter (1974), Baldness Be My Friend (1977), and Starkness At Noon (1997), this last a collection of his short pieces, including the one about how he won 1,018 votes when he stood for the European parliament on the slogan: "It's a big trough and I want to get my nose in it."
Here is his obit in The Independent.