Now that the beer lists have been published (in the case of cask in the most user unfriendly way CAMRA could devise it seems) the usual moans and groans appear. I have already responded to Pencil and Spoon with some thoughts. The same site also pointed me in the direction of Ratebeer which I usually don't read. There was a particularly thoughtful and balanced debate there, which given the geeky nature of these guys (who make CAMRA look like people with a slight passing interest in beer) and a surprisingly sympathetic outcome, summed up by Silk Tork thus:
"It would also be true to say that the beer list is not designed for us - and that’s fair enough as we can get easy access to the beers that do interest us. The list is produced for the beer drinker who wants a standard bitter somewhere between 4 and 4.4% and who is both the bane of the British brewer and the person without whom the British brewer would go under. While it is possible to run a brewery, record company, publisher, putting out nothing but cutting edge stuff, this is rare and exceptional, and most companies put out the standard fare that brings in the money, and then put out the non-profitable interesting stuff as a sideline. GBBF is for the common man - a beer festival of standard beers, and it appears to work very well doing that. It also manages to include a couple of bars, BSF and Wetherspoon, which cater for those who are looking for the non-standard or brand new. I don’t think that us beer geeks moaning on our internet forums and blogs that GBBF is not full of rare and splendid beers is going to make any difference - all it does it makes us look hostile and even more geeky and out of touch to the organisers when they do look at our forums. "
I don't agree with every word, but broadly he is right. There is something for everyone and I would reckon that only the most geeky geek would find it difficult to find interesting drinks. The BSF list certainly ought to keep them quiet for an hour or two.
I know lots of you will be there. I'll be serving at BSF as usual. Geek or not, come and say hello.
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.
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.
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