Monday, 16 January 2012

Storm in a nip glass

There’s probably nothing in the beer blogosphere about which so much verbiage has been expended in relation to its importance in the beer market as “craft keg”. CAMRA have even set up a working group to consider its response. However, I was just thinking that, outside specialist beer pubs, I have never seen a single font dispensing anything that falls within that category. Things may be different in that London, but from where I’m sitting it is a classic beer bubble phenomenon that hasn’t shown any sign of moving out into the mainstream. Things could change of course, but at present I see no evidence of it.

12 comments:

  1. Some would suggest that had it not been for CAMRA, "specialist beer pubs" would now be the only place that you'd see real ale. Funny old world, isn't it?

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  2. Know what you mean -- at the moment, not a huge nationwide issue -- but still worth CAMRA having a mind to, because anywhere independent breweries are currently selling their real ale, they'll soon start pushing their keg products.

    As an aside, until recently, there was much more 'craft keg' on offer in Sheffield than London. Sheffield is a big city, so your point holds, but it's worth noting that London follows the north rather then trailblazing when it comes to beer.

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  3. As a part time resident of London and part in Cheshire the spread of "craft" keg is varied. In London for example quite a large number of bars which don't have beer as their main focus have begun to sell "craft keg". It would seem that the modern, hip 20 something actually has a taste for non-mainstream beers which I think reflects the change in youth culture as a whole. When contrasted with my family home in Cheshire where "craft keg" would be found few and far between.

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  4. Well, Sid, indeed. As we said on another post here a few weeks back, most movements start in urban centres where there's the market to support niche suppliers; larger concentrations of young people; and people with large amounts of disposable income. Viz, rock'n'roll, or punk for that matter.

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  5. I've only seen what I think was a craft keg once, and it was pouring out of the font like shaving foam. Not a good advert. Yes, got to start somewhere, but brewing history is littered with ventures that never really got off the starting block. This may, or it may not, develop.

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  6. Martin, Cambridge17 January 2012 at 18:01

    London actually has quite a few breweries with very decent keg beers (to my mind) e.g. Meantime and Camden, which I've seen doing good business in London music venue at £4.50 odd a pint.

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  7. 3 words for you from a pump clip in a traditional Stockport Robinson's pub: "Frederic's Craft Beers". Robinson's have been called many things, but specialist beer pub because of Cheshire black stout?

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  8. Yes, I saw that in the same pub that had the Budvar. The licensee had made a little notice saying "craft keg" - maybe to wind up CAMRA members ;-)

    I had a half - it was pleasant enough, but I'd really need to taste it alongside Guinness to make a better judgment.

    Is it "craft keg"? And, if not, why not?

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  9. What do we know about how Cheshire Black Stout is made? If it doesn't taste particularly interesting (disclaimer: obviously, personal taste, etc. etc.); we don't know much about what's in it; or how it's made, the answer is probably not.

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  10. A Robinson's representative said it was a keg version of Black Beauty, a seasonal beer produced last autumn. Many people said that was very good, although personally I'm not a great stout fan.

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  11. Then the answer might be yes! (Beginning to think that, in our diagram, the edges of the 'craft beer', er, enclosure need to be fuzzy.)

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