Friday, 5 October 2012

England Expects


The day of glory has arrived, to borrow, paraphrase and badly translate a line from the French National Anthem.  Independent Manchester Beer Convention takes place this weekend.  It is fair to say it has caught the imagination of many that live in the beer bubble and hopefully of many that don't. I can't recall seeing so many geeks in a tizzy of excitement.  This is for them.  The answer to the question, the holy ground.  A beer festival that mixes cask and keg and adds more in between. 

There has been lots of pressure from a limited section of beer folks for CAMRA to change its policy on no keg at its beer festivals, but why should they.? As has been said often, the clue is in the name.  If today and tomorrow succeeds though, it provides a way forward where both sides of the argument can have their way. It is a big beer world out there. One size doesn't fit all, but the answer for me has always been that those that want change should instigate it either through CAMRA's democratic processes - or just plain rules if that suits you better - or, more practically, get off their collective arses and do it themselves, which is exactly what the Port Street Beer House gang has done in organising and superbly publicising this event.  They know what they are doing, so that's a great start.

I expect this to be a very geeky do, but like CAMRA, those that support craft keg have to open their world up too. Instead of the neat beard, just too small clothes brigade, I hope to see a broad section of the beer drinking public there.  I am looking forward to drinks stands staffed by brewers and their teams. I like that.  I hardly subscribe to the "brewers are gods" theory of things, but having someone that brewed, or is involved in the beer production there to talk to and serve you is fantastically interesting. Reading t'interweb, anyone who is anyone will be going. That's great too. Beer bores to some, but to another beer bore like me, an ideal set of  drinking companions. Even an old cynic like me feels rather excited, so I'll be there as one of the turns later on this evening.  I'll be discussing craft beer with a lofty panel of experts.  Maybe though this will put to bed some of these arguments too.  I doubt that. There is no answer, though I'll expound my theories at half past eight tonight.  If I'm still sober that is.

Commentators on Twitter and elsewhere have placed a huge weight of expectation on the organisers, not only to deliver something enjoyable, but some different and ground breaking.  You know what? I think they just might.

Looking forward to meeting friends old and new tonight.  I do have some you know.  E is coming as my minder, so that's great too. She likes an hour out.

6 comments:

Erlangernick said...

The panel discussion will be streamed live, right? Or at least viddied for posterity?

Hope you recover by Tuesday afternoon!

Cooking Lager said...

I too look forward to seeing a video of these if only to laugh at. Avery hasn't made enough comedy videos to keep me amused so I hunger for more. So please record and put it on the internet eh? I don't want to pay money to come and see it and have to drink overpriced gag inducing craft grog and rub shoulders with beer geeks. On the internet us norms can see it safely at home with a can of cheap tesco grog.

Phil said...

It's not going to get me out of the house either, I'm afraid. Hope it's a good one - let us know what the cask Decadence is like!

RedNev said...

Cooking Lager - you a norm? You write on beer blogs and have one of your own, although you've stopped writing on it now that your one joke has been done to death. You're no more a norm than the craft keggers and real ale drinkers you mock.

Sue said...

I've noticed a welcome trend for showcasing both keg and cask versions of the same beer, most recently at the Hawkshead Brewery Beer Festival and The Continental pub BF at Preston. This enables people to try both and make their own minds up which they prefer. Last month I also went to the All-Ireland Craft Beer Festival in Dublin and it was impressive.

Cooking Lager said...

Come on fella, where's the video of you wiping the floor with the lot of 'em?