It's galling when the newspaper you read is one of the very worst of a bad bunch for beer (and Barnsley FC) coverage. Since Roger Protz's column was axed a few years ago they've carried no regular beer coverage. I've soke to Matthew Fort, the Weekend Magazine's food and drink editor and a passionate cask ale fan, several times about it, and he says he's simply not allowed to feature beer by his wine-drinking bosses.
But now this seems to be changing.
Two weeks ago, there was a full page feature on Thornbridge, one of my favourite breweries. Now, two weeks later, here's Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall with the lead food article, saying "Forget wine - beer is our national drink, and it's time we used it more often in our cooking", giving recipes including beef in ale stew and Guinness and walnut chocolate brownies, plus a separate supplementary piece on sourcing great beers.
There's probably nothing here that's new to hardcore beer bloggers - that's not the point. The point is one of the most notoriously anti-beer newspapers in the country (ask any freelance beer writer on that one) seems to be having a Damascene conversion to the cause.
All this, and they fronted the sports section with a full-length, intelligent, non-patronising feature on Barnsley that only mentioned Dickie Bird once.