I like beer. I like real ale. I like macro-lagers. I like craft beer. I like keg beer. I like cask ale. I like bottled beer. I like canned beer. I like beer.
The issue I have is that craft beer is full of shit.
Here are some of my feelings towards craft beer:
1) Barrel Ageing
Don’t get me wrong I like some barrel aged beers but now it seems that every fucker is doing it and it’s no longer niche. Brewdog Paradox is great. I’ve had paradox poured from a wooden barrel, it’s beautiful but the issue is that everyone’s copying that kind of thing and making it so limited that nobody will ever get to fucking drink it anyway. Another thing is the price of them. I appreciate that it can’t be cheap to buy old whisk(e)y casks but Brewdog just released Tokyo* Rising Sun which is a barrel aged version of the first ever batch of Tokyo*. Sounds cool, right? Well my issue is that this is beer that they apparently literally forgot they had sitting in the barrel only to discover it 4 years later. Sounds cool, right? Yeah, it is if you want to spend £25 on a bottle of beer that was probably meant to be sold 3 years ago at half the fucking price. It probably tastes like vinegar, I don’t know as I’ve not seen any reports on it nor will I ever buy a bottle. Everyone’s doing it. It’s not special.
Nate Dawg’s Verdict: Barrel ageing is now boring and too expensive for everyone. You need to find something else like ageing it inside a rotting whale’s stomach… Whales are big enough to hold a decent batch that everyone can have a bottle of.
2) One-Time-Only Beers
“Hey, guess what? We just brewed such an amazing beer. It’s so amazing that there’s only actually one keg in existence and it’s going to be at <insert bar name> here tomorrow night, come along!”
This is a really good idea. No, really; it’s fucking genius. Only allow the people who live in said town or have money for private helicopters or stupidly expensive on the day train fares drink your absolutely amazing beer.
Seriously. I’m not rich. I can’t afford to just jump on a train purely to get one beer (and literally only one, they probably don’t even let people have more than one third – I wouldn’t know as I never get to fucking go.)
Nate Dawg’s Verdict: Do it all you like. These one time only beers are actually a great idea – just give me some fucking notice so I can get to the goddamn bar.
3) High ABV Beers
“Oh look. This is high percentage. Anything under 5.6% is weak and is for girls. We’ve made this one so bitter that we hope girls don’t like it. If guys don’t like it, they’re a CAMRA member.”
Nate Dawg’s Verdict: Low percentage beers can be flavoursome too.
4) Low(er) ABV Beers
“Oh dear. We’re terribly sorry for what we said about beers under 5.6% being for girls and CAMRA members so we’re going to make it up to you and brew a flavoursome beer at 3% to prove that we are all round awesome. LOOK MUM, ARE YOU PROUD OF US?”
Nate Dawg’s Verdict: Christ. Stop trying so hard to prove yourself. People like your beers but you’re just trying to prove that you’re not horrible and totally against people who like weaker beers. Yes, you have to cater to the whole market but don’t make such a big deal out of it. Also, when brewers who generally don't brew low(er) ABV beers decide to brew one, they usually turn out to be really unbalanced and not too pleasant.
5) Exporting Beer
“We just shipped off our first pallet of beer to <insert country here> today” – Cool. Good for you.
One thing, though: When I asked you about getting some of your beers in Norwich and when I’ve spoken to local landlords who have enquired about buying some of your beer for their wonderful pubs you told them that Norwich is too fucking far. Yeah, Norwich is too far? You’re sending beer to Sweden for fuck’s sake.
Sort out potential customers in your own country before trying to conquer the world.
Nate Dawg’s Verdict: I respect that some brewers are still only small and can’t deliver everything by hand but there are distribution companies around and it can’t be that expensive to arrange, surely? I know that a local pub/micro-brewery owner has a deal with another fairly national brewer who has the means to distribute beers so that he can get his beers to places other than Norfolk – It’s a straight up trade-off too, beer for beer! I also know another local brewer who will happily just shove a cask of ale in the boot of his car to take to a pub if he happens to be going that way. There are ways to nationalise your beers without needing a 20,000 barrel operation.
6) Beer Snobbery
I fucking hate snobs, I really do. In any scenario – whether it’s clothing snobs who won’t shop at Primark because their clothes don’t have tiny fucking penguin for a logo or supermarket snobs who will only shop at Waitrose because that twat Delia Smith endorses it.
Beer snobs are probably even worse.
I’m happy to call myself a beer geek, as are many others but what some people may not realise (or realise and choose not to acknowledge) is that they’re straight up snobs.
I will recommend people beers until the cows come home but I would never have a go at someone for drinking a beer that they like which is something that has happened to me frequently. Obviously in this instance I am talking about my love for what you’d call “Macro-lager” but indeed it has happened with good quality lager too.
Even now that I have developed what can only really be called a reputation as a beer geek who loves Carling, people try to convince me not to drink it. Deal with it. I'm not waterboarding you, shouting "DRINK CARLING!" in your face. Fuck you.
Nate Dawg’s Verdict: Fuck you, beer snobs. There’s really no need for it. By all means, try to influence someone to drink a beer that you like and you think they might like but telling someone not to drink <insert beer here> because it’s shit is wrong. Sort it out.
I love craft beer but Christ Almighty, it makes me angry sometimes.
I'd be interested to know your opinions.