Continuing in the strange experimental spirit we started with our ‘Will It Shandy..?’ investigation, Dylan ― of The Bottleneck blog, and my comrade / direct superior at Golding’s Free Dive ― and I ask the yet-more-nonsensical question: Will It Gaff? We realise that’s probably not really a noun, nevermind a verb,1 but we wanted to pick up the thread of mostly-forgotten ginger-beer-blends (with names like “portergaff” and “shandygaff”) that we mentioned in passing last time. For this round, we enlisted Annika Naschitzki ― of Tiamana Brewery, and herself an occasional blogger, who handily hails from a different (and definitely livelier)2 beer-blending culture.
Thanks again to Dylan himself for doing the hard work in the editing suite; he’s got a parallel post up at his own site. Thanks also to The Coconut Monkeyrocket for our intro music. There’s probably not much needed by way of my usual Show Notes,3 but it’s worth pointing out:
- ‘The 1900 Pub ― the biggest surprise’ by Martyn Cornell gets referenced a bit and is definitely worth a read.
- [CENSORED] Best Bitter was bleeped out because there was no real need to name-and-shame the brewery that made it; this conversation was recorded a while ago ― there’s references to Tiamana’s recent birthday and the Octopump event at Moon that date it, if you’re paying obsessive attention ― so that batch is likely long gone, and we had a quiet word with the producer concerned. Also, bleeps are inherently funny.
- My flatmate Kate Jordan ― herself also a former beer blogger ― is a historian and dug up a few letters to the editor4 from the British Medical Journal in the 1890s which kinda-sorta confirm our vague conclusion that the ginger beer of the time was alcoholic, but only moderately so; 2% (or less) seems a reasonable stab.
- Well, it is. But the sense in which we mean it here isn’t officially accepted, yet.
- Thanks, if that’s the word, to the gdmfing Reinheitsgebot ― which I hope goes entirely uncelebrated as it rounds its 501st birthday, soon.
- From, you know, The Other Podcast ― which still isn’t dead, but is still resting.
- If you’re curious: here’s the first, second, and third. Other evidence welcome!