In a comment on that Jeff Alworth piece about British beer, Barm put into words something we’ve noticed as a permanent background grumble in the blogoshire:
The publicity… goes to those breweries with well-thought out marketing strategies, ambitious export programmes and PR agencies… So you shouldn’t form your picture of what is going on in Britain based on the UK mass media, or on beer blogs written by a small number of extremely passionate extreme beer drinkers.
Of course it’s not only the bloggerati/crafterati who have their favourites — just look at winners of CAMRA’s various beer competitions over the past couple of decades.
On the whole, we think the breweries that get the most collective attention from whichever quarter tend to deserve it because their beer is reliably good and/or they do interesting things — that is, interesting things with their beer, not publicity stunts. It’s the wisdom of the hive mind. (Or stupidity of the herd, depending on your point of view.)
This has been on our minds for a while which is why, at a beer festival in January, we made a point of drinking only the products of breweries that ‘get ignored’, as the grumblers have it. There was nothing wrong with beers from Branscombe Vale, Exe Valley or Topsham, to name three, but they were literally nothing to write home about, and not just because they were in traditional styles: they weren’t as exciting as really good pints of Fuller’s London Pride or Harvey’s Sussex Best. Blogging about them would be like reviewing reams of paper on Amazon.
But we want to explore this a bit more, so, without over-thinking it, please tell us below:
- which UK breweries get more than their fair share of attention and
- which get unfairly overlooked.
To minimise the effect of the hive mind, we’ll keep comments in moderation and, assuming anyone responds, will make them all visible at 16:30, UK time.