OK, so I haven't posted anything for a while.
I have been looking at the industry of which I form a part, and wondering where it is all going?
I started brewing because I love great beer and I needed something to do with the microbiology degree I spent several years drinking my way to!
When I started , micro breweries were as much a novelty as a decent well stocked cellar, and I loved the chance to use my skills as a scientist , my passion as a drinker and my calling as a chef all in one job.
I do not intend to dwell in the past (enough funny stories and unbelievable accidents for my "Meet the Brewer" nights) I cannot help but reflect though on the state of our slice of the industry now.
Many people start in self employment because they want some degree of flexibility or freedom in their work life balance, they soon find out that there are as many people pulling their chain in self employment as in employment, just the chain pullers are different, and the impact is personal and heart felt when the buck stops with them.
As I look around now, the ideals of freedom and liberty which many of the "Old School" brewers stood for are rapidly evaporating for a new, not necessarily better, future. Brewers have to trade through "approved" schemes, need the OK from this that or another to say that their beer is beer, or kow-tow to the right people to get sales, enter competitions, or even get access to markets and as a result of this don't rock the boat by pointing out the plethora of naked emperors who are the new chain pullers.
The "Real Ale Taliban" take many guises, and brewing has become more and more of a beauty parade than anything to do with brewing, it is ironic that our [The UK] only Gold Medal Winner @ World Beer Cup [USA] has been rusticated from the "Official" beer organisations because he is a producer of Craft produced Brewery Conditioned beer, and is thus beyond the pail as far as these self appointed guardians of an artificial ideal are concerned.
Doesn't anyone get it? Our industry is starting to draw the kind of fire from the antis lobby which tobacco got twenty years ago, and what do we do about it? NOTHING, bickering about dispense or getting more tweats than anyone else is far more important than calling for open market access or fighting the missinformed tax on strong beer while the brewers stand by and fiddle.
I really am pissed off with the industry becoming more obsessed with apps and tweats with a constant stream of electronic crap being spewed forth to promote the latest piss poor hop infusion from yet another wannabe beerstar, the persona of the operator now being more important than the quality of the beer, the hype beating the hop, the hack being the holder of the chain, the brewer and the beer giving away to bullshit and bragging.
Beer, it would be great to hear about it again, and hear less about the ex-........[fill in gap]er who woke one morning and golly gee was a brewer! lets get back to basics, lets get back to beer (in all its forms of dispense).