Friday 30 June 2023

What we've forgotten about the 1970s

A good old wallow in the mud-pit of nostalgia. Have I been doing that? The numbers, you know. They don't lie.

While I've been on my 1970s thing, it's mostly been boring old tables. With the odd reminiscence thrown in. (If all goes to plan, not just mine in future. Also ones from people with fat better memories.)

I may lust still after some of the beers from that era. But lots of things were crap. I used to think of the 1950s as being in black and white. The 1970s were, too, really. Quite drab. Even the punks were all in black.

Outside toilets, afternoon closing, a general lack of heating, power cuts, minimal pub hours on Sunday, no wifi, third-world style inflation, three TV channels, keg beer stalking our children, eleven o'clock closing, Leeds United and bright beer.

Beer that was never off, like cask might be. But was never great. Beer with the weak link - the landlord - taken out. I'm not surprised lots of brewers went for it. Not just the big boys. Regional brewers like Mansfield went all bright.

In a way, bright beer sums up the 1970s. Just about good enough. As long as you didn't look too closely.

Then again, they did pay me to go to university. Money well spent by the state, even if I say so myself. I may not have quite got a degree. But I did . . .  learn a lot of life lessons. Or just hang around eating pie and peas and playing table tennis. Which are also life lessons. In the value of pies. And how shit I am at table tennis.


Rob said...

"But lots of things were crap."

Sturgeon's Law: 90% of everything is crap.

He was specifically talking literature, but it applies to beer as well. We remember the good 10% and think that is representative.

Anonymous said...

10.30 closing on a Sunday!

Chris Pickles said...

Funny, I always think of the 70's as a golden age for beer. But it helped that I knew what to look out for and what to avoid, and where to find rare outposts of certain breweries well out of their usual range. So I could always find a decent selection of good beers. But when I think back to all the beers I enjoyed back then, and realise that they are no longer available I could weep.

But then I remind myself that I live in Australia now and couldn't get them anyway.

Anonymous said...

I'm an Americna born in the 80's, so I can't comment directly. I will say that I picked up David Line's Brewing Beers Like Those You Buy, and he has lots of descriptions (not very vivid) of commercial beers as they probably were in the late 70s.

Anonymous said...

It is the same today in Ireland my regular is Dunphy’s of Dún Loaghaire as it is a free house often brings in small independent breweries stouts and has two independent micro’s pales/IPA’s on draught permanently and a ruby sweet ale called Sullivan’s red on draught permanently having replaced Smithwick’s red my go to pint.