News, Nuggets & Longreads 18/04/2015

Here’s what’s been what in the world of beer in the last seven days.

→ It’s been well shared but, just in case you’ve missed it, for the Morning Advertiser, Pete Brown took a balanced view of the question of UK craft beer pricing, arguing that though a big price tag on imports might be justified, some bars are simply exploiting consumers’ expectations that craft = expensive.

→ Richard ‘Beercast’ Taylor considered whether branding and brand confusion — the source of so much strife in the beer world in recent years — is as important to consumers as it is to the industry:

He asked for the wrong brand and got a beer he was probably expecting anyway. The main underlying point is… does any of this actually matter? He got a beer, Tennent’s got the sale and the Caley got the brand recognition.

→ Here’s your epic longread for the week: 3,500 words from Stephen Beaumont and Tim Webb on ‘The State of the Beer World’ for All About Beer magazine. (It’s not actually spread over three pages — those second two pages are ‘box out’ asides, but also worth a read.) We’re going to spoil it by quoting from the final paragraph:

Belgium is no longer the promised land of ale, Munich is not the hub of all things lagered and, despite what Michael Jackson once said, the United States is no longer the most exciting place in the world for beer.

→ This piece by Paul Bailey (no relation) on what happened after Ridley’s of Essex sold out to Greene King highlights something we’ve also observed: family brewers can be surprisingly sentimental, despite occasional evidence of their commercial ruthlessness.

→ This week’s reminder that beer culture still has some growing up to do around making women feel genuinely welcome came from Heather Vandenengel, prompted by Carla Jean Lauter on Twitter:

The reality is that dealing with casually and overtly sexist men who don’t respect women is something that all women of all industries and backgrounds deal with all the time, in both their personal and professional lives. It’s no different in craft beer.

→ On a somewhat related note, it’s the Campaign for Real Ale Annual General Meeting this weekend, the agenda for which is summarised by Tandleman here, but where, despite Barm’s best efforts, the problem of sexism in the UK beer industry won’t be up for discussion.

→ For the Guardian, Steven Poole wrote about why the tendency to tweeness in the blurb on food and drink packaging is pissing him off.

[A] ready-meal lasagne is “created with love in our kitchen”. (Is this kitchen, perhaps, the exact shape and size of a small factory?) A brand of snack bars is made “in small batches at our own makery”. Makery? I am guessing that “makery” is a portmanteau for “made-up bakery”.

(Via @PJMcKerry.)

→ And this was our favourite Tweet of the week: