Thursday 20 March 2014

Craft in a Box

There have been ructions in Crafty Land in recent times.  Forked by the twin prongs of Wetherspoon's selling Sixpoint in cans and BrewDog promoting their own self-serving definition of "Craft Beer", the Crafties have been opining that Craft Ain't What It Used To Be.

But was "Craft" ever what it supposedly was?  The more self-conscious British microbreweries have taken their cues from The USA's craft scene.  Unfortunately, the typical American definition of a craft brewery would apply to every UK brewer from Greene King downwards.  Not the sort of image Martin Dickie and James Watt would want to promote.

Forget the "shedload of hops and made in buckets" type definitions - "Craft" is not really a style of beer.  It's nothing more or less than a marketing term.  Yes, the BrewDogs of this world want nothing else but your cash.  "Craft" is merely something they have seized upon to relieve you of it.  Needless to say they would be making Temperance Cordials or, god help us, Watney's Red Barrel if they thought they could make more money that way.
"Build Your Own Craft Bar Kit - only £250,000"
The whole Craft scene in the UK is startlingly uniform.  Ever been to a Craft Beer bar? All high stools, slate floors and reclaimed bricks (or in BrewDog's bars case, probably brand new bricks painstakingly chipped and randomly whitewashed to look reclaimed). These are the visual cues that tell you what to expect.  And you're all the better a person for enduring the discomfort for the sake of better beer.

"Craft" beer never was.  There is merely great,  good, ok, crap and awful beer.  The rest is just window dressing.

1 comment:

  1. The craft beer bar style nailed there, I think. Give me a Sam Smith's pub with leatherette benches and geezers standing at the bar any day...