I love autumn. It seems at this time of year, there’s a large number of beer festivals taking place nearby. In fact, since the beginning of September, I’ve been to nine! I’ve written a couple of posts already about York CAMRA and Craft Beer Calling. This time, it’s the turn of Sheffield Beer and Cider Festival, organised by Sheffield CAMRA.
In a recent post, I explored how the York branch of CAMRA were going about modernising the traditional CAMRA beer festival. This weekend, I attended a session at Craft Beer Calling, a non-CAMRA affiliated festival. So, what can beer drinkers expect from a festival that doesn’t have to toe the line of CAMRA policy? Continue reading Craft Beer Calling 2017If you enjoy reading our content, please consider sharing with your friends using the sharing buttons at the bottom of each post. Also, you can subscribe to receive notifications about new blog posts via email. Simply enter your email address into the 'Subscribe to Mike's Tap Room' box at the top left of this page.
Talk beer to a modern beer drinker and you can probably expect Brewdog to come up at some point. Whether you like them or not, they have influenced the UK beer scene significantly since they arrived. They have challenged the way we experience beer, from flavour and style, to product branding and marketing. There isn’t often a day that goes by without something happening in the Brewdog world. Recently, this seemed dialled up to eleven with two significant events happening. First, the launch of Equity for Punks V, then Brewdog Collabfest.
Having been sucked into the ‘craft’ beer world like many others, I have been quite hostile towards AB InBev (who own around 30% of the global beer market) and any other large drinks conglomerate (Heineken, Constellation etc.). I’ve fallen hook, line and sinker based on propaganda from independent breweries about the tragic taking over of other ‘craft’ breweries – think Camden Town and Meantime to name a couple. It’s not just the propaganda though, it’s word of mouth from people who work in and around the industry, where the stories are that smaller breweries are just being absorbed into the machine, with brands being killed off or quality diluted, and people being made redundant as production moves elsewhere.
One thing that has come under fire recently (amongst many other things admittedly!) from the social media masses is CAMRA-run beer festivals. An interesting fact that many may not realise is that CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) were responsible for introducing beer festivals to the UK. Popular across Europe, mainly Germany, the beer festival concept wasn’t adopted in the UK until CAMRA launched the first ever one in St Albans, in 1974.
Having attended the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF), held at Olympia, for the last few years now, I feel like I’ve become a bit of a veteran! Although my years of attendance is a drop in the ocean compared to the 40 years that this huge festival has been going for.