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Summer Newsletter 2021

The next FoHB Social is still some way off yet, pending the Government easing of restrictions on 21st June, but be assured that we will arrange a list of venues for socials as soon as physically possible. Dan and myself will be meeting soon to discuss the next trip and what it might entail, but it probably means that we can only half fill a coach, and a brewery visit is very unlikely, so a trip to a city like Liverpool or Sheffield is probably best.

Obituary: Sadly I have to announce the passing of ex-member
Joe Stokes, who died on May 15th. I expect that you will remember him as the little chap who had trouble with his speech following a stroke; a good fishing-friend of Ernie Harris. “Tight Lines Joe!”

According to the Brewery History Society’s newsletter, it is estimated 2000 pubs have closed permanently and about 700,000 staff have lost their jobs in hospitality. The Brewers of Europe reckon that lost sales over the continent amount to some 34 million hectolitres (which is a lot of beer) yet rather strangely 216 more breweries opened in the UK last year. No lack of confidence that the market will bounce back there then?

Greene King is to change the name of 4 of its pubs amid concerns their names could have racial connotations. Three are called ‘The Black Boy’ and the fourth is ‘The Blacks Head’ in Wirksworth. Royal historians will no doubt be aware that his Majesty King Charles II was fondly nicknamed ‘The Black Boy’ by his mother Henrietta Maria of France, because of the darkness of his skin and eyes, and so unsurprisingly many pubs were named after him (the guitarist Brian May even styled his hair after him) and the owners of the 70 or so other ‘Black Boys’ are happy to go on believing that it is something to do with coal mining; except Shepherd Neame  who are renaming a 400 year old pub in Sevenoaks ‘The Restoration’. Henry Ford must be spinning in his grave.

The woke brigade seem to have reached fever pitch in the lockdown period, and have decided that the traditional and arcane form of Morris Dancing is figuratively and demonstrably racist in its use of black face-paint . To keep the little bells jingling Morris Dancers are now expected to use blue face-paint to maintain the peace; although complaints are expected any day now from Venus.

Summer 2021 continued …

The term Kolsch’ has a protected geographical indication (PGI) within the EU, meaning that a beer can be sold under that name only if it is brewed within 50k of the city of Cologne. Said city has managed to ban sales of beer from Frankfurt called ‘Colonia’ (the old Roman name for Cologne) throughout the surrounding state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The Frankfurt brewery said it was surprised at the new ban, as its beer had been on the market since 2009.