TV, DVD, podcast

A pretty fine Pint

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Make Mine a Pint: The History of Beer
2006

This DVD doesn’t start well at all. We get a guy with puffy hair and a suit that looks like it was never in style talking about beer. Then there’s some old guy in a hop feeling banging on about what must be the dullest talk on hops ever. And he seems to go on for ages but is probably talking for only a minute or so.

But get past these two and the gold arrives. See, Mr Puffy Hair is only here to top and tail three old black and white films about beer from the archives of UK brewer Whitbread. Now, maybe it’s just me but I find these old movies fascinating, with the way they offer a look into the past.

The three short films deal with different topics. One is a short documentary on the hop harvest, where city folk pack up their belongings and and have a working holiday at the hop farm for three weeks.

The , the second is a a feature called “The Brewer’s Art” that shows how beer is made – right from the purchasing of the grain and hops.

The third – and the one I enjoyed most of all – seems to be a movie made to show publicans the right and wrong way to run their pub. For instance, make sure your employees wash their hands after using the toilet and don’t smoke while pulling a pint – the sort of stuff they might miss if someone didn’t tell them.

One surprising fact is that the drip pans under the taps were removed at the end of the night and the remnants poured back into the half-full kegs to be served the next day. And that was an example of something the publican SHOULD be doing. Can’t imagine how anyone would have thought serving leftover beer the next day was a top thing to do.

If you’re a bit of a geek for some beer history, I highly recommend you watch this DVD. Just think about fast-forwarding through the parts that feature Mr Puffy Hair.

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