I've been thinking about craft beer definitions recently. Well it's better than counting sheep when you can't sleep at night and it works a treat as your mind seizes up and Morpheus takes blissfully over. In short my nocturnal deliberations get me nowhere.
You see I have to think of it, because I'm on a panel to debate this thorny issue at Indy Man Beer Con in Manchester. I'll be discussing the finer points with some weighty characters too. Well their characters are weighty anyway. Their bodies are sylph like and rakish. Unlike mine, but I like beer and am very old. We have Zak Avery, a writer, beardist and beer seller of some renown ; John Clarke, a CAMRA Chairman, quaffer of the exotic and all round good egg, James Watt, maker and purveyor of top dollar carbonated drinks, taxidermist and cask beer sceptic, Toby McKenzie, local brewer of cask, keg and some smoky stuff and err, me. Occasional cask beer drinker, well known voice of reason and recluse. I expect it all to be rather inconclusive, but to be done in the best possible taste. If no-one gets too mischievous that is. Or drunk.
Of course I must keep my powder dry on this one, but one thing comes up repeatedly that, I'd like your opinion on. It is this. Is cask beer craft beer? Is it craft beer sometimes, always, never, it depends? There's a handy little poll on the left - or will be when the new user hostile blogger interface is mastered - so give it some thought, then give it a go. It will be interesting to have some "facts" from the assembled geekdom. That's you lot.
I predict the poll will be inconclusive too. Craft beer. Inconclusive? Could be.
CAMRA has sent something out on craft beer. We should be nice to it essentially. What I said in Beer Magazine yonks ago really. Told you I was reasonable.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
This blog mentions specifics; pubs and beer, good and bad. The opinions will be forthright, but you can always disagree, just don't be offended. Comments from those mentioned are particularly welcome and a right of reply is hereby offered.
Read my information and links and then decide for yourself. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes.
If you wish to email me you can do so by using this address: tandleman[at]yahoo.co.uk
These are the life blood of any blog. Please feel free to comment. I do not practice censorship if you stick to the point, but personal insults are frowned upon and may result in deletion. Anonymous entries may have the piss taken out of them or be deleted.
Beer samples are welcome, but I cannot guarantee a good review. You, the brewer, on the other hand can.
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