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More Signs of the Times

There’s been more evidence this week that the march into the mainstream of ‘craft beer’, whatever the hell it is, continues apace.

Having tested the market in the last few months with bottles of BrewDog Punk IPA, Goose Island IPA, Brooklyn Lager and canned beer from Sixpoint, the Wetherspoon chain of pubs has made some interesting announcements in the last couple of days:

(This.Is.Lager is the absurdly-named new beer from BrewDog.)

And we’re sure we saw someone say on Twitter that selected Spoons outlets would also be getting BrewDog Punk IPA in kegs, too.

Then there’s this:

Finally, we note with interest that Butcombe, brewers of the brownest of brown bitters since 1978, are launching a (one-off) saison. It’s seems amazing to think that, in 2007, we’d never tried a single example of this somewhat challenging, mysterious Belgian style of beer.

The end is nigh — repent! Repent!

12 replies on “More Signs of the Times”

Well I for one am happy about that. From now on, if I get dragged into Telford Shopping Centre for essential errands then at least I know I can get my hands on a Lagunitas in the Thomas Botfield at lunchtime.

Every time I walk past a pub sign that reads “real ales and premium lagers” I think how incredibly dated that now sounds.

A large, cheap, sport and food oriented road side pub on the way out of Cambridge now has a massive sign up saying “craft beers”.

and I think “craft beer” is a perfectly useful term as long as you understand it as a marketing tool.

It means “beer intended to appeal to people who are interested in beer”, so basically people like me and you guys.

That might be brewdog, it might be greene king, but that’s irrelevant. Some might succeed, some might fail, some might taste like they haven’t made any effort whatsoever and have just stuck their regular bitter in a fancier bottle; but everyone gets a shot at trying to impress us (and the market sector we am part of).

Some people drink craft beer because they are nerdy beer geeks that read beer blogs, some drink it because they useless hipsters who will jump on the nearest bandwagon; but I think in terms of size, both groups are swamped by the number of people who drink it because they vaguely like beer, are willing to try something different, and find that it actually tastes pretty damn good.

That last group is where all the current growth is coming from. The majority of the population might try something once because its cool, but they’re not going to keep drinking it even if it tastes dreadful.

It’s a brave new world, even Mudge wears skinny jeans, flat cap and ironic facial hair these days.

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