Thursday, 21 July 2011

The week in RANT!

You know some weeks you feel like you're being exposed to a never ending wave of utter garbage, pseudo information and in some cases extreme propoganda? Well, I've felt like that all week this week. What the hell is going on in the world of beer?

Oh and before I begin, I have no intention of making these points in balanced arguements and I may swear. Apologies.....

Rant 1

OK, 'Beer for women'? Fuck. Right. Off. What's wrong with beer? Women love beer, not all women granted, but not all men do either. Why do women need patronising exactly? Have Halfords brought out a book entitled 'Mechanics for Girls' and inside written 'Seriously love, just let the bloke do it, go and water the plants'? No, of course not. It's this archaic assumption that women aren't somehow bright enough to work out whether they'd like to do something themselves so need guidance. Molson Coors have shown themselves to be exactly what we all know they are, supremely out of touch with what is actually going on in the world of beer.

Rant 2

BrewDog's persistent spamming for the share options (club membership) scheme. Shares in the antiestablishment? This latest sales promo is the least punk thing in the history of punk. The first one was pretty punk, different thinking and setting themselves apart with almost zero advertising and a huge uptake from genuinely passionate beer enthusiasts (I would say that, I bought some). Now it's advertised everywhere, including facebook (i mean paid adverts, not just on their fan page). This isn't Punk, this is big business dressed up as niche and artisan. Which is fine, but just say that's what you are. It's OK! How can you possibly pretend to be niche and artisan and then open a bar in every city in the country, brew under license in 2 or more locations and export to 27 countries. It's successful and turning in to big business, but you wouldn't call Sierra Nevada niche would you? BrewDog are fast falling in to that category. Either way, I'm bored of the spamming.

Rant 3

BrewDog (again) and CAMRA. Booooooring. Who is right? Who is wrong? Who fucking cares? How many BrewDog members of staff have actually signed up as CAMRA members for the event? Come on, how many? I'm willing to bet it's zero, and the event is a couple of weeks away. If that's right that would indicate they had no intention of going at all, and as usual set the PR wheels in motion for another broadside of propaganda.
Did CAMRA do the right thing? Are BrewDog hard done by? I think what you have to remember is that BrewDog are a marketing machine, a spin factory who are followed by a broad cross-section of society, from those people can see it for what it is, to those who can't. It's that second group that this propaganda nonsense is aimed at, it's aimed at riling the 'dogwashed' up in to a fanatical frenzy.* To be fair, it's working a treat, but it isn't half boring to see it from the other side.

* This is similar to CAMRA actually; 'get 'em quick, get 'em young'. Project an image, say you're right and the other side is wrong, and make them devout followers of your agenda. Make them believers. Like a cult. Difference being, CAMRA haven't a personal vested financial interest, it's just what they believe in, making them slightly the lesser evil of two big fat evil's.
Conversely, I think both have helped the industry in a big way and could indeed still have a hugely positive influence. Whether they choose to do that or not, who knows. CAMRA in my opinion are outdated and need a rethink. BrewDog are on a one company crusade to make BrewDog massive and nothing else.

Some lovely fluffy stuff

To balance out the rants, a couple of cool things have happened too. We had a wee Magic Rock tasting last night which went great (will blog about that later) and tonight a group of brewing students (Natural Selection Brewing) launch a beer (Finch) at the Guildford Arms in Edinburgh.
The future of brewing or not, it shows how times are changing where you can launch a one off beer in a massive bar like the Guildford on a Thursday night. I hope the beer is good, because they are nice guys and have worked hard.

And for a tiny piece of Black Isle promotion, we took on Colin from Marble as our head brewer. Nice bloke, great brewer.

Rant over. I need a coffee

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