Fancy a soured, single hopped wheat beer or a beer ‘dry hopped’ with cardamom or a hoppy saison with elderflowers or an 11% tarry stout or a nice uncomplicated Berliner Weisse or a pale, sour ale with mesquite smoke that tastes of bacon? All these innovative beers can be found at the Great British Beer Festival…..on the overseas bars. Oh, what a shame, because this type of beer is made in the UK too! But the British beer chosen by CAMRA for the exhibition is with occasional notable exceptions, extremely mainstream.
More to come…
My helpful advice to the troubled writers to What’s Brewing.
Two magnificent letters entitled “‘Craft’ Threat” this month. KW of Walsall generously says ‘…if micros can improve the quality then that is a good thing but it must never, never [sic] be placed in status alongside cask beer.’ So there we have it Greene King IPA on cask, say, will always have a higher status than, say, a Kernel IPA on keg. That’s a relief.
GR of Tooting, wonders that ‘most customers…will not really care how it is served as long as it tastes good to them’. Heaven forbid we let taste decide!
It’s easy to mock these letters and I haven’t fully explained my position, that’s something for another post. But in brief, I started drinking real ale roundabout the start of CAMRA because of taste. In those days there was no good keg beer, nor good bottled beer (with a couple of notable exceptions), the handpump was the best guarantee of a decent pint. How it was made was always of interest to me but taste was the driver. Three things drive my choice of ‘regular’ beers – taste, locality and I prefer to support smaller companies. I believe CAMRA supported this at the outset and the real ale term was a convenient way to weed out the bad stuff, that’s no longer the case.