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The Craft Beer Life on a Budget

Is craft beer in the UK (definition 2) hopelessly exclusive to those on a budget or are there ways in?

We got thinking about this in response to two Tweets, the first from Mark Dexter…

…and the second from Tony Naylor who writes about food and drink for the Guardian and other publications:

Mark (former blogger, actor, doesn’t like 330ml bottles) went on to argue that those who suggested paying it was reasonable to ask more for a better product were essentially saying, ‘Screw poor people. Let them drink piss.’ (His words.)

This is something that nags at us somewhat. A few years ago we suggested that breweries might consider finding a way to offer an entry level beer at a reasonable price by, for example, being pragmatic about hops and shooting for a lower ABV.

This time, though, we thought about it slightly differently: even if breweries can fix this, why should they? What Mark is really complaining about is capitalism and social inequality — some people own big houses, others rent little ‘uns; some have Mercs, others secondhand Skodas, and so on. (See also @craftqueer’s Twitter thread on this subject.)

So, working with the system we’ve got, we asked ourselves: is there any way to get a genuine taste of the craft beer lifestyle on a slab-of-lager budget?

Some Parameters
  1. We want to suggest beers that we actually enjoy drinking…
  2. …and that are representative of major trends in craft beer.
  3. Without overthinking it we want to rule out faux craft beers whose packaging promises more than the beer delivers, even if they are cheap.
  4. Carling Lager is currently £1.65 per litre at Tesco. There’s not much to compete with that. But a slab of 18 cans costs £13 so we’re going to see what you can get for that money.
  5. Bang for buck counts for something so we’ll include information on price per litre (PPL) and price per unit of alcohol (PUA).
  6. We’ve used supermarkets for the purposes of this exercise for the sake of universality. In fact, we’ve stuck to one supermarket (Tesco) because running back and forth between several takes time, which as we all know is money. But…
  7. Local indie stores often have competitive prices on comparable beers and we suspect most will give great personalised advice on how to spend £13 if you ask.
Hoppy, Fruity, Sour and Funky

Cans of punk on a train table with wool.

We have to start with a flowery, tropical, in-your-face IPA and the one that springs to mind is BrewDog Punk. At 330ml it’s usually about the same price as Thornbridge Jaipur (£1.80-£2) but several supermarkets carry 660ml ‘bombers’ and at Tesco they’re £3 each — £4.55 PPL, 81p PUA. Punk is one of the core beers of the past decade’s craft beer moment with a fascinating history and, in our experience, tastes consistently great.

Budget remaining: £10

BrewDog Elvis Juice in cans.

Sticking with BrewDog, their Elvis Juice is alsowidely available in supermarkets at £1.80-£2 per 330ml. Tesco sells it at £1.90. It’s a solid representation of a controversial evolution of the IPA style: rather than just evoking grapefruit through hops, it actually contains a slug of grapefruit juice. One bottle ought to be enough to get the gist and thus entitle you to wade into internet arguments dismissing or supporting the entire trend, depending on your findings. It’s strong — 6.5% ABV — so the bang for buck is decent: £5.76 PPL, 88p PUA.

Budget remaining: £8.

A can of Stone Cali-Belgique.

Another important trend, on the wane now, perhaps, has been using Belgian saison as the basis for Frankenstein-like style experiments. These aren’t quite so supermarket friendly but there is one great example available via Tesco at £2 per 330ml can (£6 PPL, 87p PUA): Stone Cali-Belgique, at 6.9% ABV. It’s billed as a Californian IPA made with Belgian yeast — neither one thing nor the other — and we love it. What’s the catch? The stuff in Tesco is actually brewed in Berlin, which may or may not matter to you.

Budget remaining: £6

Thornbridge Tart -- professional bottle photo.

Another controversial trend is for sour beers. Wouldn’t it be good if there was an accessible but convincing take on this available in supermarkets? Well, there is: the 6% ABV Thornbridge Tart, currently available at even our Tesco here in Penzance, at £2 for 330ml (£6.07 PPL, £1.01 PUA). It’s an otherwise clean beer and the sourness, as the name suggests, is relatively gentle — it won’t turn your teeth inside our or anything.

Budget remaining: £4

Guinness Antwerpen Stout in the bottle.

There has to be a strong, rich stout in here but, unfortunately, that’s an area where the supermarkets fall down. To get an idea of the style — and because we really do think it’s a great beer — we’re going to bend one of our own rules and suggest a craftified beer from Guinness, Antwerpen Stout at 8% ABV. Tesco sell it for £2.10 per 330ml — £6.37 PPL, 80p PUA. Honestly, pedigree aside, it’s the equal of a lot of the beers you see going for £5 per half pint in craft beer bars.

Budget remaining: £1.90

Fourpure Session IPA.

Finally, another trend of recent years has been session IPA, which has seen American and American-inspired brewers taming their big IPAs until they end up in about the same place as British brewers amping up their golden ales. As well as being trendy, these beers are also highly commercial: you can drink a few without getting slaughtered, and they seem relatively approachable to drinkers reared on English bitter. Accordingly, Tesco stocks a few at around the same price:

  • Fourpure Session IPA — 4.3% ABV, £1.80 per 330ml can, £5.46 PPL, £1.28 PUA
  • Oskar Blues Pinner — 4.9% ABV, £1.90 per 330ml can, £5.36 PPL, £1.09 PUA
  • Stone Got To IPA — 4.7% ABV, £1.90 per 330ml can, £5.80 PPL, £1.18 PUA

All these beers are decent takes on the style — rather thin and abrasive for our tastes, in general — so it’s up to you whether you want to buy local-ish and save 10p with Fourpure (London), stay authentically American with Oskar Blues, or try something in between  with Stone, actually brewed in Berlin.

Budget remaining: 0

So, there you go — six different styles, 2.3 litres of often pretty strong beer in total, for £13.

What’s missing? Well, there’s nothing really crazily creative there but, as Dave S has pointed out, that’s actually the cherry on top of craft beer rather than the core of its being.

And sweet, cloudy New England IPA has yet to make it to Tesco yet either as far as we can see. (But give it six months and it probably will, probably via BrewDog.)

EXTRAS: Establishing a Mood

For an additional one-off payment of about £4 you could add a couple of helpful accessories.

First, a guidebook. We don’t read or get excited about beginners’ guides ourselves these days but there’s no denying their value in the early stages of an obsession. The latest ones are glossy, beautiful hardbacks at more than a tenner a go but you can pick up used copies of slightly older books, with 90 per cent of the same info, for a quid or two in many charity shops, or £2.80, delivered, from Amazon. The author doesn’t get any royalties that way but if you’re really on a tight budget they probably won’t begrudge it.

Fancy glassware.
These were 50p each.

Then, there’s glassware. You don’t need a super fancy, super delicate, specially designed vessel that resembles a sex toy, but psychologically it’s quite good to have your own Special Glass. It sets the mood, basically. The great news is that the best, coolest, most fun glasses are found in charity shops. Some of our favourites cost 50p.

Or Don’t Bother

Another thing we grappled with — we’re always grappling, us — was the essentially patronising nature of this exercise. But it’s better than head-in-the-sand ignoring the issue, we suppose, and at least it’s a somewhat positive response.

Ultimately, though, craft beer is only a hobby. No-one ever died from drinking slightly sub-optimal beer, and it all gets you tipsy in the end. Until such time as brewing is nationalised being fussy is always going to be a luxury, even if you stick to the ruthlessly discounted hard-ball end of the market.

For our part we rarely buy really expensive beer — not because we couldn’t afford to if we really wanted but because we’ve yet to be convinced that there are many £15 beers that are four times as enjoyable as a pint of Proper Job in the Yacht Inn, or seven times as much fun as a any of the beers listed above.

As ever, your thoughts are welcome — comment below. And if any retailers want to steal this idea and offer curated Budget Craft Beer Experience boxes, go for it.

46 replies on “The Craft Beer Life on a Budget”

No-one ever died from drinking slightly sub-optimal beer
While this is technically true, I have in the past been accused of liking Irish red ale and German lagers in a tone that implies my reaction ought to be that of a salted slug. There are definitely people out there who only want the latest-and-greatest (determined by beer drinkers other than themselves, I guess) and would rather die of thirst than drink anything else. And I think their numbers are growing.

“The supermarket will be selling carling at a loss”, that’s a serious accusation. I don’t dismiss it entirely but have you evidence to back it up?

It’s certainly happened in the past – the supermarkets admitted to the Competition Commission a few years ago that alcohol was one of the main things they sold below cost. And speaking to supermarket suppliers, the expectation seems to be that you sell >90% of your volume in promotions at no or minimal profit, in order to be on the shelves and make a profit on the remaining <10%.

I've also heard of small breweries selling stock to go into 3-for-£5 offers at essentially no profit, just to get volume going through the brewery. 3-for-£5 is a really tough pricepoint for the typical micro.

I’d be very surprised if they are. It doesn’t make business or economic sense to sell something at a loss that makes up a significant portion of people’s expenditure. Loss-leaders are generally things that are relatively trivial, but will bring people in to buy other stuff. Slabs of Carling don’t fit into that category.

It seems at least plausible. In BBQ season, stack slabs of lager high near the entrance, advertise hard, and sell ’em at a small loss. That gets people through the door, then you can make a profits on other BBQ goods – meat (especially when packaged with a bit of marinade etc.), charcoal, salad, sauces, crisps.

It’s always worth keeping an eye out for near the use by date bargains especially at M & S. I picked up 3 bottles of their Black IPA brewed by Purity for only 80p each last year. They were also knocking out cans of Founders All Day IPA recently for a quid.

My local Quality Save was selling Citra 330ml bottles for 79p earlier this week, and Oakham Macaw 500ml for £1. Discounters can be a good source of decent beer for those of us on a budget.

You’re quite right, although ‘decent beer’ is a bit of a different proposition to Craft Beer (def 2, capital C capital B). What we were after here was something vaguely like the experience of going to a craft beer bar where (possibly unfairly) pre-2005 breweries like Oakham don’t quite fit.

(Trying to avoid the word hipster here because it really winds people up…)

Yes agreed, but as craft breweries expand (a necessity in order to grow and supply Tesco etc) they will almost certainly have surplus inventory at some points which they will need to shift pronto. Tesco will probably require a minimum 75% of shelf life left at time of delivery so you can’t have more than 3 months worth of stock if your BBE date is 1 year. The problem for brewers (and any other listed supplier) is they don’t know what that quantity is as demand from supermarkets is variable and has to be supplied from stock, not produced to order. Most suppliers tend to over produce to guarantee supply.

*Disclaimer – I work at a pre-2005 brewery*

I don’t think beers from older breweries generally look out place in a ‘craft’ bar. Very often these breweries, when making more modern styles, have the experience and knowledge to actually take these styles on.

Too often I try craft beers from new breweries which have all the passion in the world but nowhere near enough experience. So often the beers lack balance, or precision – it’s like drinking hoppy mineral water because there’s no body, or the beer is throat-clutchingly dry as they’ve gone bonkers with the hops but ignored the residual effects of doing this.

I LOVE craft beer generally. I love what’s happening in the industry. There’s some great new breweries. But I’d argue breweries like Oakham have every right to sit proudly alongside modern craft in every style.

I’d like to believe you when you say that older breweries have the experience required to make better examples of modern styles but there are so many examples of failures. I can probably count on one hand the number of USA-style IPAs from traditional (cask/500ml brown bottle) UK brewers that come anywhere close to the “Sierra Nevada/Punk IPA” taste – noteably Williams Bros, Oakham, and Roosters (and are they now part of “Craft Beer” since they do 330ml cans?). I do agree though that there are plenty of newer craft breweries making poor but “crafty”/hoppy/Punky beer, and its not as simple as throwing tonnes of hops at it, but that strategy does get closer to the craft taste than simply putting the Stars & Stripes on a bottle of old brown ale.

There are too many fraudsters among the older British breweries that make the supermarket shelves difficult to navigate unless you’re a bit of a geek – this in my mind is one of the biggest barriers to getting a taste of craft without paying craft prices.

Seems a little unfair on Oakham. I’m currently sat in the Craft Beer Co looking at two Oakham pumps

Well, there you go.

Again, we love Oakham, but still don’t think they’re the same “thing” as BrewDog or Magic Rock. Cask led, for starters. As linked at the top of the post, here’s our definition 2 of ‘craft beer’:

“In the UK, used to describe a ‘movement’ arising from c.1997 onwards which rejected not only ‘mass-produced’ beer but also the trappings of established ‘real ale’ culture. Brewers aligned with this ‘movement’ will probably produce kegged beers, and may even dismiss cask-conditioned beer altogether. As much about presentation, packing and ‘lifestyle’ as the qualities of the product.”

@Bailey – you reckon? In the last year I’ve seen more Cloudwater in cask than Oakham. Thornbridge too. Are they less craft than Oakham?

Maybe it’s just a question of distribution, I don’t know what Oakham’s split is, but I think of them as mostly a keg/bottle brewery. And I certainly think of Citra as one of the defining beers of Noughties “craft” along with Jaipur and Punk. Put it this way, if one uses the “grapefruit” definition of craft to imply lots of New World hops, added late – then calling your defining beer Citra is probably a big hint of being on the craft side of the line.

Being pre-2005 doesn’t stop Sierra Nevada from being craft. Maybe Oakham blur the lines a bit, but they’re certainly 80% of the way, John the Baptist if not Jesus.

I don’t think you can argue something in or out of craft (def 2) — it either is, or it isn’t. Like ‘cool’ and ‘punk’. Quite apart from anything else Oakham’s awful graphic design probably (again, unfairly) gets them bumped from the club. But it’s definitely part of definition 1.

I agree with Bailey, Oakhams main failing is the awful branding. Why brand excellent beer (and great venues in Peterborough) with Hobgoblin/Lord of the Rings/beardy weirdy labels? For craftsmanship they are easily up there with the best, and importantly at more accessible pricing than other Craft Breweries when on cask.

In the East Midlands, East Anglia, you see an absolute shite ton of Oakham on cask. Citra is the de facto guest beer in many three-beer pubs.

The Oakham question is an interesting one. Once poured, its beers are virtually indistinguishable from a wide range of more recently founded fashionable UK or US breweries.

Its a question of what defines craft beer, is it the beer, or is it the branding? If its the beer that matters, and the branding is just a way for the brewer to try and convey to the public the style of beer in the cask/keg/bottle, then Oakham stand proudly at the centre of the UK craft beer universe. If its the branding that matters, and the beer is just an afterthought, then clearly they don’t, but what kind of ass-backward definition is that?

Personally I don’t think the branding of their core range is all that bad. Its the seasonal specials that feature the naff pump art.

It’s definition 1 (about the beer) vs definition 2 (about the ‘culture’).

That may be the problem in a nutshell – all definitions, by their nature, are arbitrary and imperfect.

“Pre-2005” encompasses a huge array of breweries, from big behemoths to independent, forward-thinking, innovative breweries. It’s not a group that can be defined, in much the same way that “craft” covers a huge multitude.

I appreciate labels are necessary, but they’re also generally unhelpful.

In situations like this, where we just want to give some practical advice, we just avoid overthinking.

“Can you suggest a horror film or two I might enjoy?”

“Well, it depends how you define horror. Is the existential anxiety of Bergman, for example—”

“Yeah, it’s fine, I’ll ask someone else.”

Yeah I appreciate that. It’s so confusing – we tick about 75% of what it is to be ‘craft’ but have absolutely no idea how to label ourselves, let alone anyone else.

Going back to the original question – how to experience “craft beer” on a budget, well if its the beer you are interested in, drink stuff like Oakham, but if all you want is “definition 2” craft beer, and are interested in drinking a beer than is branded in a certain style regardless of what it actually tastes like, surely there are a whole number of pseudo-craft beers that provide that branding at a lower price point?

Sure, you could definitely sub in Oakham beers for a couple of the pale-n-hoppy things on our list.

“I don’t think you can argue something in or out of craft (def 2) — it either is, or it isn’t. ”

I guess that’s our difference – I take a less binary view. Maybe it’s because I’m a bit older or I’m more used to dealing with fuzziness, I wouldn’t view it as “in” or “out”. I’d look at a sliding scale, from Bass and say Sharp’s (as the last of the “trad” micros to hit the bigtime) to Cloudwater & Beavertown. Hence my comment that Oakham are 80% there.

I’m also not sure that definition 2 is purely about culture – as I said Oakham certainly do kegs (and now cans) and that’s the main vehicle I see them in. That’s a beer thing.

And culture varies – I don’t doubt that the A1 corridor sees Oakham as a cask brewery, but as I say, I’ve hardly seen them in cask around me. It’s a bit like Guinness being the working man’s drink in Ireland but a premium product on this side of the water, or Hen and Wychwood being revered as great English beer in export markets. I guess the only aspect Oakham “fail” def 2 is in rejecting “the trappings of established ‘real ale’ culture” – in that some of their customers are cask pubs and they’ve won some CAMRA awards. But then my pint of keg Citra doesn’t know that. I’m less about all the culture stuff anyway – sure I’ve been to IndyMan and the Bermondsey beer mile, but I do that for the beer rather than to hang out with razordodgers or to put something on Instagram.

Same with the branding – I’m not so anti the Oakham branding as some obviously are, but again I would look at it on a continuum – is it closer to Beavertown and Tiny Rebel, or closer to Doom Bar and Speckled Hen? Creating a distinctive visual identity that rejected previous norms for beer branding has definitely been part of Oakham’s success – and I’d suggest that they are closer to the former than say Buxton or Thornbridge. One test is to write “cornflakes” in a brand’s typography and see if you can guess the brand – I think you’d get Oakham and Tiny Rebel, probably not the others. So I’d suggest “presentation, packing and ‘lifestyle’” are part of the Oakham thing. (Hmm – is Tiny Rebel craft? Modern equivalent of Oakham I’d suggest)

And of course they are a post-2005 _brewery_, if not a corporate entity; they moved to Peterborough in 2006….

I’d tend to agree with py though, it’s hard to argue the cultural thing when you’re buying it alongside your Harpic. Couture fashion may be copied by George at ASDA, but that doesn’t mean you’re buying couture, they’re just clothes. Hopefully the fact that you can now buy sours and saisons in Tesco means that we can ditch the need to define “craft” and go back to “beer I like” and “beer I don’t like”. Always good to question one’s assumptions from time to time though, so thanks for that.

Cheaper still is 4 cans of Adnams ghost ship for £5. (Sometimes 8 cans for £8) – which is in the same ballpark as Citra.

A pro-tip from a budget conscious craft beer drinking Tesco customer. Seek out the smaller Tesco Express/metro stores. They have different offers than the large super markets.

In a 3 for £5 offer (dependent on the store) I’ve seen Thornbridge Jaipur & Tart, Brewdog Punk IPA & Dead Pony, Stone Go to IPA, Four Pure Session IPA, Oskar Blues, Pinner and Yella Belly, Vocation Life & Death, Heart & Soul and Pride & Joy as well as the trio of Goose Island’s core range, Brooklyn Lager and East IPA and some Flying Dog.

Bang for buck Vocation’s Life & Death at 6.9% is well worth seeking out, a cloudy, murky powerful IPA heading towards a NEIPA.

A few weeks ago on the same £5 for 3 660m bottles of Punk IPA were available but they’ve pulled them off that now.

Whilst you’ve suggested a new use for my IPA glass for in flagrante situations, I wouldn’t recommend such practices as the HSE would have issues with the thinness of said sex toy.

Thing is about beer geekery – and I speak proudly as one myself – is that’s it’s a pretty niche hobby.

If you look at the current volumes, craft beer remains miles behind across the UK, despite accounting for almost all new brewery openings. It’s not making any major inroads in the national conscience.

This isn’t a bad thing – like all ‘artesenal’ (urgh) products, it’s mainly for those who are happy to use a greater quantity of their income exploring more obscure items. I like to buy a £4 sourdough loaf, but that’s not impacting on the dominace of the supermarket sliced whites anymore than posh burger joints are affecting McDonalds.

Yes, my local Tesco Metro currently has Punk IPA 330ml and 660ml both at 3 for £5. The big ones are on the bottom shelf, so don’t seem to attract as much attention.

Sensible” pricing through brewers & retailers lowering margins is overdue.

Multibuys will be pretty normal behaviour for most punters and price gets further accessible e.g I saw 4 for £6 in Asda Newton Abbot yesterday on a whole fixture (that did not exist 6 months ago) of UK craft and some US/Euro brewed imports.

I’m not a Brewdog fanboy but best value was their Dog Box 3 x Punk, 3 x Pony, 3 x 5AM plus 3 x Jackhammer (7.2% !) at £15 = £3.78 per litre for a good spread of beers. I heard that the decision to put Jackhammer in the box was deliberate “overinvestment” to give punters more, open them up to stronger IPA’s and brand Brewdog.

Ironically over-expansion in some stores will eventually see it settle back to smaller core ranges selling for £1.50-£2 per can with Indie Specialists selling smaller/seasonal specials for £3+

If you want to save some shoe leather, can be worth a poke around. Inevitably they can’t keep up with everything that happens in individual stores, and some of the categorisation is a bit iffy but it gives you a pretty good general idea.

Northern Monk Eternal and New World multipacks in Morrisons give you “cool” and good liquid – unfined and everything! I’ve seen them for £6 in-store, and could have _sworn_ they were 6-packs, but their website says they’re 4-packs.

12x440ml cans of Ghost Ship are £10 on a deal in Tesco at the moment. Adnams are being very aggressive on price and things like Ease Up aren’t bad liquid, so it’s one you’re likely to see in deals.

Anyone fancy knocking up some code to mash up Mysupermarket prices and Untappd ratings? I suspect you would struggle to beat the Untappd-per-£ of Weihenstephaner Hefeweiss (3.90) at £1.47 at Waitrose recently. Waitrose are less into the “crafty” stuff but do have some real goodies from the Continent which are worth keeping an eye out for if they find themselves on deals.

Oh, and Booths, obviously.

As I’ve got a shedload of Nectar points, I tend to do my shopping in Sainsbury’s and they usually have some bargains. Last time I got big bottles of Williams Bros Joker IPA for £1 and they also had a selection of + 5% ABV Drygate cans at 79p each.

Oakham Citra was 79p/330ml in B&M Bargains at the weekend. Winners all round.

My local co op had vocation ipa four for six quid and morrisons will do me Northern monk new world ipa four pack 650. The 500ml bottle ranges in supermarkets may be mainly dull but some hidden gems (ilkley brewery beers often in the four for six quid type offers.) ain’t gonna manage Carling cheap but drink less, drink higher quality is hardly elitist. Jackhammer from split multi packs for 99p is my favorite recent bargain.

Of course if you’re really strapped, homebrew! I can brew great beer for less than 50p/litre, or craft for less than £1

Yeah, and probably spent £300 on the kit + 8 hours each time you make a beer. 🙂

As with probably many people, I go through stages of being crafty and decide to spend money on potentially interesting beers. However before long I invariably revert to my normal selection. I guess there’s good reason that I like the beers that I do – they’re the best in style when considering the quality/price/availability matrix

I know this isn’t what you’ve asked about, but I think The Beer Nut has sort of hit the nail on the head – these sorts of arguments aren’t usually about the product per se, but about the people who are associated with them. Calling a lager “elitist” is ridiculous – it’s just a beer. As Tony Naylor hints, you can’t talk about something as omnipresent as craft beer without touching on the (forgive me) sociological aspect of it too. It’s like when smart phones (or, for the older reader, mobile phones) first appeared – anyone who had one and was seen to enjoy it was de facto a bit of a wanker. Now everyone has them, so there are less wankers (your mileage may vary)

As to Mark’s original Twitter thread, I didn’t get it. As you point out, there are price and quality gradations of everything, but nobody on Twitter moans about the price of “good” (expensive) cheese or a really nicely made matelot jersey vs a Primark T-shirt – they just buy what they can afford. Some people have plenty of money and are happy to buy cheaper things and keep their money, some people like to save up and buy something that is slightly beyond their means but feels like a treat.

To answer the question, what can you get for £13, my preference would always be to go to an indie and buy 2 or 3 “wildly expensive” beers – drink less and drink better.

And don’t give me any heat about what better means in the context of “drink less and drink better”

Asda’s recent foray into craft world has seen about thirty different varieties appear, at least twenty of which are in their 4 for £6 offer. Sadly, for me anyway, very little black beer in the mix.
Morrison’s are doing well, but a smaller selection than Asda.
Sainsbury’s really need to up their game; not everything is an American IPA!

Just a thought, but in the early days of CAMRA it was often the case that the highly regarded beers were actually cheaper than the heavily-promoted “national blands”.

Co-op. £5 for 3 cans from a range of canned craft beers.

The range varies by branch, but I’ve seen Vocation there – lovely.

Crikey, the whole premise of the original tweet is totally myopic. Imagine:

“[Picture of a big cabbage next to a little lettuce]

Greens vs Elitist Greens.

Because the tiny one is “Salad” it is more expensive despite being lower in iron content.

Salad – Gordon Gekko’s food.”

Maybe he should’ve started by comparing two products that are actually the same. Helles isn’t pilsner and pilsener isn’t helles. Apples aren’t oranges, etc.

The main hindrance I see to the beer market in the UK is the obsession with broad-brush labels…

All ‘lager’ is lager all the same, right? And all ‘craft beer’ is craft beer all the same, right? The discussion about Oakham, above, shows that these short-sighted assertions are total bullshit, especially if they’re your starting point as a consumer.

Pretty much demonstrates why the last thing we need is an ‘official’ definition for ‘craft’ beer.

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