Bits of Yolk From the Pickled Egg Jar

Detail of the cover of 'More About Inn Signs'.
Detail of the cov­er of ‘More About Inn Signs’, kind­ly scanned for us by Mark Lan­dells.

Here are a few things we’ve spotted around and about that prompted a thought or two.

1. This inter­view with James Watt from the Dai­ly Mail con­tains the most con­cise sum­ma­ry yet of the con­tra­dic­tion at the heart of Brew­dog: ‘behind all the anar­chy there’s a very sta­ble prof­itable com­pa­ny’, he says. They’re KER-azy, but also very sen­si­ble; anti-cor­po­rate, but also… real­ly cor­po­rate. What a bal­anc­ing act.

2. Has any­one ever pub­lished a book of Michael ‘Beer Hunter’ Jackson’s columns for CAMRA’s What’s Brew­ing? If not, they should. Here he is talk­ing ‘big pic­ture’ in May 1985:

For con­sumers who want­ed a beer of some char­ac­ter, real ale was shown to be more sat­is­fac­to­ry than keg bit­ter. On the oth­er hand, keg was also unsat­is­fac­to­ry to drinkers who want­ed a bright, refresh­ing beer. They even­tu­al­ly defect­ed to bland lagers… The real ale move­ment may, in fact, have encour­aged a polar­i­sa­tion of pub­lic taste in beer… [At one end of the mar­ket] there is a growth in inter­est in prod­ucts of qual­i­ty, char­ac­ter and tra­di­tion, and at the oth­er end… a demand for bland, light flavours; the mid­dle ground is van­ish­ing.

3. There’s been a flare-up in attempts to define ‘craft beer’. Here’s ‘Hard­knott’ Dave Bailey’s take on the efforts of one drinks indus­try con­sul­tan­cy firm to pin down a work­ing def­i­n­i­tion; and here’s Max Pivni Filosof Bahn­son (via Lars Mar­ius Garshol) with a very hard-line approach. CGA’s effort would ben­e­fit from the exper­tise of, say, Pete Brown; and Max’s reminds us of some­thing David ‘Firkin’ Bruce said:

[At H.G. Simonds in Read­ing] it was… real ‘craft brew­ing, not in the cur­rent Amer­i­can sense. I was a wood­en spoon brew­er. I’d nev­er get a job as a ‘prop­er’ brew­er, in a ‘prop­er brew­ery, because they only want­ed Edinburgh’s Heri­ot-Watt micro­bi­ol­o­gists, but I could cer­tain­ly brew. 

4. Beyond the blog, we’ve post­ed a few new things on Face­book, such as this small gallery of images of Dirty Dick’s on Bish­ops­gate in Lon­don (apos­tro­phe impor­tant…); and, on Twit­ter, peo­ple seemed to find this inter­est­ing.

9 thoughts on “Bits of Yolk From the Pickled Egg Jar”

  1. I like the David ‘Firkin’ Bruce def­i­n­i­tion of craft. 🙂 What the word always brings to mind to me is grannies and grand­chil­dren glu­ing bits of found stuff to card­board. Like mak­ing Christ­mas wreaths out of sticks and pinecones.

    [Oh, and well done for man­ag­ing to use Face­book yet also keep the con­tent door “open”.]

    1. Re: Face­book – it didn’t seem to be that dif­fi­cult. Are oth­ers enabling some set­ting that says you have to be signed-up to Face­book to view their pages or some­thing? Maybe it’s a spam/harassment thing?

  2. CGA has done a fair­ly sol­id job at defin­ing the brand “Craft Beer”. As for defin­ing what beer is “craft” well, do we still care about that?

      1. I fin­ished it, unless Mr Čižas comes here to buy us a pint…:)

        No, seri­ous­ly, I like “Craft Beer” as a brand. It’s a pity that many of the brand’s mer­chants and fan­boys are so annoy­ing at times.

  3. Those two are as good as any def­i­n­i­tion I’ve come across.

    Mar­ket­ing always feels like the ele­phant in the room when peo­ple talk about craft just mean­ing “beer that’s brewed for taste not prof­it” – as if the old beardy pro­duc­ing “Winston’s Willy Warmer” (avail­able in three local pubs and some branch­es of Booths) is only in it for the cash.

  4. keg was also unsat­is­fac­to­ry to drinkers who want­ed a bright, refresh­ing beer. They even­tu­al­ly defect­ed to bland lagers”

    This is an under­stat­ed and IMO very impor­tant point. I don’t think many lager drinkers real­ly actu­al­ly like lager all that much. Its just that if you want a bright, refresh­ing (read cold) beer, for as long as most of us can remem­ber, bland lager has been the only option.

    1. I had a beer ear­li­er on today that was both cold and refresh­ing – it was from a bot­tle straight out of the fridge, and it was a very hot day. Also, I was in Bel­gium. The num­ber of times I’ve want­ed a fridge-cold beer in this coun­try is tiny. But maybe it is some­thing that’s caught on in the last decade or three. I blame glob­al warm­ing.

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