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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Knut Albert -

There are, obviously different views on why they use wooden casks:
<i>During my visit, Simms was rejuvenating a firkin that started life in Spain full of sherry and then spent the last 100 years holding whiskey in Scotland. But neither of those flavours will seep into the beer because Simms ensures there will be no contamination.</i>

The Scottish breweries (and Fuller's) do the opposite: they use whisky barrels which still are saturated with all the good stuff, which will then enrich the beer.

One more thing: A correspondent in Britain should know that there is no such thing as a Scotch Whiskey....

Ten Inch Wheeler -

The Theakston and Samuel Smith breweries still have coopers. At Theakston they have (or had - he was definately there at least a year or so ago) a master cooper called Jonathan Manby.

Paul Garrard -

I wonder what has happened to Jonathan Manby (http://realalenet.co.uk/aleblogs/realaleblog.php?title=willy_and_jenny_the_twins&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1) he perhaps is not a master cooper but he was still working around the end of last year. As suggested there are still coopers employed in the whisky trade.

alastair simms -

Jonathan Manby is not a master cooper he is only a journey man cooper and will not be come a master until he has had an apprentice that has come out of his time

Alan -

Hi Alastair - so is the process that a journeyman can train an apprentice and, as a result, the apprentice becomes a journeyman and the journeyman the master though the fulfillment of the apprenticeship?

John Neilly -

Will any young man ever be taught the art of coopering by the true masters of the craft ie. Tommy McLeod, Jimmy Cadden, from J and R Harvey, Port Dundas, Glasgow and such like. Or will they all become slaves to the mechanical man and cheap labour for the multi national distilleries.

Sheila -

He may be one of the few coopers that is still making barrels, but my husband 64 years young served his 5 year apprentice at a cooperage in Stratford London until closing. and can remember his passing out ceremony. If we see a wooden barrel, he will try to find his mark on the rim.