Here are a few things we’ve spotted around and about that prompted a thought or two.
1. This interview with James Watt from the Daily Mail contains the most concise summary yet of the contradiction at the heart of Brewdog: ‘behind all the anarchy there’s a very stable profitable company’, he says. They’re KER-azy, but also very sensible; anti-corporate, but also… really corporate. What a balancing act.
2. Has anyone ever published a book of Michael ‘Beer Hunter’ Jackson’s columns for CAMRA’s What’s Brewing? If not, they should. Here he is talking ‘big picture’ in May 1985:
For consumers who wanted a beer of some character, real ale was shown to be more satisfactory than keg bitter. On the other hand, keg was also unsatisfactory to drinkers who wanted a bright, refreshing beer. They eventually defected to bland lagers… The real ale movement may, in fact, have encouraged a polarisation of public taste in beer… [At one end of the market] there is a growth in interest in products of quality, character and tradition, and at the other end… a demand for bland, light flavours; the middle ground is vanishing.
3. There’s been a flare-up in attempts to define ‘craft beer’. Here’s ‘Hardknott’ Dave Bailey’s take on the efforts of one drinks industry consultancy firm to pin down a working definition; and here’s Max ‘Pivni Filosof’ Bahnson (via Lars Marius Garshol) with a very hard-line approach. CGA’s effort would benefit from the expertise of, say, Pete Brown; and Max’s reminds us of something David ‘Firkin’ Bruce said:
[At H.G. Simonds in Reading] it was… real ‘craft brewing’, not in the current American sense. I was a wooden spoon brewer. I’d never get a job as a ‘proper’ brewer, in a ‘proper’ brewery, because they only wanted Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt microbiologists, but I could certainly brew.
4. Beyond the blog, we’ve posted a few new things on Facebook, such as this small gallery of images of Dirty Dick’s on Bishopsgate in London (apostrophe important…); and, on Twitter, people seemed to find this interesting.
1984 CAMRA survey found that the most expensive beer in Britain was Gale’s Prize Old Ale @ £1.35 a pint. Cheapest Holt’s Mild @ 50p a pint.
— Boak and Bailey (@BoakandBailey) August 22, 2013