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December Vlog – Christmas beers with the two Peters!

So, three weeks there with no posting.  Did you miss me?

If so, sorry about that.  Three reasons contributing to my silence:

  • I’ve been insanely busy, working 14-16 hours a day on stuff that pays money, not because I want to but because if I didn’t, HMRC were going to come round and auction off my rare beers and CD collection to pay my unpaid tax bill
  • My hard drive died and I was computerless for a while.  Today I heard that, for a mere £500, a specialist data recovery agency has been able to do what a mac engineer could not, and salvage all my data from the old hard drive.  Not only can I now do my accounts, look at 10,000 photos and listen to 30,000 songs, I have my entire archive of everything I’ve ever written back safely.
  • I was in no great hurry to blog anyway.  I needed a break from the relentless negativity that infects some parts of the blogosphere.  I swear that if I was to post an exclusive along the lines of “Brewer creates beer that cures cancer – and by the way, it tastes fucking awesome” – I would only have to count to about 40 before someone out there commented that it probably, in fact, tastes shit, or is brewed by the wrong-sized brewer, or is served under gas, or doesn’t have enough hops.  Sure I have my own rants, but I always try to be constructive – I did actually taste Stella Black, for instance, before writing about what an appallingly fucking shit beer it is, and I gave some very clear pointers as to what I thought was wrong with it, and how I thought they could have done it much better. But some of you seem determined to see only the negative in everything, to close down all options apart from the inevitability of shit.  It’s not your fault, it’s the internet.  It’s what it does to some people.
Anyway, it’s nearly Christmas – and I’ll brook none of that behaviour now.  
Annie Lennox doesn’t like Christmas.  She’s released an album with which she is attempting to destroy Christmas.  She takes Christmas songs and sings them like the ghost of a premenstrual Scrooge-ess whose puppy died one Christmas and doesn’t see why anyone else should enjoy Christmas if she can’t.  It was playing in a Starbucks I was in yesterday, and the snow began to melt, and turned to rain, and now London has no snow for Christmas.  Coincidence? Yeah, right.
I’m the opposite. I love Christmas.  For much of the year I’m George Bailey in the final third of It’s a Wonderful Life.  I’m that despairing, that pessimistic.  And then it gets to Christmas and I realise the difference between Bedford Falls and Pottersville is merely state of mind*, and I become end-of-film George Bailey.
That’s why we’ve done a Christmas beer blog. It’s fun-filled.  It’s cheesy.  It’s meant to be.  We also happen to taste some really good beers and give you a blueprint for a beery Christmas Day that you can take way and adapt to whatever beers are available in your locale.
Having finished his videos of the brewing process, Peter Amor joins me for a drink.  I drink one of his beers in one of his pubs. Then we drink some more.  We hint at what beers go with each stage of Christmas dinner.  We drink beer, enjoy it, and have a laugh.

That’s what beer is about.  That’s what Christmas is about.  No brainer.

From now on our blogs are available for you to cut and paste from Vimeo and disseminate into the wider world.  And in the New Year, while I’ll still be posting monthly video blogs here there will also be a separate British Video Blogs site attempting to spread appreciation of great British beer more widely.
So just ask yourself: are you a George Bailey?  Or an Annie Lennox?
*If you don’t get this reference, you need to stop reading, right now, and go and watch It’s a Wonderful Life before you do anything else.  This is important.  Your life could depend on it.



First Stater

A visit to the Morgan factory in Malvern is one of the high points of my visits to the UK. Oh, and a cask festival in Carlisle was pretty sweet also.


Christmas is the time of year I am definitely happy, I can let loose and over-indulge in beer without the wife being on my case. Have a great Christmas Pete and may you be very merry.

Pete Brown

My point entirely, Cookie.

Nothing at all wrong with Slade. Why every public place in London seems to be playing Lennox's dirges instead can only be put down to a collective sense of misplaced misery. I blame George Osborne.


Lovely to see Pete Amor in your video – I was there when he launched the very first Dorothy Goodbody beer on an unsuspecting world!

The Pub Diaries

Precisely the reason why I avoid Starbucks and shops in general most of th year and definitely at Xmas. If I hear Mariah Carey one more time I may pierce my ear drums with the plastic east coast mainline stirrer in front of me… I thought Annie Lennox was off saving the human race from injustice and now you tell ms shes destroying Christmas. It only makes me worry what the fuck Dave Stewart is plotting!!

John McNally

I haven't heard the Annie Lennox album, but it sounds like she is nicking Leonard Cohen's customers….I like Christmas because chocolate beer starts to appear in some pubs.


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