What ale will you be leaving out for Santa?

We don’t leave sherry out by the fireplace for Santa on December 24 in our house: not that I dislike an Oloroso or Amontillado myself under the right circumstances, but this is a beer-oriented home, and anyway I reckon the old boy would like something refreshingly hoppy after several tens of million glasses of sweet-and-sticky… Read More What ale will you be leaving out for Santa?

A religious experience in a restaurant

To be “intoxicated” means, literally, to have been shot with a poisoned arrow, thanks to a roundabout philological journey involving the old Greek word for bow, toxon. The same root led to the made-up word “toxophilite” for people who practice archery for sport. Early in the 19th century the Royal Toxophilite Society used butts (that… Read More A religious experience in a restaurant

The ploughman’s lunch – guilty or innocent?

How much metaphorical baggage can you pile on a simple bar snack? Can bread, cheese and pickle (plus some lettuce and a sliced tomato, if you like) really be placed in the dock and charged with representing the worst kind of British fakery? Does the ploughman’s lunch masquerade as a false representation of simpler times,… Read More The ploughman’s lunch – guilty or innocent?