Monday, August 11, 2008

It’s OK, problem solved!

After posting last week about the imminent death of the traditional British pub, I wake this morning to the morning paper and the news that British beer makes a comeback" “”. Now that’s a turnaround that Lazarus would be proud of!

It seems that while the traditional pub may be in strife the traditional pint may be surging ahead. The report states that the global credit crunch and the soaring cost of living are making the drinker think more carefully when choosing his drink and that the long reign of mass produced lagers of international brewing giants may be coming to an end at the hands of better flavoured brews from smaller producers. As has been the case in Australia for some years now, less beer is being drunk, but what is being drunk is better.

“As people drink less beer than they used to, they also look for better, more flavoured beers. People are turning back to ales now,” said Fuller’s brand manager, David Spencer. Fuller’s claims to be London’s last remaining traditional family brewer. Their volume actually increased last year as the overall beer market copped a fairly savage decline. They have brewed on the same site for more than 350 years which is a fairly impressive statistic, especially to Australians who don’t have buildings of more than 200 odd years old. I am assuming that they have modernised their equipment in the ensuing centuries.

Of course, as it did around the globe, lager took over as the mainstream beer as it was of a more consistent quality, appealed more to women and those who liked a less ‘beery’ flavour and travelled better than its cask-contained beer brother. But as the beer world got larger and more global, the choice seems to have got smaller with different brands of essentially the same stuff and ale, and particularly real ale, has taken the opportunity to grab a renewed foothold into the market. Taste and flavour seem to be making a comeback.

Interestingly, this piece also cites Global Warming (WOOOOOOOOO!!! We’re al going to DIIIIEE!!!!) as a reason for the upturn as more punters look to source locally produced beers as they become more ‘environmentally conscious’. Hmmm.

The story also gives a shout out to the Great British Beer Festival held last week in West London which featured 450 different traditional beers – now THAT’S a beer festival! Also good to see the stats showing that the UK now boasts 600 microbreweries and 35 family brewers which suggest that, if they keep to the path, the future of decent beer is assured for future generations.

Prof. Pilsner

P.S. I hope that the pictures I chose for this post are more ‘authentic’ than the ones I was ‘tricked’ into using for the last post!


Anonymous said...

The microbreweries will definitely ramp it up as we hit peak oil in a year or two! Soon no-one will be able to afford the big oil transport & production costs of mainstream beer, and I am trying to buy up shares in mircrobreweries right now. Also my GlobWarm/PeakOil Plan is to open a speakeasy in a year or two.

Hey what's with that link at the top of the post?!

Beer Blokes said...

Sorry for the delayed reply, I am still searching for the bit in the paper you spoke of in the last post! Even better than a microbrewery, a pub/restaurant with brewery attached! Might give Dr Lager a chance to utilise his unique people skills and earn a dollar at the same time!
Cheers, Prof. Plsner

P.S. Have fixed the link