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Great Britain The Craft Beer Cometh

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Zimbo, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. Do you hear that? That's the winds of change, craft beer style. Far be it for just BrewDog to be opening up bars across the land but in Scotland last night saw we saw the launch night of Inn Deep ('Craft and Draft in the West End') and with the imminent opening of 'The Hanging Bat' in Edinburgh (craft and cask) you wouldn't be mistaken to think that things are going craft crazy. And then there's all the small breweries and new small breweries up here now producing obviously American craft inspired beers. Yep, the times are a changing.

    Anyone notice an acceleration of this sort behaviour in their area of the UK?
  2. i live near London, so obviously the answer's 'yes'! That said, i wish more craft beer bars would open elsewhere near where I work- fed up of after-work drinks in the same boring pubs.
  3. While not as cask/craft-tastic as Sheffield the gaps in Edinburgh, and to a lesser extent Glasgow, are beginning to be filled in. For example, an Edinburgh run, beginning at The Abbotford and finishing in the soon to open Hanging Bat, taking in The Guilford Arms, The Halfway House, The Mitre, The Bow Bar, BrewDog Edinburgh and Cloisters along the way, is well less than two miles in distance. In fact its probably no more than ten minutes of pounding the pavement between BrewDog Edinburgh and The Hanging Bat. And the distances are similar in Glasgow between BrewDog Glasgow and Inn Deep while the Bon Accord remains in striking distance.
    And along with these new places have come a bucket full of new beers to try.
    Hot damn these are good times.
  4. Craft beer !?!

    Nothing better than a well kept real ale of 3.5-4.5% !

    It'll never catch on !
    Mark and Zimbo like this.
  5. Good times indeed. I'd have to agree with you as far as my personal experience goes (though I'm sure it depends where in the country you are). York has a few superb craft/cask bars, in addition to numerous excellent traditional pubs. The pinnacle of it's type has to be the York Tap, with 32 pumps/taps. They opened shop less than a year ago, and offer an ever changing range of ales (though they do tend to focus on young, adventurous breweries). There are also Pivni (owned by the same people as the York Tap) and Trembling Madness (who have a fantastic bottle shop). Even pubs with a more traditional line-up have their eye on the ball - for example the Three-legged Mare has a fridge behind the bar with a range of US craft/Belgian offerings, to accompany the UK beers served from cask/keg. In short, the variety of beer available here has never been greater, and everywhere in York centre is within easy walking distance.

    I do think that we will see this elsewhere as well. Brewdog just announced that they've been granted the go-ahead for their next bar in Leeds. I'm sure in cities where Brewdog has a presence (being something of a craft-bar trendsetter), other people in the industry are going to notice their success and think 'hang on, I could do that'.

    Watch this space. And pray the bubble doesn't burst anytime soon ;)
    Zimbo likes this.

  6. Cask is good. But, and in spite of everything I've had been led to believe, so also is the new wave of Craft keg beer. I'm not going to be forced into taking sides by anyone. Cue avatar.
  7. Are you Marquis in disguise ;-)
    Ruds likes this.
  8. The East Midlands is fairly barren for 'craft', though. Brewdog in Notts, a couple of Jaipur keg lines in Derby. The cities are awash with brown beer, new breweries with few exceptions love Fuggles & twigs.

    The fact that there's a pub seven minutes from my front door by bus that serves three Summer Wine keg beers makes me chortle, though.
  9. I'm with Martyn Cornell on the notion that "craft beer" means absolutely nothing in the UK.I regard keg asthe equivalent to instant coffee-acceptable where there is no alternative but well short of the real thing. And admittedly better than bad cask ale! I do worry though that it poses a threat to the pub whose lifeline is cask beer. If people get the idea that keg can be as good as cask the next step is bottles/cans of the same brew in supermarkets at a fraction of the price.
    Hoppsbabo likes this.
  10. Mark

    Mark Advocate (595) California Jun 18, 2001

    Agree but why can't "craft" brewers make real cask ale? Here in the U.S. a craft brewer is a small brewery making good beer, not national light lager swill. Sadly keg is prevalent here in the States but some small breweries do make cask ale. When I went to the Craft Beer CO. on Leather lane I ignored the kegs and chose from the cask offerings. I always will too. Why anyone would drink otherwise is beyond me.
  11. What is touted as "craft beer" in the UK at present should really be known as "fashionable beer" or "hipster beer". If someone asks where they can find craft beer, they won't be happy if you point them to a well-kept pint of Harvey's or Batham's bitter.
  12. Depends, what would you take Arbor, Moor, Magic Rock, Tiny Rebel etc to be? It's certainly craft beer in my eyes, without all the made up marketing ploys of Brewdog.
  13. Tastes like beer to me.
  14. That's because it is. This whole website, surprisingly enough, is one for beer.
  15. I really hope British people don't start using the term 'craft beer'. I live with a bunch of Americans in Korea and I wince every time I hear them say it. You don't get craft wine so why should there be craft beer?

    Anyway, I'm from Peterborough which has Oakham Ale's Brewery Tap and their beer is quite 'crafty', except they're not so anal as to categorise their beers.
  16. Too late to wish for that mate.
    Ruds likes this.
  17. ImperialStoat

    ImperialStoat Savant (355) Ireland May 20, 2009

    Teaching English over there, by any chance?
  18. The term "Craft Beer" was coined by Charlie Papazian. Wince as you may, but the man is partly responsible for bringing us out of the dreadful era of golden lager. English is an ever evolving language where terms are determined by the people speaking it.
    CA_Infidel2o9 likes this.
  19. ImperialStoat

    ImperialStoat Savant (355) Ireland May 20, 2009

    By the way, my last post was a genuine question.
  20. Who's "us?" What dreadful era of golden lager?
  21. Well, being an American I was speaking as such. The era of golden lager refers to the time when the only choice of beer most Americans and Canadians had was the mass produced golden lager.

    The UK went through something similar, but with ales. Thanks to CAMRA, the big companies and mass-produced beer were kept at bay.
  22. To be fair when I was doing most of my early drinking in the late 90s and early 00s most of what was on offer in pubs and bars for people my age was about three choices of shit lager and maybe one or two of kilkenny, caffreys or mcewans 80 (which I still maintain was a good pint god-damn it, better than cally 80 at least which I have never had a good one of) and the ubiquitous Guinness.

    Although I can't attest to Mr Papazian bringing us out of that. If he did, then thank you. OR maybe it was me growing up a bit and going to better pubs and bars.
  23. Yes, but I'm not a proper teacher, especially as I have no qualifications in teaching or in English language. I'm more like a human tape recorder. It's a pretty weird job but it's enjoyable, apart from having to say everything with an American accent. It's probably why I have a slight aversion to American terminology.
  24. I saw today that not only Greene King IPA is hand "crafted" but so is Old Speckled Hen.As beer doesn't make itself presumably all of it has to be crafted.Silly expression just waiting to be hijacked.
    Hoppsbabo likes this.
  25. It's not really because "craft beer" doesn't just refer to a beer that has been crafted. For example to be a craft brewery as defined by the US brewers association (or whatever its name is) a brewery must produce 6 million barrels per year or less, and it must not have more than 25% of it owned by a non-craft brewery.
  26. Well, it's not like I can go around the colonies stapling everyone's mouths shut ;)
    RendoMike likes this.
  27. Joking.
  28. I figured. It gave me a good chuckle.
    Hoppsbabo likes this.
  29. ImperialStoat

    ImperialStoat Savant (355) Ireland May 20, 2009

    Oh, right. I have a friend doing something similar in Busan. Sounds like an interesting, albeit weird job. Thanks for the information.
  30. Regret as much as you might like about it but 'craft' is pretty well imbedded when discussing new brewers in the last 5 years or so. And as much as some people might want to be a Marquis fan boy, this is the reality which no amount of head in the sand denial is going to chase away.
    We should be celebrating how beer is evolving in the UK, irrespect of the diction, instead lamenting change like a rabble of nit picking malcontents at a CAMRA AGM.
    CwrwAmByth likes this.
  31. That's why I vastly prefer the idea of CAMRGB than CAMRA.
  32. ImperialStoat

    ImperialStoat Savant (355) Ireland May 20, 2009

    Campaign for Really Great Beer?
  33. Yeah basically:
  34. That's the one.

    CAMRA is a spent force. It saved the UK public from mass uniform bland manufactured beer. Too bad it couldn't save itself from itself.
  35. ImperialStoat

    ImperialStoat Savant (355) Ireland May 20, 2009

    I'm in full agreement where CAMRA's current stance is concerned, though I'm loathe to criticise it given all its previous good work.
  36. I think it still has a place, the only shame is it will still put more effort in promoting a cask beer even if it's rubbish, but out of outdated principals will put no effort into promoting small keg based brewers.

    Though I agree in a way, there are way too many bland "real ales", a prime example being most "Christmas beers".
    RendoMike likes this.
  37. I don't have any real issues with their current stance either. Like everyone here I'm indebted to CAMRA. Its just that they seem useless in making any sort of meaningful connection with the new generation of beer drinker. Its like trying to convince a digital native with a sandwich board.
  38. LOL. You wish.

    Hilarious that you're still peddling this "craft beer" mince at the very moment when in America the Brewers Association's bullshit is starting to collapse around their ears.
  39. We live in the UK, craft beer has never been as strong here. Same in the US actually. Craft beer output is at an all time high rate of growth, when overall beer (i.e. including macrolager) sales are falling.
    Zimbo likes this.
  40. I always thought I just didn't get it with the Christmas and Winter real ales, with Winter beer fests always being a huge disappointment. Discussion with locals at the fests always turned into me being an American and not understanding the complexities of real ale.