Are you thinking of another Martyn Cornell?

It’s truly a bizarre experience reading false stuff about yourself on the internet. Over on Beerpal they’ve been having a discussion about the differences between ale and beer, springing from this post. Someone said: “Who is this Brit who can’t understand that the way we Americans use a word is the way a word must be used?” (or something to that effect), and someone called Mark Fraghert responded with seven totally wrong claims about me:

The writer is Martyn Cornell, considered the foremost expert on beer in the world …

Great Dionysus, no, no, I’m most certainly not considered that, not at all, not by anybody, not even by me. How did Mr Fraghert make that one up? I wouldn’t call myself even “a leading beer historian”. A following beer historian, quite a lot of the time.

… and the person who worked with the late beer expert Michael Jackson on many of his books.

No I didn’t – I never worked with Michael Jackson at all. I was quoted in one of his books, back in 1990 or so. That’s my only link to any of his publications.

Martyn has been writing about beer for more than 30 years …

Trivially true: I’ve been seriously writing about beer only for 15 years, however.

… has authored over a dozen books

No I haven’t – three, that’s all.

… is the founder of the British Brewing Guild …

No I’m not. There’s no such organisation. I was at the meeting held to set up the British Guild of Beerwriters, but so were a lot of other people.

… and is a multiple award winner of the British Beer Writer of the year award.

No I’m not. Once. Eight years ago.

He is currently in the news doing his best to discredit Garrett Oliver’s efforts as a editor with Oliver’s Oxford Companion to Brewing.

No, I’m, definitely, absolutely not doing that at all. I have no wish to discredit Garrett Oliver, for whom I have great admiration.

Cornell is definitely not a student.

Well, THAT he got right. But now these “facts” about me are out there, how soon before they get repeated, and turn up at the top of every Google search? Let’s hope I never get a Wikipedia page

London’s brewing, London’s brewing …

The London Brewers Alliance beer festival at Vinopolis, by Borough Market, a couple of Saturdays ago was a terrific event, thoroughly enjoyable. In one room were gathered a dozen or more (I forgot to count) stalls representing breweries from in and around London, with the brewers themselves serving their beers and happy to talk to the punters about them.

It was the kind of “meet the brewer” show common in the US but almost unheard of in the UK that we really should be seeing repeated across this country. And it’s good to see London’s brewers working together in the 21st century to support each other in exactly the same way their ancestors did almost eight centuries ago, when the Brewers’ Guild was founded at All Hallows’ Church, London Wall.

It was also good, for me, to see that the Brewery History Society had a stall there: the LBA clearly has an interest in London’s history as a world-class brewing city, and everybody needs to be reminded of this almost forgotten heritage. I’d argue that, historically, London has an excellent claim to be regarded as the greatest brewing city in the world. Yes, I AM a Londoner, so of course I’m biased, but I dare you to deny that over the centuries London has given the world more new beer styles than any other brewing centre on the planet:
Continue reading London’s brewing, London’s brewing …