What’s Brewing, April – May 2015 – Agony Column

WB Apr May  15Providing much needed help for the writers to What’s Brewing.

In April it’s all about ‘Craft chaos’ and ‘zombie beers’. The great festival organiser MJ suggests that cask ales are easier to serve and dispense. To be honest this argument can be lanced with a suggestion that an adequate electricity supply is the answer. It remains the fact that a keg beer is much more likely to be served in the condition it left the brewery than a cask one. Dr DW of Crewe introduces me to the phrase ‘zombie beers’ – marvellous! CAMRA must surely take its rightful place as a latterday van Helsing and see off the undead beers. But hey, that’s suggesting there is life in these beers of a type that we can only fearfully comprehend. What dark forces are at work here? Are carbon dioxide and pasteurisation the devil incarnate?

The price of beer. AS of Cottingham points out that it costs more in bottles. £6.88 a pint! There are a few beers I wish I could buy at that price. Let’s draw breath and compare with the wine world, people don’t expect to buy a bottle of house red for the same price as a bottle of Chateau Petrus. Why should beer be any different?

Voice of reason – mention of the month – Prof GO asking for beers to be dispensed in thirds at festivals more widely (and therefore can we have more interesting strong beers).

In May we learn that ‘craft beer’ is a con trick. Even Fosters are using the word ‘crafted’! That’s the problem with words MH of Goole, anyone can use them. Basically there are crap ‘craft beers’, there are crap cask ales and anything that says crafted is almost certainly crap. Let your tastebuds decide! Obsession about an extra few pence a pint, love of mild (but nobody actually drinks it) and the need ‘familiar’ beers are also mentioned, oh dear, only one me and all of them.

Voice of reason – mention of the month – MC in volunteer voice, ‘diversify or die’. Prophetic.

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