Saturday, 27 August 2016

Real ale, real Britain

There’s an interesting piece on the Labour Uncut website by Kevin Meagher entitled The skipped over people of real Britain. The whole thing is well worth reading, but it’s particularly noteworthy that he makes the following observation:
You drink lager or real ale, not craft beer. If you go out for a meal, it’s to a Harvester pub, not a bijou Vietnamese canteen.
This is generalist writing, not specifically beer-focused, and it underlines how drinking craft beer has become associated with a particular kind of élitist metropolitan mindset. When CAMRA started, real ale was, to a large extent, consumed by working-class drinkers. To a lesser degree, it still is, for example in Holt’s and Sam Smith’s pubs around here. But how many working-class people will there be at IndyManBeerCon?

I can imagine many crafterati will have shared Emily Thornberry’s distaste for a couple of St George’s flags draped over the front of a house with a white van in the drive.


  1. What a brilliant article by Kevin Meagher. Can't disagree with a word of it. I'm a lifelong Labour voter but I'm not voting for them again while that clown Corbyn is in charge.
    Anyway, back to beer. Craft beer fashonistas remind me of quasi-religious sects like Scientology. There is a massive disconnect between those will drink something like Wu Gang Chops The Tree (it's a foraged herb hefeweisse dontcha know) at £5.00 a pint and the rest of us who just want a few pints of OBB, Butcombe, Boltmaker etc at a halfway reasonable price. Let the hipsters go their own way, they'll probably get fed up with craft beer after a bit and move on to eating weeds or toads or something, while the rest of us carry on enjoying normal beer.

    1. Very interesting article for centre-left foreigner me.


    2. Your realise, of course, that this article is on a centre-left website?

    3. Indeed, though I'm completely ignorant of it/them. This whole business with Corbyn & the power struggle is quite interesting.

      Why couldn't or wouldn't the proper Milliband come back after last year? Meh, never mind, I can look it up or ask Sweary Jim down the Artillery Arms next visit.

    4. £5.00 a pint? You'll be lucky.

    5. And the point is more or less correct that there are a lot of neglected opinions in the country at the moment, but this isn't centre left, this is just UKIP views poorly disguised. Last sentence deleted as I thought better of it.

    6. Not UKIP views at all. It’s a Labour-supporting site, albeit from a moderate perspective, and Kevin Meagher is an associate editor. And surely it makes sense for Labour to analyse why it has alienated so many of its traditional supporters. Plenty of similar stuff in the Guardian from John Harris amongst others.

      Of course UKIP will be licking their lips and saying "if Labour doesn’t speak for you any more, why not vote for us?"

    7. I have been a life long Labour voter and voted to stay in the European Union,
      but i dont understand what ukip stands for anymore,they have got what they wanted,i would not vote for them if they paid me money to,i also noticed on the news that Farrage is sucking up to what could be the most dangerous man on Earth Donald Trump.
      I have said on previous posts on this blog that i fear for my Grandchildren after the Brexit vote i will fear for me and my family if Trump gets into power.

    8. Clinton's far more dangerous than Trump - If Trump wins the presidency, the US equivalent of the civil service/behind-the-scenes "yes minister" type bods will have him on a tight leash, he won't be able to get away with very much.

      But because Hilary "We came, we saw, he died" Clinton is, for some reason, seen as a progressive, the swivel-eyed lunatic will lead us to armageddon with everyone's blessing.

      And from a lefty point of view, Brexit was a good thing - The EU is a racist, "fortress Europe" organisation whose sole purpose is to impose austerity on its member nations. A vote to remain was a vote for capital. Brexit won't do anything to end austerity and nor will it affect the free movement of labour from Europe to the Uk (a bit of behind the scenes chicanery will ensure that nothing will be allowed to get in the way of capital), but what Brexit did do was throw a spanner in the works - It ended cameron's PMship as well as messing up Boris's career prospects as well - It showed how inept our current lot of politicians are at doing politics - They've got no statecraft whatsoever, Cameron didn't think he'd have to actually do the referendum coz he didn't think he'd get a majority in the last election. Boris didn't think we'd actually vote to leave, so he thought he'd be able to position himself as some sort of anti-establishment figurehead. Didn't quite work that way though did it lads?

      Anyway, draught bass or something..

  2. 1. Virtually everybody feels marginalised at times. No one group has a monopoly on feeling left behind or excluded. While I don't identify with the 'metropolitan elite', I really don't have much in common at all with the sort of person described in the article either. Why do the left have such a problem with the concept of the individual?

    2. Yet another dickwad using the terms 'real ale' and 'craft beer' as though they are mutually exclusive. Not helpful.

    1. I know it’s inaccurate and unhelpful, but unfortunately that battle has been lost now. Few crafties would embrace small-batch, artisanal beers in traditional British styles as genuinely “craft”. “Real ale” itself, as opposed to “cask beer” is a very un-craft term.

      And the point of the post is that this distinction has come to be seen well outside the confines of the beer world as a metaphor for a wider division in British society.

  3. The same thing is happening in the USA.

  4. Lord Egbert Nobacon28 August 2016 at 09:44

    Labour have been unelectable since the day Tony Blair resigned and will be until the day Dan Jarvis becomes leader.
    Anyone who thinks the likes of Chuka Umunna,the other Milliband or God help us Yvette Cooper can reach out to Labour's core vote once again is deluding themselves.
    The Brexit vote has empowered a lot of very pissed-off people who finally discovered that actually their vote really can make a difference.
    And Theresa May of all the Tory Remoaners is the one to have twigged that very early on.
    Brexit by 2019 and an overwhelming Tory majority in the GE a few months later will see off Labour and its nefarious trade union interlopers for decades.

  5. Er, the Labour Party was born from the trade union movement so, whether or not you agree with its principles, to describe the unions as you do is simply incorrect.
    Moreover I suspect you delude yourself if you think Britain will be out of the EU by 2019, unless you are an avid devotee of Iain Duncan Smith. Rather than "empowering", the evidence so far is that some of those who voted Brexit are beginning to regret falling for the arrant nonsense and mendacity of the Leave campaign and its supporters in the press.
    Their votes have certainly "made a difference."
    Apologies of the above is off-topic.

  6. There's definitely a problem with white working class people being marginalised but my fellow Kev's article was just a parade dull, hackneyed stereotypes.

    Anyway, draught bass...


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