Sunday, 19 March 2017

Cologne for IDS 2017

I don’t get many opportunities to get out of the office in the course of my job as Laboratory Manager for a company which manufactures dental products, and when I do it’s usually to attend a course or  visit one of our critical suppliers. I was therefore quite pleased the week before last when the boss called me into his office and asked if I would like to go to Cologne, to help man our exhibition stand at the world’s largest dental show.

IDS, or the International Dental Show, takes place every two years, and occupies a number of exhibition halls in Cologne’s massive showground, on the east bank of the River Rhine. My company has exhibited there over the course of the past two decades, and I attended three shows, back in my early days with the company. The policy over the years has been to rotate staff, so that all managers and supervisors get to experience this massive trade show, and to learn what’s new in the world of dentistry.

Obviously there is a core number of essential staff from sales and research & development who attend every show, but a couple of weeks ago, our R&D manager handed in his notice; having found himself a more lucrative role closer to home. Looking for an experienced member of staff to step into the breach, the boss turned to me, and asked if I could cover the whole week.

I of course said yes, and whilst it can get a little tedious being on the stand from 9am to 6pm, there is plenty of opportunity for socialising in the evenings. Our parent company, who are based in Japan, will be sending a contingent over, and we will also be meeting with colleagues from the group’s European sales division, who are based just outside nearby Düsseldorf.

There will also be ample opportunity to enjoy a few “Stanges”; the 20cl glasses which local beer-style, Kölsch is normally served in. Strangely enough I wrote about an English take on Kölsch in my last post, about Truman’s RAW; the company’s new “tank beer”.

Now I’m a little rusty on my Kölsches, particularly as a number of the better known brands are all produced by a group called the Kölner Verbund Bauereien. This group is in turn owned by the Oetker Group; an organisation which started out making baking products, but has now branched into branded food products (pizza anyone?), and also brewing under the auspices of the Radeberger Brewing Group.

If time allows I would like to re-visit Päffgen, who are Cologne’s smallest Kölsch brewery, supplying their beer to just two outlets; one of which is the pub in front of the brewery. I last visited Päffgen in 2009, and before that in 1975 when I stopped over in the city during my Interrail trip, which I wrote about recently.

Päffgen is a very traditional brewery, and the beer is still supplied in and served out of wooden casks. It is also hoppier than many of the more mainstream Kölsches. The pub is also pretty basic, and doesn’t seem to have changed much over the past three decades.

It would be good to re-visit Päffgen, but as I said above, only if time allows, and looking at our itinerary, we have a pretty packed schedule of meetings both during the show, and in a couple of the evenings. However, I won’t be too disappointed if I don’t make it to this historic brew-pub, as I will be back in Cologne, albeit briefly, in May, when my son and I will be joining a group of CAMRA members from Maidstone, on a four day excursion to Düsseldorf. Our stay in the Rhineland area includes a day in Cologne, and I’m pretty certain the group will want to visit Päffgen.

Unlike previous visits to IDS, when people either drove, or flew to Cologne, this year we will be travelling by train; taking advantage of the fast cross-border trains which link Brussels to Cologne. With fast Eurostar connections from Ebbsfleet to the Belgian capital, this should be a more relaxing way to travel.

I will let you know whether or not this is the case when I get back, and will also report on any bars or beers of interest I come across.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Truman's in the RAW

Last week I was invited to a function held at a West London pub. The event was a beer and food pairing designed to introduce people to RAW; a  new “tank lager" from Truman’s Brewery. The function  took place at the Eagle, in Ladbroke Grove; a pub which has only been open a few weeks in its present guise. It was chosen as a suitable place to launch the new Truman’s beer, as it was originally a Truman’s pub. This was back in the day when the Black Eagle Brewery of Truman, Hanbury & Buxton, in London’s East-End, was one of the largest in the world.

The original Truman brewery, at Brick Lane in Spitalfields was founded in 1666. It grew steadily and during the 18th Century, under the management of Benjamin Truman, it underwent a period of rapid expansion, driven by an almost insatiable demand for porter, to become one of the largest brewers in London. This growth continued into and throughout the 19th Century with the expansion of the brewery and the enlargement of the company’s pub estate. In 1873, Truman’s purchased the Philips Brewery in Burton-on-Trent and became, for a while, the largest brewery in the world.

Truman's "tank system" - at the Eagle
Things changed during the 20th Century, not just for Truman’s but for many other similar-sized breweries. The deprivations of two world wars, followed  by the rise of lager, competition from cheaper foreign imports and the unprecedented  consolidation of some of the biggest names in British brewing through mergers and acquisitions.

Truman’s managed to avoid these destructive forces for quite some time, so much so that by the end of the 1960’s they were the last major independent brewery left in London. Unfortunately this happy situation did not continue into the next decade, because in 1971 Truman's became the centre of a bidding war between hotels group Grand Metropolitan and Watney Mann. Grand Metropolitan eventually emerged as winners and then immediately turned their attention to Watney Mann. After taking over the latter, Grand Metropolitan merged the company with Truman's, and from then on the company’s fortunes declined rapidly. Despite a series of management restructures and a major re-branding, Truman’s continued to go downhill, and in 1989 the inevitable closure of the brewery was announced.

And there the Truman’s story would have finished, were it not for the efforts of two local beer enthusiasts, James Morgan and Michael-George Hemus who, in 2010, purchased the Truman’s name from Scottish and Newcastle, thereby re-established this much loved London brewery. The two partners based the brewery’s revival on the principals that had made the original Truman’s great; starting with making great beer and having a profound respect for pubs and pub culture.

After trialling various test brews, under contract at both Everards and Nethergate breweries, a new brewery in Hackney Wick was completed in August 2013. The brewery officially opened a month later and Truman's beer once more rolled out of the East End to be gratefully received by a number of discerning London pubs.

Eagle- upstairs dining room
The Eagle is one such pub, and its owners, Hippo Inns, were pleased to invite a group of beer and food writers along a beer and food pairing evening, designed to highlight both the pub and its food, plus some of the beers from the new Truman’s brewery. As mentioned earlier, the Eagle’s management and senior figures from the brewery, were also keen to show of their “tank lager” installation, designed to serve their “brewery-fresh” RAW lager and the gleaming copper equipment associated with this, was quite apparent in the bar.

The system used is similar to those used by Czech brewers Pilsner Urquell and Budvar, where the beer is contained in a large “bag” within the tank, and dispensed by either gas or air-pressure applied from the outside. This means the beer never comes into contact with either, and therefore remains as fresh as it was when it left the brewery.

A pint of RAW
Upon arrival at the pub, I didn’t go straight in on the RAW, as there were a couple of other Truman beers I wanted to sample. These included Gypsy Queen, an unusual, seasonal pale ale, containing 10% oat meal in the grist, plus Zephyr; a double-hopped pale ale. Both these beers were cask, and it’s encouraging to report that cask accounts for 60-70% of Truman’s output. This sampling took place in the busy ground floor bar; but it wasn’t long before we were all ushered upstairs for a couple of short presentations and the main part of the evening,

Once seated we were give our first taste of RAW, and it is here that the surprise comes, because the 4.5% ABV RAW is a Kölsch -style beer, rather than a true bottom-fermented lager. Now I’m sure many people know that Kölsch is a beer which developed in the city of Cologne. It is a top-fermented beer with a similar bright, straw-yellow hue to other beers brewed from lightly kilned malts, such as Pilsner. Somewhat unusually, Kölsch is warm fermented at around 13 to 21 °C before being cold conditioned at traditional lagering temperatures. Kölsch is also a  product with protected geographical indication, as defined by the Kölsch Konvention; an association of Cologne breweries formed to promote this distinct style of beer.

Kölsch apparently, requires less lagering time than a true, bottom-fermented beer such as a pilsner would. This is good news for breweries such as Truman’s, which have a limited fermentation capacity and maturation facilities. My fellow writers and I certainly enjoyed the beer, which had a malty and slightly sweet taste.

A rather large pork knuckle
We were given a number of “sharing” starters to try, including pork terrine, cheese soufflé and salmon tartare, all of which matched well with the food. Our pre-ordered main courses then arrived. The Eagle describes its menu as “The best of British with a Bavarian twist”, so for this reason I opted for the crispy knuckle of roast pork with fried potato dumplings.

Without wishing to sound churlish, it was actually a roasted ham hock, as later confirmed by the pub’s chef, who gave us a brief talk about the Eagle’s food offering, and the philosophy behind it. There was rather a lot of meat on my knuckle, irrespective of whether it was pork or ham, but fortunately one of my fellow diners helped me out with it. There was also a selection of “sharing” desserts to follow, including mulled pear and apple crumble, with custard plus bitter chocolate fondant with cherry vanilla.

Halfway through the meal, we were given a short presentation from Frazer Timmerman, who is Truman’s Business Development Manager. I have already covered some of the point he told us, but amongst others of interest, is the size of the brew-kit (40 barrels), and the fact that Truman’s only sell their beer within the area bounded by the M25. They are currently looking to treble their fermentation capacity, in order to cope with increased demand for their beers. RAW is currently only being sold in a few “flagship” outlets, of which the Eagle is one. This may be down to the high “up-front” costs of the tank system.

It was an interesting evening, and it was good to meet up with representatives from Truman’s, as well as members of the pub’s team. Special thanks go to event organiser, Kristel Valaydon of KV Communications; and yes Kristel I know I said I would include some of my personal recollections about the original Truman’s beers, but there just wasn’t sufficient space to include it here. I will however, be writing a separate article about Truman’s in my “Old Established Family Brewers of Britain” series, so watch this space.

Finally, as if I didn’t have enough Kölsch -style beer at the presentation, I’m off on business to Cologne on business, this coming Monday, where no doubt, I’ll be able to enjoy a few glasses of the genuine article.

ps, Special thanks to Kristel at KV Communications for the photos.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

All change at the Royal Oak

It’s all change at the helm of the Royal Oak, in Prospect Road, Tunbridge Wells. As I write, current leaseholder and licensee Yvonne Blanche, is off to pastures new and stepping into her shoes is a company called Oak Craft Beer Co. The latter is a joint venture between Adrian Collacott, formerly of the Saint John's Yard pub, and Craig Beeson, chairman of West Kent CAMRA.

Yvonne has run the Royal Oak, which is one of the oldest surviving pubs in Tunbridge Wells, for the past nine years. During this time she has helped turn this 18th century former coaching inn into a real community pub, stocking a varied and constantly changing range of cask ales, as well as holding regular live music evenings, beer festivals and film afternoons. She is also credited with ensuring the pub’s continual survival, because back in September 2013, Yvonne and a band of loyal regulars banded together to secure ACV (Asset of Community Value), status for the Royal Oak.

This new status gave the Royal Oak a number of important safeguards, including allowing the group, Friends of the Royal Oak, and the local Community six months to bid for it should it go on the market. As an aside, this was the first time a piece of legislation under the new Localism Act 2011 - introduced by local MP Greg Clark - had been used in Tunbridge Wells to protect a community building, such as a pub, village hall or school.

The pub’s new owners have exciting plans for their customers and aim to build on the foundations laid down by Yvonne. They released a short statement saying, “they would be focusing on the local community with live music, festivals and themed events. The range of products will also be extended to include a diverse mix of different beers and spirits working, wherever possible, with local suppliers".

West Kent CAMRA Christmas 2014
A spokesman for West Kent CAMRA, told the local press that, “Yvonne had decided it was time to take a well earned sabbatical and try to spoil her feline compatriots a little bit more." He added, "To avoid any possible conflict of interest, Craig will be stepping down from his West Kent CAMRA Branch role either in November this year, or earlier if a replacement member can be appointed to the position. He will continue as an active CAMRA member and in his role as the Spa Valley Railway Beer festival organiser."

This is a time of change, not just for the Royal Oak and its customers, but for West Kent CAMRA as well and, like many branch members, whilst I am obviously pleased at the news, I am saddened at the prospect of losing our new branch chairman. Craig only stepped into the role at last November’s AGM, when there was a real threat to the survival of the branch.

I wrote a post about the dangers posed by a lack of active members and the advancing age of those of us who do still play a role within the branch. With two sons in their early twenties, both of whom have a keen interest in all things beer, Craig seemed the ideal person to be taking the branch forward, and he was actively pursuing a number of different avenues to try and get people more involved.

Photo - courtesy of WhatPub
The branch still has until November’s AGM to find a replacement chairman, but there are no obvious candidates at the moment. I fully understand Craig’s motives for wanting to stand down in order to concentrate fully on his new venture. I also appreciate his desire not to continue as chairman, in order to avoid a potential conflict of interest. I of course, wish him and his business partner Adrian, every success with their Oak Craft Beer Company. Finally, I would like to wish Yvonne every happiness in whatever she decides to do, now she no longer has the problems of running a pub, keeping her awake at night.

The Royal Oak is a traditional pub which dates back to 1735. It is situated on the busy crossroads of Prospect Road, Pembury Road, Bayhall Road and Calverley Road, and as well as offering a friendly welcome, the pub is home to a number of clubs and societies. It is well worth making the 10-15 minutes walk from the town centre, in order to experience it yourself.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Pub of the Year 2017

In one of the closest competitions seen in recent years the 'West Kent CAMRA Pub of the Year' has been awarded to Fuggles Beer Café in Tunbridge Wells. Fuggles came top in 3 out of the 5 categories by which contenders are rated, having been highly placed previously, including coming in as runner up last year.

Since opening in November 2013, Fuggles Beer Café has, under the watchful eye of its proprietor and founder Alex Greig, helped transform the local "Beer Scene", particularly in Tunbridge Wells, by serving a wide range of quality cask ales and craft beers. This combined with high standards of customer service and impeccable staff knowledge in relation to the beers, ciders and artisan spirits on offer, makes Fuggles a worthy winner of this award.

The runner up was the Windmill, at Sevenoaks Weald; the pub which has won the award for the last three years running. However, licensees Matt & Emma shouldn't be too disappointed at coming second; having set new standards right from the start. If anything, their Runner Up Award in an extremely close competition, only serves to reinforce their ability to maintain them.

For the benefit of local readers, but also for those from other parts of the country who might know the area, the full results for the competition are as follows:

Top Six Pubs - West Kent CAMRA Awards

1. Fuggles, Tunbridge Wells
2. Windmill, Sevenoaks Weald
3. Halfway House, Brenchley
4. Dovecote, Capel
5. Queens Arms, Cowden Pound
6. Crown, Groombridge

Most Improved pub: Toad Rock, Rusthall

Cider Pub of the year: The Pantiles Tap

Club of the year: Constitutional Club, Tunbridge Wells.

Before going any further it's worth mentioning that organising inspections for this type of contest has always proved difficult for the branch; even though West Kent CAMRA has been running a Pub of the Year competition for as long as anyone can remember.

Four years ago I wrote at length about these difficulties, and described how, over the years, various different approaches had been tried; each with their own inherent drawbacks. So after holding postal ballots (remember the good old fashioned Royal Mail?) and mini-bus trips, in recent years the branch has adopted a different approach by asking members to visit all six pubs on the short list, in their own time and under their own steam, and scoring them appropriately.

This too has not been straight forward, and this year the number of participants who managed to get round all six pubs, within the allotted time, did not reach double figures. The branch committee are acutely aware of this and suspect the poor show was due to the many and varying constraints on members’ time. Over the coming year, the branch will be examining suggestions for a more encompassing approach, but I don't think there's an easy answer to this.

None of this of course, should detract from Fuggles well-deserved success, and those of us living in Tonbridge are eagerly anticipating the opening of a branch of Fuggles in the town. Work has already started on converting the old Bonners Carpet shop, at the north end of the High Street, into Fuggles – Tonbridge, with an anticipated opening in early June.

Who knows, perhaps in a few years’ time Tonbridge Fuggles will steal a march on its Tunbridge Wells sibling, and claim the crown for itself?

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Westerham "Tap Takeover" at Old Fire Station

I have written before about Tonbridge’s Old Fire Station, a facility which offers refreshments, beer, and cider along with space for holding communal events. The latter normally take the form of pop-up restaurants where some of the country's finest chefs present their food offerings in the informal surroundings of this atmospheric old building.

The other type of events the Old Fire Station is known for are “Tap Takeovers”, where a local brewery will take over the facilities for a long weekend (typically Thursday – Saturday), in order to showcase its beers. Several breweries have done this during the past 16 months that the OFS has been open to the public, and this weekend it was the turn of Westerham Brewery.

The present Westerham Brewery was established in 2004 by former city-trader, Robert Wicks, thereby bringing brewing back to the historic town of Westerham and reviving memories of the Black Eagle Brewery, which closed in 1965. The sign of Westerham Ales was once a common sight outside many pubs in West Kent, and indeed further afield.  Unfortunately a series of mergers and takeovers led to the closure, and subsequent demolition of the Black Eagle Brewery, which stood on the western side of Westerham, and that would have been the end of the story were it not for the actions of the company’s head brewer.

Following the takeover of the Black Eagle,  first by London-based Taylor Walker in 1948 and then the subsequent takeover of Taylor Walker by Ind Coope in 1959, the head brewer deposited freeze dried samples of the brewery’s yeasts with the National Collection of Yeast Cultures, fearing that they might be lost forever. 50 years later, the current Westerham Brewery acquired the sole rights to these yeast strains from Carlsberg UK, the successors of Ind Coope, and revived these yeast cultures.  

Twelve years on from its formation, Westerham Brewery produces a wide range of respected beers, including a core range of seven cask brands and an equal number of seasonal varieties. A small number of “craft” beers are also produced, which include a couple of lagers. Many of the company’s beers are also available in bottled form. In addition, Westerham have two tied pubs.

Since their inception in 2004, the company has brewed its beers at Grange Farm near Crockham Hill, but in a few weeks time will be moving into a new, purpose-built facility on the edge of Westerham, thereby returning brewing to the town, after a gap of over 50 years.

I am obviously familiar with Westerham Brewery beers, having drunk them in pubs throughout west Kent. I have also visited the brewery, but it was good to see them being showcased at Tonbridge Old Fire Station. There were six cask and three “craft” beers on sale, when I popped in early on Saturday afternoon. The place wasn’t packed, but there were a steady stream of customers- mainly family groups with young children. The staff behind the bar told me the previous two evenings had been busy, and they were expecting a good crowd for the final session, where there would be a selection of meats available, barbecued outside in the yard.

I sampled a couple of the beers; Family Stout - a 4.5% ABV cask beer, based on an original Westerham Brewery recipe from the 1930's, and Bohemian Rhapsody - a 5.0% "craft keg" Pilsner, flavoured with Saaz hops from the Zatec region of the Czech Republic. So one modern beer and one from 70 years ago, and both good in their own right.

As I have written before, the Old Fire Station has proved a hit with local townsfolk, adding variety by presenting quality food and drink to Tonbridge.  In May, the venue will play host to a cider festival, which will form part of the Tonbridge Food & Drink Festival. Watch this space for further details.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Last pint before the train home

Last Wednesday evening I was in London for a beer-related event (more about that in a later post). The function took place at a pub in Ladbroke Grove; a part of London which is not particularly easy to reach for those of us arriving in the capital by train, from Kent.

After enduring 45 minutes on the Underground, from Waterloo East, I was determined my homeward journey would be both easier, and more pleasant. Fortunately some forward research had revealed a bus option, and furthermore whilst walking up from Ladbroke Grove tube station, to the pub in question, I noticed a bus stop just two minutes away.

I took advantage of this on my way home, and after leaving the pub just after 10pm, I only had a few minutes to wait before a number 23 bus came along, going all the way to Liverpool Street, via Paddington and Charing Cross. I of course, jumped on. Now I don’t know about you, but there is something about travelling by bus which beats being squeezed into an underground train, dozens of feet below the city. A bus allows you to see where you are going, and to take note of the constantly changing surroundings as the journey progresses.

As the time was well past rush-hour, the traffic was light and I enjoyed my journey through the relatively quiet central London streets. As the bus turned down Haymarket and towards Trafalgar Square, I realised there was sufficient time to jump off for a quick pint of Sam’s in the Chandos. I mentioned this imposing pub in my recent post about Samuel Smith's, alluding to its closeness to Charing Cross station; the central London terminus for trains to and from my part of Kent. I was feeling thirsty; due more to the food I’d eaten than the beer I drunk earlier, so the prospect of a nice cool, refreshing pint of Old Brewery Bitter was really appealing.

The bus driver was a little surprised when I pressed the bell to alight, as I’d asked him when I boarded if he was going past Charing Cross. He chuckled when I told him I fancied a pint before my catching my train, and wished me a pleasant evening.

I walked across the more or less deserted Trafalgar Square; something I haven’t done in ages. The fountains were shut off for the night, or possibly for winter, and apart from a couple of smooching young lovers, and some dare-devil BMX riders, I had the lions and Nelson all to myself.

The Chandos too was winding down, but there was still a half hour before my train was due to depart. I walked up to the bar and ordered a pint of Old Brewery Bitter, marvelling as the creamy looking, post-pull beer cleared in the glass.  £3.10 a pint was a little more than my last visit, but still a bargain for central London. I made my way to the far end of the pub and sat at one of the strategically placed, high “posing tables” taking in the view back along the pub, whilst making short work of my pint.

The beer was excellent (NBBS 3.5), and I was really glad I’d taken the decision to call in. I caught my intended train and settled down for the journey back to Kent. I wasn’t quite so glad the following morning about stopping off for that final pint, but I am pleased to report both the Chandos and the Old Brewery Bitter were as good as ever!

Monday, 6 March 2017

What no micro-pub?

One thing which is peculiar to this part of Kent; certainly when compared to other parts of the county, is the complete absence of any micro-pubs. Given that the micro-pub “phenomena” originated in Kent, there is not a single example amongst the four towns (Edenbridge, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells), which make up this corner of West Kent.

Our nearest micro-pubs are in Gravesend, Maidstone, and Petts Wood, but none of these destinations are exactly on the doorstep, so unless inhabitants of this locality, fancy embarking on a bus or a train journey for their "micro-pub fix", they are well and truly stuffed.

Tonbridge came quite close to getting a micro, a couple of years ago, but after taking the option of a lease on a vacant small shop at the north end of the High Street, and obtaining a Premises License, the potential proprietor got cold feet and aborted the project. The former shop is now an art gallery, and as far as I am aware is doing OK: not that Tonbridge is known as a centre for fine art!

Fortunately we will soon be getting our own branch of Fuggles, ironically not too far away from the aborted micro-pub. The Tonbridge Fuggles though, will operate as a full-blown pub, along the same lines as the highly successful original Tunbridge Wells Beer Cafe, and not as a micro-pub.

Something tells me I ought to be disappointed by the lack of a true micro-pub in the area, but strangely enough I am not; and whilst I think the basic concept is sound, I don’t see it as a panacea for the ills currently afflicting the pub trade. My micro-pub experiences have largely been confined to Thanet and Gravesend, and whilst I have visited some excellent establishments, particularly in East Kent, I have been in one or two real duds.

I feel that the guidelines set out by the Micro-Pub Association, are too rigid; even though I accept they are laid out that way in order to encourage a particular clientele and discourage various other sorts. I am also not a huge fan of the really tiny ones, where if someone wants to visit the Gents, everyone has to make way for them; or if you turn round too quickly you are likely to knock someone’s pint out of their hands!

Also, whilst I am normally quite a gregarious individual, there are times when I prefer my own company, and want to sit quietly and read a book, or just watch the world go by. I know what you are saying – don’t go into such places when you’re feeling grumpy or unsociable, and of course you are right, but as a micro-pub will often provide the best selection and most unusual selection of beers within a town, there is sometimes nowhere else suitable to go.

Micro-pubs are also known for not doing food; certainly nothing beyond basic snacks such as filled rolls, pork pies or scotch eggs. Again, for many people, this is a big plus point, and as someone who frequents pubs a lot less frequently than I once did, it’s not really incumbent on me to dictate the food offering. 

So should the famous Herne – Butcher’s Arms model remain the gold standard for a true micro, or is here scope for enhancement and improvement? Personally, whilst I would like the emphasis to remain on locally sourced, cask-ales, I see no reason why a couple of slightly more adventurous “key-keg” beers could not be stocked. Also, why not stock a couple of genuine, continental Pilsners, which would keep lager lovers happy, without attracting the Fosters and Carling “lout” drinkers. I also don’t see a problem with offering a small range of quality malt whiskies or artisan gins and vodkas. Then there are the wine drinkers of course, and here something rather better than Cash & Carry, “bag-in-a-box” plonk, wouldn’t go amiss.

On reflection, I would leave the food offering alone, as not only would it be impractical, it would also be financially unviable, to employ a chef. In addition, most micro-pubs aren’t large enough (yes I know the clue is in the name) and besides, the smell of cooking is enough to put many drinkers off.

So perhaps with a bit of tweaking, the “enhanced” micro-pub could be the way forward. Or perhaps not!