A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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Stonch -

Great article, you've prompted me to post this on my blog - "Halt the decline of pub culture" - http://stonch.blogspot.com/2007/04/halt-decline-of-pub-culture.html

Smoove D -

Personally, I don't go to the pub very often because it's expensive. Why pay $5.00 plus tip (and whatever parking costs, amortized over the number of beers consumed) when a six pack from the package store can be had for $5.00 - $8.00? Pubs in Atlanta make no economic sense. Also, at the local by me, selection is severely limited, while at the liquor store, they have beer and craft brews from all over. If I buy a six pack and don't care for the beer, I unload it on friends at the next gathering. At the pub, I'm simply out $5.00. Finally, I just moved to a new 'hood and none of my friends live here. The owners of the local are friendly, but the denizens are not. I could see paying inflated pub prices if I could make friends there, but otherwise I'd rather buy a sixer and hang on the cheap with my friends.

Alan -

That is a very good comment, SD. Plus, maybe we forget how out homes have become our entertainment centres - something that previously were only rivaled by pubs. Right now, ahead of a four day weekend, I'm flopped on the sofa in the 1960s dream rec room, have the Ramones cranked, get to watch the ballgame Yankees struggle against Tampa Bay on a ridiculously large TV and have a glass of Goliath going. Like a bar gets me that.

Stonch -

SD - all of those are good points in your particular circumstances. I suppose what you're saying is that the pub culture on offer to you isn't the kind worth preserving for your purposes. However, most of the points you make are area specific. For example, apart from in really rural areas, here in the UK most people have a pub within walking distance or easily reached by public transport, so the parking/driving bit isn't an issue for us. The tipping doesn't matter either - we don't tip bar staff over here (once in a while you offer to buy the barman a drink, but it isn't obligatory in any sense). However, I don't agree with the point about it being more expensive to buy beer in the pub - of course it is! The bar has overheads to pay that an off license doesn't! You are paying for the surroundings and the atmosphere.

Wouldn't it be a sad, sad world if we all just stayed at home, or just visited the homes of our friends? Sounds a bit like a dystopian nightmare vision of the future to me - the true breakdown of society.

Donavan Hall -

I'm glad SD spoke up. These are issues I'll be tackling at this pub culture series develops. In fact, yesterday, after reading Stonch's post about saving the pub culture in England, my first thought was that in the US its not a matter of saving, but of building up, of developing pub culture.

Last night, I went to Callahan's with a buddy of mine. We are mapping out plans to do our bit to help develop pub culture on Long Island. While we were chatting, the owner, Pete, comes out of the back and says, "Hey, how's it going guys?" He sits down with us and we talk for about an hour about great beer and scotch and how Pete thinks he can get some better beers in the place for us. "Would you like to see Chimay on tap?" Pete asks.

Later a guy comes in and sits down next to us and says, "Hey, I'm Nick." Nick's drinking megaswill, but we talk about where to find the best fishing holes in Long Island Sound. And that Yankees game was on the tube in the corner. Does it get better? Yes, it does, but we in the US have some work ahead of us.

The next time Nick comes in and sits down next to me, I'm going to split a big bottle of Affligem Dubbel with him.

Smoove D -

To clarify a bit, I wouldn't mind paying the bar prices for pints if the surroundings provided some value for the money - but pub culture in Atlanta is rather lacking in terms of social interaction and not really worth the money when it's cheaper and significantly more fun to have people over, or go to parties put on by friends.

Nate -

Over the last 5 years, I've actually gone to where I just don't drink at home at all. I can go out to the pub and drink until I can't see straight, but I won't touch a drop at home, even if I spend two straight weeks in. I think a lot of it is the social aspect, especially since the place I've frequented over the last year has some very sharp folks. Part of it too, sadly, is the fear that "you're going to miss something". Plus our local cable system blows and I get ten times as much sports programming at the bar.

Agnes -

Well, I started going to one and I even wrote about pubs in my blog but then I realized that I really don't like drinking beer due to health reasons. It is also bad for Filipino women to be seen in a bar or a pub (it is a culture thing). In a double standard society like ours, only men are acceptable to be seen drinking publicly. Although I now live in Canada, I still feel awkward being seen drinking in a bar or pub.

Alan -

When we lived in Poland, a woman could drink vodka but not beer if she wanted to be thought of as proper.