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.
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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Beer samples are welcome, but I cannot guarantee a good review. You, the brewer, on the other hand can.
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