It is a rich seam this craft. I haven't finished mining it yet, but one thing is for sure, I'm slowly but surely coming round to a different way of thinking about it. Not quite at the @Robsterowski end of the spectrum (Craft is meaningless and all its adherents need to agree to re-education or die), but moving towards being a lot more cynical about it in small, faltering steps. The usually dependable Morning Advertiser illustrates that neatly, with a confusing article. I wonder if it has been edited in such a way that it ended up not making a lot of sense, or if when it was written it didn't. Or, if the market research company provided a poor synopsis which was simply copied?
So, basically we have a Market Research company alleging that publicans aren't talking the same language as their customers when it comes to providing what customers want. The MR company (!im) - phoned 500 customers and then 300 publicans and asked a series of questions about pubs, why people go and what they expect when they get there. So far, so good. "It's the Offer Stupid" as I keep saying, so you aren't likely to find me disagreeing, provided I understand what was asked and what was answered. But I don't really.
Food is fairly straightforward and while percentages vary, both publicans and customers at least have the same hymn sheet in their hand as they sing the song. Drinks are more puzzling. Customers (43%) want locally sourced. Hmm. What? Wine and spirits? Can't be. Soft drinks? Unlikely. So it must be beer musn't it? They also want British, but the article doesn't tell us what the publicans think of that. Seemingly 33% also want craft beers, while only 22% of publicans see this as a priority, though 19% promote craft cider. (Be good to know what that is? Industrial alcohol, water and flavouring perhaps?) 69% of publicans give real ale a priority, but what customers think of that, we aren't told. But remember, customers want British and local. Big real ale tick I assume then? Or is it British craft they want? Or do they think real ale is craft, or some other combination. We aren't told sadly, though I find the craft percentage interesting.
Either way this is poorly presented and may well have provided useful insights if it hadn't been. Pity that.
I thought !him might have this survey on their webbie, but I can't find a trace of them.Stop Press. Yes I can. They are in fact called "Him!" assuming it is them. More bollocks from the MA, but their client list is interesting.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer author, 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. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
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