Thursday, 14 November 2013

You can take your craft beer...

Fuck you. Yeah you, the one sitting there nursing your 23% sour barrel aged stout that’s so loaded with hops that you’re gonna shit hops for a week. Oh, it’s a ‘craft beer’ is it? Of course, that word ‘craft’ makes it so much different and better than other beers that don’t have the word ‘craft’ affixed, doesn’t it? No, I thought not. Y’know what? You can take your craft and shove it up your arse, because I just like beer. Fuck that word and fuck you.

I’m fucking sick of it, really. Everywhere I look there’s some kind of debate about what’s ‘craft’ and what’s not. Fuck you.

I mean, I thought we’d gotten over this at least a year ago and now accept beer for what it is but evidently not.

We’ve got Brewdog banging on about the fact that craft needs an actual definition, which it doesn’t. The reason they give is that it’s basically for the drinkers but it’s not, it’s for them because they’re self-important arseholes. Now I’m not from the national office of statistics or anything but I bet 99% of drinkers at least wouldn’t give a fuck about an actual definition. Even 99% of beer geeks don’t give a fuck. We just drink what we drink. I like Blue Moon… sue me. Also, it’s insulting our intelligence a bit, saying that we basically can’t tell the difference between Blue Moon and Punk IPA but y’know what? I can tell the difference because at least Blue Moon is of consistent quality. Fuck you, Brewdog.

To be honest, I’m pretty sure that 99% of breweries don’t give a fuck whether or not they fall under the craft label. The only ones who do are the big breweries who are opening smaller ‘craft’ breweries, like Brains for example, and the reason is that ‘craft’ is the beer buzzword of 21st Century United Kingdom. Hell, even Tennents, y’know the ones who make awful lager? Well they’re opening a smaller ‘craft’ brewery with the awesome Williams Brothers brewery.

I mean, earlier today Adnams were accused of not being ‘craft’. I’m pretty sure they’re fine with that. They were called ‘average’ by someone who only has about 2 beers out of god knows how many that I’ve actually found enjoyable. Adnams are above average, and I’m sure most people will agree. That really hit a soft spot with me though as they are the brewery that got me into good beer and I won’t have anyone talk ill of them. Opinions are fair enough but y’know being bitchy because Broadside is going on cask at Mikkeller Bar in San Francisco and yours isn’t is bullshit.

But does any of this REALLY matter? Whether you enjoy Punk IPA or Blue Moon, whether it fits some cunt’s ideals of what craft is or is not, does it matter? It’s really all down to the drinker.

Something else really fucked me off recently, while I’m on a rant. I saw on twitter the other week that someone from outside of Norwich went into The Norwich Taphouse. Said person asked if they sell any cask ales… guy behind the bar says “We only sell craft beer here”. Fucking hell, if you REALLY have to use the word ‘craft’, don’t fucking limit it to keg beer. That’s just fucking unfair. There are a lot of breweries who only brew cask beer that are brewing far more superior and consistent product to a lot of these new wave breweries.

But really, it’s all beer at the end of the day. It’s a beverage that brings us all together, regardless of dispense method, who brews it, where it’s brewed or whatever. It cheers us up when we’re sad, it gives us something to talk and write about, it helps us make new friends, it’s fucking magical.

You can use the word ‘craft’ all you like, you can try to define it, but you will never take our enjoyment.

Fuck you, craft wankers.


Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Norwich Beer Festival 2013 - The Aftermath

Well, Norwich Beer Festival is over for another year and I just kinda felt that being one of these blogger types I should tell you about all of my favourite beers and such.

Last week was a pretty mental week... I did Monday evening, Tuesday evening, Thursday evening and both sessions on the Friday because, well, research. Yes, let's use that excuse. It was a long and extensive research trip into the styles of beer and presentation of a beer festival. Hey, I've been taking loads of these this year!

So let's get into it, shall we?

My favourite beers were as followed:

UK Cask (Outside of Norfolk): Arbor Ales Yakima Valley IPA - IT'S A TROPICAL FRUIT FEST! That bitter grapefruit you find in a lot of IPAs merges deliciously with mangoes, lychees and a bit of sweet apricot on top of a soft malty base. This is without a doubt a contender for beer of the year. I have absolutely no idea how this did not win beer of the festival (although the winner, Slaters Haka was well deserved).

Norfolk Cask: Tipples Sour Plum Porter - Vinegary, acidic plums with a sprinkling of chocolate and coffee. Wish I would've had more than just a half pint!

Keg (Foreign only, obviously): De Dolle Arabier - Peppery, yeasty, funky, some bananas and peaches. PLEASE SEND MORE.

UK Bottle: Poppyland Elderflower Saison - Funk, the whole funk with some fruity, sweet elderflower. I need more bottles of this immediately!

Foreign Bottle: Struise Pannepot - Treacle, berries & licorice pour onto your tongue, and then when you think it's all over... coffee appears, like a ninja!

Out of all of these, my overall favourite would have to be...

Arbor Ales Yakima Valley IPA!

Again, it was awesome! Thanks to CAMRA Norwich for putting it on and thanks to everyone who joined me for too many many beers!

Let me know your favourites in the comments, if you were there!