We bear collective responsibility. Humanity is a sum of us all.
If there's a theme to my life, I like to think it's learning. There's stuff I don't understand and I want to try and explain it. I hate not understanding. That's why I spent four years learning how to read Kundera in Czech. If you're wondering, pretty good in the original.
But Paral. Now there's a bloke with imagination. Best novelist of the 20th century. "Valka s mnohozviretem" what a book. It distorted the whole way I thought for several years. Who am I kidding? It still influences how I think. "Láska v Praze" is supposed to be a good one. At least what Phil told me of it sounded pretty groovy.
Phil and I met at Czech summer school in 1985. We practised our colloquial Czech in most of Brno's pubs. Which is why, though I may have forgotten most everything else, my pub Czech is still quite functional. Some things you just don't forget.
God, I've been rambling. You doing my work for me. That's what I wanted to talk about.
There's just one me. I've searched cyberspace in vain for a cloning machine. We're really going to have to make do with just the one me.
I do my best. I read brewing manuals on the way to work. (God that makes me sound sad. It's a positive thing. I don't waste any of my time (well apart from arguing with Homebrew Twats on the internet) ) All those brackets. I was starting to lose track there.
There's a limit to how much I can do. My imagination is greater than my physical body. So much information sits in archives across Britain. I can't look through all of it.
What can I do? Indeed, what can you do. Where is your nearest archive? Do they have brewing records? You'd be amazed at how many there are. Go on. It's not difficult.
The procedure varies, from location to location, but it isn't complicated to request to see documents. At the London Metropolitan Archives fill in a form with the number of the document you want to see. You can put in up to four at any one time. After about half an hour, the documents are delivered to the reading room. It's allowed to take photos, without a flash, on the payment of a small fee.
The staff are very helpful and the procedure is very simple.
It's easy. Go and do it. If you can't be arsed to interpret them yourselves, just send me photos. I'll do it for you.
I've only looked at London brewers. I've still a couple of years worth of work looking at them. At least. Can you help pick up some of the burden?
There's so much I've learned. But still loads of questions. Here's my personal holy grail: an AK recipe. Anyone who can send me an image of a brewing log for AK can have a box of my beer. For other interesting ones, maybe a bottle.
What can I do? Go to the archive. Collect information. For all of us.
VIDEO: Advice for Americans on English Pubs, 1943 - We were alerted to the presence of this film on YouTube by Anthony Harper (@anthonymharper) and it’s a corker. It was made as a joint production of the U...
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