I read a tweet the other day from some geezer or other. It was re-tweeted by someone else, as these things are. It said in essence that BrewDog are going to phase out cask beer from next year. I asked the originator, copied to the others, including I think BrewDog James, if that was true, but in the time honoured Twitter "being of the moment" and therefore transient, nobody has replied.
This morning I read on Pencil and Spoon of the opening of BrewDog Camden, which like the others offers no cask beer. Mark praises its reasonable prices (apparently you get change from a tenner for most bottles, so that's good) and compares it to Craft, which in my humble opinion is absolutely incongruous. Limiting itself to keg beer, served in uber trendy surroundings, to skinny twenty to thirty year olds can never be compared directly to Craft, which has a much broader appeal, a much wider range of beer and beer styles and is above all, a pub and has all the inclusiveness you go to a pub for. It sells cask beer too, in case no-one noticed.
As an aside, there is little doubt that some new bars (and Manchester is full of them) are great places to go and remarkably inclusive. A trip to Chorlton to see how it should be done is a must. Here in the Grim North, we do things differently it seems. Our trendy young people mix and match beers easily in the same bar and customers, while generally young, are leavened by the odd old git, happily enjoying the offer. Almost all of the really successful bars in Manchester serve excellent and well chosen cask to complement their keg offerings. That's good isn't it? I have wondered before and wonder again, just how successful the new BrewDog Manchester will be when it opens next year, offering keg only in such a cask bastion as Manchester?
Anyway, I have wandered a little from my original point. BrewDog bars are different. They are in effect tied houses, that choose as company policy, not to sell the company's cask products. Now I will happily say that I think BrewDog's cask beer offerings are generally superb. I remember some wonderful pints of Trashy Blonde and Alice Porter. I really think they should do more, not less of them. While I might speculate that more profitable keg to offset less profitable supermarket beer is one reason, the real point of this is, does anyone know if the rumour is actually true?
I certainly hope not.
Amazingly I got an invite to the formal opening of BrewDog Camdem. Cool or what?
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.
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