Now, we’re not sure if the world needs beer architects, or if the term is one we’d like to see stick, but it’s an interesting way of framing the discussion.
Until fairly recently, there were no architects — only builders, and, later, master builders. Then came people like Christopher Wren — intelligent to the point of genius, and bred to practice good taste at a pitch most humans can’t detect — who made a living conceiving of buildings or estates; sketching them; modelling them… and then contracting someone else to get their hands dirty in the construction.
When we were in the research phase of Brew Britannia during 2013 we thought we observed a nascent trend: the cutting out of middle men.
A few years ago, there was a fairly cosy relationship between brewers, bar owners and distributors serving a nascent ‘craft beer’ (definition 2) market, each taking a slice of the cost of a third of IPA.
But brewers seem often to feel frustrated at the fact that their reputation so often relies on the care with which their product is presented by third parties — assuming, of course, that they can even get any pubs or bars to stock their beer. The building of a tap room or the acquisition of a tied pub is an obvious solution to these problems.
When BrewDog’s Sarah Warman asked the question above in relation to hype, it got us thinking, because the hipster school of thought (insofar as it really exists) is a slippery beast.
The term ‘hipster’ was invented in the 1940s but has really gained popularity in the last decade as it has come to encapsulate a certain attitude to culture and fashion, as expressed in this example of the ‘hipster barista’ internet meme: