Blog: The Great British Beer Booze-Up
Chris Mercer | 3 August 2011
I struggled to enjoy myself this week at The Great British Beer Festival and it doesn't have anything to do with the taste of beer.
I love the idea of The Great British Beer Festival; I think that it's good for the industry-at-large that the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is able to showcase so many small-scale cask ales in one place - and even (whisper it) quite a few bottled beers.
So, why is it that I always emerge from Earl's Court in London with a sense of disappointment?
This year, after another night roaming the bars, I think I've nailed it. The atmosphere of the place stinks, literally if you stay there till closing. From the concrete floors to the giant wheelie bins parked in the aisles to the amount of people who clearly can't handle as much beer as they thought to the way that CAMRA bangs on about food matching only to allow people to sit on the floor eating out of takeaway boxes.
Both my girlfriend and (I'm sure he won't mind me saying this) managing editor Olly Wehring's 'Mrs Wehring' have vowed never to attend the Great British Beer Festival again - after one visit each. My fear for the industry is that more people think the same: whole swathes of potential beer drinkers instantly alienated, leaving the same old rump to soldier on.
I don't dislike CAMRA. Like most other beer drinkers, I think they've played a very important role in keeping an interesting section of the beer industry alive. And, it's a body founded on conservation, so it's not hard to see why tradition is so fundamental to its thinking.
That said, I think the CAMRA of today needs to look at what is happening. There's a whole new generation of people interested in beer. They want to get involved, but some parts of the industry are in danger of allowing these people to slip through the net.
The Great British Beer Festival an advert for beer? My head says 'yes', but my eyes say 'no'.
Heineken is gearing up for a product launch in Australia this month. But exactly what the product is, the brewer is not saying....
It's Summer in the northern hemisphere and the beer festivals are in full swing. Even the famously secluded North Korea is letting its regulation-cut hair down with the Taedonggang Beer Festival, name...
Drinks companies that use celebrities and influencers to endorse products via social media could be in line for some rule changes....
A couple of months ago, US-based Saltwater Brewery developed 'edible six-pack rings' in an effort to curb threats to wildlife....
- Craft spirits shake-out will be just the beginning
- The decline of the flagship beer brand - Comment
- Job cuts not the whole story at AB InBev - Comment
- Interview- Veltins export manager Udo Bruns
- How Treasury is rewriting the rule book - Comment
- Diageo revamps Gordon's gin bottle in UK
- Craft Brew Alliance poised for AB InBev takeover?
- Pernod deal rescues Corby's FY
- Diageo's Guinness Rye Pale Ale - NPD
- AB InBev to cull 5,500 jobs after SABMiller buy
- The Next Seven Big Beverage Markets
- Global rum insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global RTD insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Carlsberg AS (CARL B) - Financial and Strategic SWOT Analysis Review
- Adultifying Soft Drinks; Capitalizing on rising adult demand for non-alcoholic beverages