So, here it is. The 1000th post of this little old blog. It really should have been at least 6 months ago, but old age and real life wait for no beerhound. I make that five and a half years of eating cheese and drinking beer for this blog and a couple of months on the previous blog. That’s nearly six years of undertaking diligent research for the good of the public. I like to comfort myself with the knowledge that several of today’s quality blogs started around then but, of course, there is always the exception.
Now if you’re expecting some nostalgic look back through the years, you’ve mistaken me for someone far less lazy. Would I put down this Crouch Vale Brewers Gold, just to go inside to wade through the archives? I don’t think so. Still it is a fair amount of time in blogging terms. And although there are far too many blogs to keep up with these days, a lot of come and gone in that time as well. Some have gone on to bigger and better things, some of us are still sleeping in ditches and some have just gone. And sadly some have gone to that beer palace in the sky. But I tell you who I miss: the Southport Drinker. His tales of drinking on the breadline were an earthy delight.
The beer scene has changed immensely in the last six years. The smoking ban, not long in situ, was a heated topic back then. It still is on one blog. The only time you heard the term ‘craft’ was when it was alongside ‘art’. And Brewdog were a very young pup who saw a bright future for cask ale. Of course some things don’t change. You’ll always have sparkler denialists and debates about dispense, taxation and the price of a pint.
One very pleasing change has been the growth of the specialist (maybe in another six years we’ll have a definition of) craft beer pub/bar. Places such as the Port Street Beer House in Manchester and Craft in London have really taken beer to a new customer base. Their growth, of course, goes hand in hand with the boom in microbreweries, many of whom brew both cask and (sometimes only) keg. London has been a massive beneficiary of this boom and has really come on leaps and bounds in the last few years as far as beer is concerned.
What do the next six years hold? Brewdog to go bust? CAMRA to embrace ‘craft’ brewing? I could tell you but my pint is warming up...