Based on an analysis of the last twelve months, here’s what we think the media is likely to have in store for beer lovers in the next year.
- Lots of people ‘go dry’ while others step up their drinking to compensate. Blog posts: ‘What Next? Chocolate Free Easter?’; ‘Why I’m Definitely Not Craving a Beer at Every Waking Moment’; ‘A Poignant Story That Explains my Abstinence’.
- Someone proposes a new definition of ‘craft beer’: some beer geeks, having not really read it properly, think ‘that nails it’; others point out that ‘craft beer’ is a meaningless marketing term. Blog posts: ‘I Must Have the Last Word in this Debate’.
- Someone releases a beer especially designed for women that comes served in a Diamonique™-encrusted chalice. Everyone gets very angry; a couple of people suggest it isn’t that bad; everyone gets even angrier.
- A writer gets something about the history of IPA wrong, is bluntly corrected, reacts defensively, and a mass argument ensues, only fizzling out when someone is compared to a Nazi. Blog posts: ‘Take a Chill Pill, Dudes — It’s Only Beer!’; ‘If We Do Not Learn From History, What Hope for Mankind?’.
- The Campaign for Real Ale either supports, or fails to support, a high profile campaign about A Pressing Issue of the Day. People threaten to resign their CAMRA memberships. (But most can’t work out how to cancel the Direct Debit.) Blog posts: ‘Why I’m Definitely Leaving CAMRA’.
- Halloween beers hit the shelves in the US. Blog posts: ‘Even Though This Happened Last Year, I am Still Surprised and Angry’.
- Production and marketing of Pink Sparkles Ladies’ Beer ceases. Blog posts: ‘Sad News of Declining Market for Beer’.
- A newspaper publishes a list of the world’s best beers. It does not include everyone’s favourite beers. Blog posts: ‘Why Lists are Pointless’; ‘Why That List is Wrong’; ‘Why I, an Original Thinker, Actually Like That List’.
- Someone proposes an alternative to the term ‘craft beer’ which, after five minutes consideration, is revealed to have all the same problems. Blog posts: ‘Can’t We Just Call it “Beer”?’; ‘Why I Hate the Term “Platinum Club Beer”’.
- Someone innocently asks why the keg version of a beer costs more than the same beer from a cask. Brewers across the land copy and paste the answers they gave last time; craft beer bar managers provide complicated explanations containing abbreviations, jargon and graphs. Meanwhile, bloggers begin writing posts – ‘So-Called Craft Keg is a Rip-Off, Plain and Simple’ – and counter-posts – ‘Don’t Talk About Price — Talk About Value’. The debate rages for weeks. When the dust settles, beer costs exactly the same.
- Brewdog do something or other. Blog posts: variations on ‘Say What You Like About Brewdog but…’; ‘Why I Refuse to Pay Brewdog the Attention They So Obviously Crave’.
- Everyone gets annoyed when a new cookery show has a segment on matching food and drink and commits one or more of the following crimes:
- doesn’t mention beer
- mentions it but only in generic terms
- mentions Stella/Guinness/Carlsberg/Greene King.
Blog posts: ‘We Should be Glad Beer is on TV’; ‘Why Delia Must Apologise to Beer Drinkers NOW!’
- Some people don’t like the Great British Beer Festival, while others have a very good time. Blog posts: ‘Why I’m Leaving CAMRA… again!’; ‘It’s Not All Beards and Sandals’; ‘GBBF: Still All Beards and Sandals’.
- A publican kicks off because his/her pub has been dropped from the Good Beer Guide; and people are surprised when the Good Beer Guide does not list their favourite keg-only craft beer bar. Blog posts: ‘Is the Good Beer Guide Fit for Purpose?’; ‘Why I’m Leaving CAMRA… for Good!’
- A rival pub guide by the publishers of the Ironic Review suggests that drinking at home is the new ‘going to the pub’ and has 350 blank pages to underline the point. Blog posts: ‘Why I Refuse to Give the Ironic Pub Guide Any Publicity’; ‘Why the Editors of the Ironic Pub Guide are Worse than Hitler’.
- Brewers release a crazy beer made with an unbelievably wacky ingredient such as snot, whale blubber or asbestos. Outrage. Blog posts: ‘Why Experimentation is a Good Thing’; ‘Experimentation is a Bad Thing’; ‘This Isn’t Really Experimentation’; ‘Truly These Are the End Days!’.
- TESCO introduce a value brand ‘craft beer’ – Basics Session IPA – at 2.3% ABV. Everyone is confused and not sure whether to be angry. Blog posts: ‘I Am Clever Enough to See That This is Actually a Good Thing’; ‘More Evidence that the Term Craft Beer is Meaningless’.
- New research about alcohol consumption suggests it is a problem. People who work in the beer industry or are otherwise obsessed with beer disagree.