Thursday 11 November 2010

Craft is the Future

Ok, this is a follow up post to the Where Next one. The reason for this post is that the last comment on the where next one(bar mine) actually made me very angry. The person in question seems to have swallowed a Brewdog bible and it was such a pile of steaming shit that I felt I had to write a follow up rather than just comment!

I am so sick of the keg vs cask argument. When 5 of us wrote blogs on Why Cask Beer Rocks it wasn't to say that Cask was better than Keg, indeed, Zak rightly pointed out that we were talking about a form of dispense on several of the blogs rather than a beer style.
I would just like to say this and you can agree or disagree, comment or not, I couldn't care less.

Craft Beer is the future. Not Keg, not Cask and not Bottle. Anybody that says different is wrong. These are just forms of dispense. The sooner people realise this and start raving about how great craft beer is, the better.


GrowlingDogBeer said...

Totally agree.

I couldn't care less how it is dispensed so long as it is good quality, well crafted beer and tastes great.

Anonymous said...

I agree as well, but it's also ripe for a blazing argument on definitions (see also "indie music").

ben said...

I agree completely. As I just wrote over on the original post, I think there's terrible tendency to conflate the beer and the dispense method. We can (and do) bicker about which method is best for which style, but things like 'best' are highly subjective.

As I said in the other comment, if you put crap beer in any dispense method it will be crap. Period. And it's a bad idea to judge a dispense method with crap beer.

As a fun thought experiment, if someone put Carling in a cask would CAMRA be alright with it? I sure as hell wouldn't be. It'd still taste like fizzy-booze-water. So why is the inverse not true?

Sat In A Pub said...

I agree "good" beer-I'm afraid you won't catch me using the term "craft beer" (I'm with the mighty Ron on that term) is the future. But then hasn't it always been? I always thought so anyway.

Oh and cask isn't just a form of dispense. A handpump is a form of dispense. Cask is a particular form of beer, so whatever the argument, it's not about forms of dispense.

Cooking Lager said...

Cheap lout is the future. Well, it's my future.

When you look beyond beer, into economics, and see the number of people "trading down", I suspect craft beer will not be immune.

ben said...

Cooking Lager: The Brewer's Association don't really agree with your economic analysis, at least in the american market. See This report. It can't be wrong, it has pie charts.

Pie charts.

Just saying.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, now I would suggest otherwise in the economics arguement 'Cooking Lager'. In fact consumer trends surveys show that people are becoming less price sensetive and more concerned with provenence of product and quality of product. The thing is 'cheap' beer also tends to be 'shit' beer and now that 'cheap' is no long actually that cheap the consumer is realising that you might as well spend a bit more on something thats good than spend £3 or £4 quid on something that is crap.

I actually work for BrewDog and personally prefer most of our beers out of the keg, but that is the style of beer we make. Take it from a company perspective, I would rather go in to a pub and taste our beer when it tastes great rather than go in to a bar and taste our beer and think 'Oh yum, vinegar' as I have done in two unmentionable bars in Edinburgh lately.
Keg is a more effective way of getting our beer out to people in the condition we want them to recieve it in.
Does keg have a place in the market? Yes. Will it replace cask? No. Should it replace cask? No. Should it replace all the foreign owned pish that floods our bars and is brewed in gigantic warehouses in South Wales? Bloody right it should.

For me I lookk at the beer style and make my decision. Do I want to drink Green King IPA on keg? No (bad example, I don't want to drink it at all)...Do I want Lovibonds 69 IPA (out-bloody-standing btw) on cask? God no, and anyone who would needs shooting.

Craft beer is most certainly the future, in fact its the present. We all know it is and slowly but surely it is filtering through.

Brewery numbers are increasing, current microbrewers are expanding and the share of the market that once had all the little guys scrapping with each other will progressively increase as the market chare currently held by the mass brewers diminishes. The pis is getting bigger.

Its exciting for all lovers of proper craft brewed beer and it is no time to be narrow-minded by dismissing a beer or even an entire brewery simply because they choose to sell their beer in a format that is 'not tradtional'. Traditions change people, if they didn't we'd still be drowning women to see if they were witches and leading a donkey to the market every morning to see if we could swap it for a sack of spuds.

Bring on the revolution, its been a long bloody time coming!

Cooking Lager said...

I cannot argue with pie charts, Ben

rabidbarfly said...

Anonymous Brewdog - doesn't sound like you're tugging on the owners leash there. But I agree with your comments. Thanks.

rabidbarfly said...

@Tyson, the term Craft Beer is here to stay I'm afraid, like it or not.

Brew_monkey said...

I personally brew cask conditioned ale. But i have kegged a small amount and served it to fellow drinkers in our pub along side the cask form. They loved it. Some liked the cask better due to more suttle flavours. Some liked the keg due to the temperature. A CAMRA local branch guy didn't like it. Hmmm. This arguement is like the one about the word 'craft' I'm proud to call myself a craft brewer. Do i not have a skill in making something? I am also a qualified carpenter. Would people opposed to using the term craft when relating to beer feel the same way about calling me a craftsman for also being a joiner? Seems odd to me that this is how people think.

Rob Sterowski said...

I see little utility in swapping one unsatisfactory term, "real ale", for another, "craft beer". It doesn't mean anything in a UK context. Are Harveys a "craft" brewer? What about Fullers? Caledonian? Hydes? If not, why not?

rabidbarfly said...

That is a good question Barm and one I'll be looking at in my next post!

Sat In A Pub said...

I know the term is here to stay, but "craft beer" is a term only beloved by beer geeks and some brewers. It means nothing to the man in the street and, frankly, never will. Hence why I won't be using it without quotation marks.

rabidbarfly said...

Thanks for the comment 'Tyson' I know it means nothing to the man on the street 'at the moment' but we do want Mr & Mrs average to feel passionate about 'craft beer' - PS Sorry couldn't resist but you do make a good point!