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A help or a hindrance?


read 3684 times • 93 replies • posted 10/12/2012 8:06:27 AM

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SaintMatty 4742:209
I have lived abroad for 5 years now and whilst the beer scene in Britain seems to have moved on massively in that time, I get the impression that it is being held back in some ways too. Itís too long to paste here, but if you want to read my views on it, youíre welcome to do so here:

http://pilgrimandprogress.net/2012/10/12/tradition-a-help-or-a-hindrance-2/

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chriso 7344:356
Itís a bit of double edged sword really. Itís understandable that those countries that did not have much of "craft" brewing scene until recently will cast the net wide in seeking inspiration. But where there is a longer tradition, I would not necessarily want to see that jettisoned to make way for "international" styles. I donít really go to Germany or Belgium to seek out US-style IPA clones, for example. On the other hand, closer to home, Iím very appreciative of those brewers who look further than trad style UK bitters and the like. However, visitors to the UK, from the US say, may be more interested in more traditional brews rather than those from brewers who ape the styles they can get easily at home, and not always that successfully.
10/12/2012 8:21:58 AM

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SilkTork 5121:78
I havenít read the link, but I agree with Chrisoís comment.
10/12/2012 8:34:39 AM

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cgarvieuk 13188:151
I think it depends if you think the New wave of beers is better than the traditional. I dont.


Yeah weve been slower taking off than Denmark etc. But we still have our well established cask market on top.

With Time the New wave will expand, and we will have the best of both worlds.

10/12/2012 8:39:41 AM

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SaintMatty 4742:209
Originally posted by chriso
Itís a bit of double edged sword really. Itís understandable that those countries that did not have much of "craft" brewing scene until recently will cast the net wide in seeking inspiration. But where there is a longer tradition, I would not necessarily want to see that jettisoned to make way for "international" styles. I donít really go to Germany or Belgium to seek out US-style IPA clones, for example. On the other hand, closer to home, Iím very appreciative of those brewers who look further than trad style UK bitters and the like. However, visitors to the UK, from the US say, may be more interested in more traditional brews rather than those from brewers who ape the styles they can get easily at home, and not always that successfully.


I agree with you, Chris. I think itís great that some countries (notably in eastern Europe) do not yet produce beers with English or American hops. I would hate for the market to be flooded with US-style IPA clones.

Do you think that a more general beer consumersí group will ever get off the ground? I know it has been discussed on here before, but sometimes I think CAMRA needs a bit of competition.
10/12/2012 8:50:04 AM

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EdKing 1756:132
Chris is pretty much on the money. Iím looking forward to visiting Belgian to try traditional beers. Iím glad I can experience both in this country. I still believe that when itís served correctly and fresh you just cannot beat cask conditioned ale. That said the rise of the new countries and modern beer styles has totally re-invigorated the beer scene and made beer exciting for young people and women as well. The Kernel is an example of a ínewí brewery that combines both. 19th century stout recipes alongside American pales and IPAs. I think in 10 years time there will be far fewer dull brown bitters out there.
10/12/2012 11:23:37 AM

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EdKing 1756:132
Nice blog by the way. Best of luck with it.
10/12/2012 11:27:40 AM

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harrisoni 12674:20
Hi, I read your blog and there was this bit that seemed to me to stand out

"but it saddens me to think that many of the fantastic beers produced by the new wave of British breweries, but who do not produce what is defined as real ale, are unable to sell their beers at CAMRA beer festivals and introduce their beers to a whole new audience"

Which of the new wave of British breweries donít produce a cask ale? BrewDog? Well, that is their decision. Kernel? Iíve had Kernel on cask at CAMRA festivals. Which other breweries who make fantastic beers in the UK donít do a cask? "many of the fantastic beers"? sorry, evidence just suggests your opinion is incorrect.

Iím sorry, but there seems to be a myth that all great new breweries in the UK produce their beers in keg or keykeg only. No. This is evidently not true.

There is also a myth that new wave beers are better on keykeg/keg. Iíve had several side by side cask vs keg. Cask won every time. And not by a bit, by quite a lot.

I am an active member of CAMRA, but also like new styles of beers and innovation. I like tradition and the new. I donít think itís an either/or choice.

Unlike Belgium and Germany I think the UK is in a fantastic position being able to adapt and learn and combine both tradition and the new.

Letís not talk ourselves down eh? There is choice for everyone at the moment and long may it continue.
10/12/2012 11:53:30 AM

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cgarvieuk 13188:151
Originally posted by harrisoni
Iím sorry, but there seems to be a myth that all great new breweries in the UK produce their beers in keg or keykeg only. No. This is evidently not true.

There is also a myth that new wave beers are better on keykeg/keg. Iíve had several side by side cask vs keg. Cask won every time. And not by a bit, by quite a lot.


This was my Biggest problem with IndyManBeerCon.

All the Brewers were stood by stands that had there KEG beer but all there cask were on a Generic Bar with None of the Brewers beside there beer on Cask.

That and the Layout of the Program made the whole even look like it was designed to make Keg beer looks cool hip and funky and cask look just run of the mill and part of the Crowd.


10/12/2012 11:58:28 AM

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harrisoni 12674:20
As for the idea that UK people wonít drink anything over 5%, then why is it that Sainsburyís Beer Hunt 2012 was won by JW Lees Manchester Star at 7.3% and Batemans Mocha at 6%? Both traditional brewers, both brought out something special to be listed in over 300 stores nationally.

Iím not having a personal attack, I just think that there are many changes that have happened in the UK over the past 5 years, especially in the past 2-3 years that shows that the UK beer scene is alive and well and doing well. One of the best and most respected of the new breweries in Kent, The Foundry in Canterbury (founded June 2011) is loved by CAMRA and beer geeks in equal amount. You can have anything from excellently made bitter and golden ale and porter to belgian yeast hoppy beers, barrel aged scotch ale, doppelbock, helles, raspberry beer, a fantastic dunkel that is so much better on cask than on keg.

So for me itís not either/or for tradition nor do I think or find that tradition is a hindrance either. For me it is a mix. I love drinking in the traditional front room atmosphere of a micropub in Kent but love it even more when itís Oakham Citra Iím drinking. You can do both at The Butchers Arms in Kent in the middle of traditional English hop country.
10/12/2012 12:14:23 PM

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SaintMatty 4742:209
Originally posted by harrisoni
As for the idea that UK people wonít drink anything over 5%, then why is it that Sainsburyís Beer Hunt 2012 was won by JW Lees Manchester Star at 7.3% and Batemans Mocha at 6%? Both traditional brewers, both brought out something special to be listed in over 300 stores nationally.

Iím not having a personal attack, I just think that there are many changes that have happened in the UK over the past 5 years, especially in the past 2-3 years that shows that the UK beer scene is alive and well and doing well. One of the best and most respected of the new breweries in Kent, The Foundry in Canterbury (founded June 2011) is loved by CAMRA and beer geeks in equal amount. You can have anything from excellently made bitter and golden ale and porter to belgian yeast hoppy beers, barrel aged scotch ale, doppelbock, helles, raspberry beer, a fantastic dunkel that is so much better on cask than on keg.

So for me itís not either/or for tradition nor do I think or find that tradition is a hindrance either. For me it is a mix. I love drinking in the traditional front room atmosphere of a micropub in Kent but love it even more when itís Oakham Citra Iím drinking. You can do both at The Butchers Arms in Kent in the middle of traditional English hop country.


I am talking about some breweries who only produce certain beers in keg, and not in cask form, as well as some (admittedly not many) who have abandoned cask altogether. I was talking to the brewer from Summer Wine recently and he told me that they hardly produce any cask beer anymore.

Also, I think that as you often frequent some of the many fantastic pubs that are now in London, you have been slightly spoilt in the way that you see such a diverse range of beers on offer, both in terms of strengths and styles.

Where I am from (Southampton), many of the publicans are reluctant to have many (or even any) beers above 5%. I have found this out from talking to the publicans as well as local brewers. Perhaps itís different in other parts of the country, perhaps itís the same. I am merely talking about my experiences in the soft south!

I donít think the same problems apply to bottled beers which is why perhaps you see some more experimental brews in shops, than in pubs, at least in Southampton!

I am also talking from the perspective of an English guy living in a foreign country. I am used to hearing people dismiss British beer as being boring, dull and old-fashioned and was trying to think about why. Of course I know that thereís great British beer out there, both from the ínew waveí, and the more established brewer, in fact I am keen to promote however I can.

I am delighted to see that you can now buy beers from Moor, Summer Wine, Redchurch, Thornbridge, Buxton and Camden Town in Sweden, as well as beers from Fullerís, Shepherd Neame and the old guard. I think this shows the diversity of beer available in the UK and I am proud of that.
10/12/2012 12:49:36 PM

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