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Beers of the World author Alastair Gilmour

Ignoring the glass-and-chrome style-bar,Alastair Gilmour does the time warp

Fashionable foodies beef over air miles, grouse at nonseasonality and belly-ache about best-befores. Oh, for the days, they wail, when everything was produced locally and freshness was preserved. A 1913 copy of The Newcastle Daily Journal tells a different story, however. The city’s markets offered...

Spotlight from Issue 19 published on 30/07/2008

The Czech Republic gave the world its most popular beer style. Alastair Gilmour sends his thanks

The house lights dim; a ripple of applause sweeps the auditorium; a familiar tune begins as Tony Bennett raises the microphone. Spotlight, anticipation, the moment. “I left my scarf... in Cesky Krumlov...” The celebrated crooner may not have mislaid his muffler, but I certainly did earlier this yea...

International Focus from Issue 19 published on 30/07/2008

Alastair Gilmour speaks to Stuart Cail, head brewer at Harviestoun Brewery in Scotland

How did you get involved in beer? Like many people, as a student! My two industrial placements were at Harp Lager (I know, but I was a student) in Moss Side, Manchester and Moray Firth Maltings (as was) in Arbroath, Scotland. I then studied brewing at Heriot-Watt in Edinburgh and the rest is just a...

Last Shout from Issue 18 published on 19/06/2008

The world’s best bartenders poured, informed andsmiled for the judges. Alastair Gilmour reports on an unusual competition.

The world high jump record has been shattered by a young Swede wearing a smart suit. The previous 2.45 metre leap by Cuban athlete Javier Sotomayor, which has resisted all-comers since 1993, was well and truly surpassed in late 2007 by Erik Jonsson. Erik, who now lives and works in Norway, also wor...

Spotlight from Issue 16 published on 25/01/2008

There's a lot of very good beer produced between Berwick upon Tweed and Middlesbrough, writes Alastair Gilmour.

The stripes of one of its perpetually-underperforming football clubs are black and white; the geography is hilly and flat; the weather can be hot and cold in the same day – the North East of England is a region of contrasts and extremes. Its 3,317 square miles nurture world leaders in stem-cell res...

Regional Focus from Issue 16 published on 25/01/2008

Once sampled, quality beers leave a deep impression, as chef Raymond Blanc has discovered. Alastair Gilmour met him at his hotel-restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, England

Every sense gets a look-in on the long, straight path leading to Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. The feel of lavender on leg, the sight of the honey-coloured manor house, the aroma of woodsmoke that merges into roast lamb the closer you get, the dribble of saliva and the warble of birdsong blending wit...

from Issue 11 published on 23/03/2007

There is more to beer than bubbles and alcohol, as Alastair Gilmour discovered when he headed to Switzerland for a beer massage...

The water in the whirlpool bath is hot; there’s a metre of snow outside; you’re completely naked, but you’re perfectly relaxed and utterly content, so what is the Swiss spa masseuse about to do with her huge pitcher of organic beer? She’s going to pour it all over you and turn on the jet stream flo...

from Issue 7 published on 28/07/2006

It was a tradition as old as pub food but the pie and a pint has been consigned to the historical dustbin. Alastair Gilmour cries in to his beer

When the chief executive of one of the country’s most respected beer institutions talks seriously, it pays to listen. George Philliskirk, chief executive of The Beer Academy, admits that as a student at Newcastle University, he would often call into the city’s Hotspur pub for a lunchtime pie and a ...

Beer Trends from Issue 7 published on 28/07/2006

Vaux Double Maxim enjoys iconic status. And according to Alastair Gilmour it’s going from strength to strength

One of the country’s most historic beers not only continues to perform well, but its ‘big brother’ is sharing its takehome spotlight. For more than a century, Vaux Double Maxim has been one of the North East of England’s best-loved beers, with such a following that when the brewing operation ceased...

Beer Trends from Issue 6 published on 18/05/2006

Alastair Gilmour takes his place in one of the most unusual pub visits he has ever undertaken

Who could turn down the invitation to a pub crawl, a bit of banter and a good time? It’s a suggestion loaded with possibilities which the Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour delivers in entertaining fashion – a witty and dramatic romp led by professional actors through the life and work of Scotland’s great...

Beer Journeys from Issue 4 published on 27/01/2006

Could a 150-year-old socialist ideal help keep small breweries and rural communities afloat? Alastair Gilmour thinks so

You’re sitting in the only pub in the village. The next-door micro-brewery is about to throw in the towel. The pub gets its beer from the micro. The nearest city is 12 miles away and the bus runs only on Wednesdays. Basis for a tragi-comic television series, or bitter reality? Fiction lost out when...

Spotlight from Issue 3 published on 12/01/2006

La Brasserie de Bercloux is a small French brewery punching well above its weight. Alistair Gilmour reports

You know where you are with the sound of keg on concrete and the echo of mallet on bung. The mind opens its ‘brewery, beer, pub’ homepage, clicks through the menu, then invites the other senses to join the company. But when the thermometer is rising through the high 20s, a welcome breeze rustles a...

from Issue 2 published on 16/11/2005

Alastair Gilmour visits the annual Zatec Hop Festival in the Czech Republic

Breakfast: Potato pancake filled with smoked bacon in a cheese sauce, accompanied by three different types of cabbage. Half-litre of beer. Time: Just after 6am. Cost: The equivalent of the News of the World and a Kit Kat. Location: A bar/restaurant in the North Bohemian town of Zatec in the Czech...

Spotlight from Issue 2 published on 16/11/2005

Football and beer… for Britons it’s a marriage made in heaven. Alistair Gilmour looks at the link between sport and beer

MOST of us are familiar with those three little words that mean everything to a relationship. They’re a symbol of affection, an underpinning of trust and a measure of unstinting loyalty. They are often whispered intimately but can be signalled across a crowded room with equal effect – an expression...

from Issue 1 published on 26/08/2005


 
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