News, Nuggets & Longreads 12 May 2018: Bass, Bavaria, Bambini

A derelict pub in Bristol.

Here’s everything that grabbed our attention in the world of beer and pubs in the past week, from the masculinity of beer to the fascination of Bass.

Dea Latis, an indus­try group ded­i­cat­ed to pro­mot­ing beer to women, and chal­leng­ing the idea that beer is a male pre­serve. It com­mis­sioned a study from YouGov into wom­en’s atti­tudes to beer which is sum­marised here, with a link to the full report:

Beer Som­me­li­er and Dea Latis direc­tor Annabel Smith said: “We know that the beer cat­e­go­ry has seen mas­sive progress in the last decade – you only need to look at the wide vari­ety of styles and flavours which weren’t avail­able wide­ly in the UK ten years ago. Yet it appears the female con­sumer either hasn’t come on the same jour­ney, or the beer indus­try just isn’t address­ing their female audi­ence ade­quate­ly. Overt­ly mas­cu­line adver­tis­ing and pro­mo­tion of beer has been large­ly absent from media chan­nels for a num­ber of years but there is a lot of his­to­ry to unrav­el. Women still per­ceive beer brand­ing is tar­get­ed at men.”

We’ve already linked to this once this week but why not a sec­ond time? It’s a sub­stan­tial bit of work, after all.

There’s some inter­est­ing com­men­tary on this, too, from Kirst Walk­er, who says: “If we want more women in the beer club, we have to sweep up the crap from the floors and admit that flow­ers are nice and it pays not to smell of horse piss. How’s that for a man­i­festo?”

Bass Pale Ale mirror, Plymouth.

Ian Thur­man, AKA @thewickingman, was born and brought up in Bur­ton-upon-Trent and has a lin­ger­ing affec­tion for Bass. He has writ­ten a long reflec­tion on this famous beer’s rise and fall accom­pa­nied by a crowd-sourced direc­to­ry of pubs where it is always avail­able:

It’s dif­fi­cult for me to be unemo­tion­al about Draught Bass. It was part of grow­ing up in Bur­ton. But what are the facts.

The EU AB InBev careers’ web­site accu­rate­ly describes the rel­a­tive impor­tance of their brands to the com­pa­ny.

The UK has a strong port­fo­lio of AB InBev brands. This includes, glob­al brands, Stel­la Artois and Bud­weis­er, inter­na­tion­al brands, Beck’s, Leffe and Hoe­gaar­den, as well as local brands, includ­ing Bod­ding­tons and Bass.”

We’re fas­ci­nat­ed by the re-emer­gence of the Cult of Bass as a sym­bol of a cer­tain con­ser­v­a­tive atti­tude to pubs and beer. You might regard this arti­cle as its man­i­festo.

Ash Corbett-Collins

Anoth­er Bur­ton­ian Ian, Ian Web­ster, has spo­ken to Ash Cor­bett-Collins, one of the newest mem­bers of the CAMRA Nation­al Exec­u­tive, who offers an opti­mistic view of the post-Revi­tal­i­sa­tion land­scape:

The Spe­cial Res­o­lu­tions that were vot­ed on at the AGM aren’t in them­selves change,” explains Ash, the ini­tial fall­out of the vote saw reports of mem­ber­ship cards being torn up in dis­gust. “They are words on paper that empow­er us to make sure the Cam­paign is effec­tive. We will con­tin­ue to fight for real ale, real cider and real per­ry, as we always have done, we will fight for pubs and clubs, as we already do. The mem­bers have decid­ed what they want the objec­tives of the Cam­paign to be, but how we do that is not yet decid­ed and is up to the vol­un­teers to do what they think is best.

It is clear to many that we are head­ing towards a crunch point when it comes to the num­ber of active vol­un­teers that we have. Already some promi­nent beer fes­ti­vals have said they won’t be return­ing next year as they don’t have enough vol­un­teers to plan them.”

(A foot­note: at 26, Mr Cor­bett-Collins – the fig­ure­head of Young CAMRA – is about the same age as the Cam­paign’s first few lead­ers in its found­ing years.)

Felix vom Endt.

For Bier­frei­heit (a site that’s new to us) Brent Kat­te has inter­viewed Felix vom Endt who we remem­ber as the one beer blog­ger in Ger­many” but who is now run­ning his own brew­ery, Orcabrau. It’s a fas­ci­nat­ing piece because it offers insight into how craft beer cul­ture is col­lid­ing with tra­di­tion­al Ger­man atti­tudes beer, and because Felix has inter­est­ing obser­va­tions on Fran­co­nia in par­tic­u­lar:

I’m from the south of Munich so I grew up with beer but there was no think­ing about it-it was more just drink­ing.  Then I moved to Upper Fran­co­nia for study­ing- social work.  One of my first walks was to a Getranke­markt to buy beer… I asked some­one, “Where’s your Augustin­er?” and he asked, “Why do you want Augustin­er?  We have oth­er beers here.”. I said I didn’t care, I just want­ed Augustin­er, and he point­ed me to the back of the store. I took a case and he came back and said, “Here are six bot­tles from region­al brew­eries in the same style.”.  I said okay‑I’m not inter­est­ed, but he insist­ed I take them, they were free.… I nev­er talked to him again; I nev­er saw him again, but this got me a lit­tle into beer.

(This one came to us via Andreas Kren­mair on Patre­on.)

A child's toy in a pub.

For Craft Beer & Brew­ing John Holl has returned to the always inter­est­ing top­ic of chil­dren in envi­ron­ments where peo­ple are drink­ing, in this case specif­i­cal­ly brew­ery tap­rooms:

Com­ing to work on a recent Mon­day, [Matt] Van Wyk [of Alesong Brew­ing & Blend­ing in Eugene, Ore­gon] was met by one of his busi­ness part­ners who relayed a sto­ry about a trou­ble­some 4‑year-old who, after spend­ing some time throw­ing rocks at the brew­ery walls, pro­ceed­ed to uri­nate on the patio.

A lot of that is kids being kids,” he says. “But the par­ents should have stopped the behav­ior when it first hap­pened and noticed things, such as that he need­ed to use the bath­room. That’s my biggest thing when it comes to kids in brew­eries. There’s a part­ner­ship with par­ents where the brew­ery should have a few things that are invit­ing to fam­i­lies. I’m not say­ing it should be Chuck E. Cheese’s, but some­thing. And then par­ents need to take respon­si­bil­i­ty for watch­ing their kids and enter­tain­ing them. Brew­eries are not just a babysit­ting place.”

(Dis­clo­sure: Mr Holl is an edi­tor we’ve writ­ten for and con­tin­ue to pitch to.)

Certified Independent.

There’s a heck of a lot to chew on in this very long read from The Crafty Pint which looks in some depth at the impact of the takeover of inde­pen­dent Aus­tralian brew­eries by multi­na­tion­als, and how impor­tant own­er­ship real­ly is in the wake of the launch of a new seal of inde­pen­dence by the Aus­tralian Inde­pen­dent Brew­ers’ Asso­ci­a­tion (IBA). The arti­cle takes the form of a Q&A with var­i­ous indus­try fig­ures all of whom give thought­ful answers, like this from bar-own­er and brew­er Jade Flavell:

When some­one has sold out, we don’t throw a tantrum but we do stop stock­ing them. We will trade out what we have got in stock, whether heav­i­ly dis­count­ed or giv­en away, and we don’t restock it. There are excep­tions, how­ev­er: this years Pink Boots beer in South Aus­tralia was brewed at Pirate life and we will buy some in that regard. If some­thing sim­i­lar hap­pens for anoth­er cause, we’re fine with that too… We don’t feel that the [new­ly acquired brew­eries] need our help. They are now fund­ed by the biggest of the big guys, and they’re now only part of a big machine.

Beer being poured, from an old advertisement.

This piece on trends in UK lager by James Bee­son for the Morn­ing Adver­tis­er is an inter­est­ing read with lots of stats and what seems like frank com­ments from peo­ple actu­al­ly engaged in the busi­ness of mak­ing and sell­ing lager. This line from Jasper Cup­paidge of Cam­den Town stood out in par­tic­u­lar: “We need to stop wor­ry­ing about styles with­in styles. What we have to wor­ry about is wine tak­ing more share of throat, or gin knock­ing us for six like it is at the moment.”

A minor point, a PR stunt, but one that did make us laugh: two US brew­eries have col­lab­o­rat­ed on an IPA almost as clear as water, by way of com­ment on the trend for hazy beers. We reck­on this idea might have legs as a trendy sub-style in its own right.

Anoth­er minor point… or is it? Goose Island, the Chica­go brew­ery acquired by AB-InBev in 2011, seems to have sur­prised every­one by announc­ing the clo­sure of its south Lon­don ‘Tap House’ as of this week­end. (Face­book link.)

We’ll fin­ish with this image from the 1970s:

Note: this post was writ­ten on Thurs­day and sched­uled to post on Sat­ur­day morn­ing. If any­thing big breaks, or any essen­tial reads drop, we’ll endeav­our to add them using our fid­dly phones. Also check out Stan Hierony­mus’s round-up from Mon­day, and Alan McLeod’s from, er, today (as we write) or two days ago (as you read).

4 thoughts on “News, Nuggets & Longreads 12 May 2018: Bass, Bavaria, Bambini”

  1. The goose island place in Bal­ham clos­ing wasn’t a sur­prise to any­one who had been there. The draft goose island was very main­stream ( none of the sea­son­al range ), then they had the vin­tage range in 750ml bot­tles. The food was very nice. But it wasn’t obvi­ous who the pub was for and the rent must have been mas­sive.

    Who was the tar­get mar­ket ?

    Mas­sive Sour beer afi­ciona­dos – in Bal­ham ?
    Wine drinkers or peo­ple out of din­ner – who might occa­sion­al­ly want to splash 20 quid on a mas­sive bot­tle of goose vin­tage ?
    Craft beer fans who only want to drink goose island ?

    On the beer mile this might have made sense and the rent would have been a lot cheap­er – but only a moron could have set this up where they set it up if they to make any mon­ey.

    I’m guess­ing some­one in mar­ket­ing at ansch knew some­one with a cheap lease which need­ed fill­ing for 18 months, and it was designed to build mind­share.

    1. And it seems to have been dip­ping their toe in the mar­ket whilst they pre­pared the Goose Brew House which will open in Shored­itch lat­er in the year.

  2. ”designed to build mind­share”

    Alex, that’s a new one on me! got­ta love biz­ness speak 🙂

    Also this is a bit weird from Jas­par:

    ”What we have to wor­ry about is wine tak­ing more share of throat”

    Bloody throats! thats all we are to you since you sold out eh? lol

  3. Regard­ing the DD ad here was CAM­RA’s response at the time ‘DD=K9P

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