Running with Sceptres is not the ditch to die in over the Portman Group and its bans

You’ll have seen, I’m guessing, the row that has exploded over the ban just announced  by the Portman Group, the alcohol industry’s self-appointed regulatory body, on the Bristol-based brewery Lost and Grounded’s “India Pale Lager” Running with Sceptres for breaching paragraph 3.2 (h) of its code by appealing to children. The problem is the artwork,… Read More Running with Sceptres is not the ditch to die in over the Portman Group and its bans

A quick plug for my friends at ABK

A couple of years back, in the summer of 2018, I was in an argument involving assorted brewers, beer retailers and beer writers over the relative merits of an imperial stout versus a German Hell. This is, of course, like choosing which is better between apples and potatoes, or judging the attractiveness of golf versus… Read More A quick plug for my friends at ABK

Carlsberg’s new lager: the verdict is in and it’s ‘This is NOT the future of beer’

A few years back, when I was still involved in hospitality trade journalism, I would get occasional invites from Carlsberg to  PR gigs. One was to Wembley to see England play San Marino. The match itself was the predictable turkey-stuffing (5-0) but it was the entertainment beforehand we were particularly supposed to appreciate: Northampton’s Danes… Read More Carlsberg’s new lager: the verdict is in and it’s ‘This is NOT the future of beer’

The world’s quickest brewery tour

There ARE smaller breweries that Poppyland, but not very many: the room that the 2½-barrel brewkit sits in measures about 160 square feet. Your living room is probably larger. So the “brewery tour” consists of standing in a corner and pivoting on one heel through 180 degrees. That’s it: you have now done the Poppyland… Read More The world’s quickest brewery tour

Picketing Fuller’s EGM is like picketing your ex-girlfriend’s house

I have a huge amount of respect for John Cryne, who had done vastly more for the cause of cask beer than I have, over four decades as an activist in the Campaign for Real Ale that includes a stint as Camra national chairman and a long period as chairman of Camra in London. I’ve… Read More Picketing Fuller’s EGM is like picketing your ex-girlfriend’s house

A short history of Asahi, in which beer gets called ‘bitter horse-piss wine’

In view of recent events, I thought people might be interested in a short history of Asahi Breweries … Beer was introduced into Japan by the Dutch, who were the only Europeans allowed to trade with the country after the expulsion of the Portuguese early in the 17th century, and who would take biiru with… Read More A short history of Asahi, in which beer gets called ‘bitter horse-piss wine’

Asahi makes massive vote of confidence in future of cask ale with £250m purchase of Fullers’ beer business

The Japanese beer giant Asahi has made a massive vote of confidence in the future of the real ale sector in the UK with its £250m purchase of Fullers’ beer business. And if that’s not the angle you took away from the story, you’re not thinking this through properly. The beer business earned Fullers £10.6… Read More Asahi makes massive vote of confidence in future of cask ale with £250m purchase of Fullers’ beer business

There is no such thing as the ‘craft beer community’

Of all the multiple nonsenses written about the acquisition of a minority stake in Beavertown Brewery by Heineken International, perhaps the stupidest came from someone called Kirk Hilton on Twitter, who declared this week that Logan Plant and his crew had “chosen to turn their back on the craft beer community” and “should know about… Read More There is no such thing as the ‘craft beer community’

A look round Camden Town’s new Enfield brewery

Whatever you think of Camden Town Brewery’s beer – and enough people like it to swallow more than 300,000 pints of Hells lager, Gentleman’s Wit and the rest every week – the company’s expansion in under seven years from nowhere to third-biggest brewer in London, with two of its beers, more than any other craft… Read More A look round Camden Town’s new Enfield brewery