Fancy an unchallenging Pale Ale that you can drink and drink and just enjoy for what it is without having to do the whole beer geek guess the hops thing?
Feels good doesn’t it.
Just drinking a decent beer that tastes good without making you play Guess The Damp Barrel or wince through another sour yeast hit.
In many ways the whole “Craft” thing is becoming that which many of its subscribers thought they were moving away from.
Men wearing beards and woolly jumpers spending their time looking how the light refracts through the beer of choice, putting down beer that isn’t quite up to the measure of muster that they have created for themselves, ticking off the beer that they’ve tried in a weird oneupmanship.
And OK, they’re using an app to do this, but it’s the same thing that they laugh about when talking about a certain “other” group of beer fan “ticking” their drinks.
And I say all this because I do it too.
I’ve even got a bit of a beard going on at the moment, albeit six months after it was the height of fashion to do so.
Someone said a few weeks ago that CAMRGB was nothing more than a beer review blog and in a way they are right.
But they also, maybe purposefully, missed the point that the people who know and understand what CAMRGB is attempting (albeit only semi-successfully) is a whole movement of people who think and feel the same way and want to support an industry that is going through major changes with, on the whole, amazing results in terms of job creation, production growth and, most importantly, interesting new things to drink.
But as I sit here with a glass of Pale Ale from Hepworth – A beer that has a good soft honey and shortcake body and a lightly herbal zesty hedgerow hop, a beer that’s not challenging but simply tastes marvellous – I wonder whether the detractors may be right, is this thing doomed to become nothing more than a copy of what it was originally fighting against?
Regular emails asking when CAMRGB are going to start running beer festivals don’t help either.
Beer Festivals are for the other organisation.
The model of CAMRGB pub crawls, or #Twissups, that happened so well in Bristol and London and Manchester and Sheffield are a good thing, are our thing.
The pubs like it, the breweries like it, we like it, but we need to do more.
And I can’t do it all alone.
If CAMRGB is going to keep moving it needs people across the country to take ownership, and they’ll get help and support every step of the way, but we need people to be proactive or all of this will end.
I for one am guilty of not doing a great deal this year, but having come through an event in the first half of 2015 that left me with Post Traumatic Stress and weeks of therapy, I perhaps wasn’t in the best place to drive things forward.
I’m out of that now and there is a new year around the corner.
The facts and figures that I usually give in these end of year posts are that CAMRGB is still a few names short of a thousand members and the website is now getting around ten thousand hits a month and has been named third most influential beer blog in the country after Mr. Pete Brown (
@PeteBrownBeer) and Mr. Roger Protz’s ( @RogerProtzBeer) sites.
So, this year we hit a lull.
What I want to know is, can we pick it up again in 2016 and continue to support and celebrate this fabulous industry that makes something that we care so much about?
I hope so.
2015 has been a funny old year and I’m glad to see the back of it.
Beer highlights were drinking anything by Mad Hatter Brewing Co., attending London Craft Beer Festival, the third Birmingham Beer Bash and sitting quietly in pubs with friends drinking and talking and dreaming.
And that’s how I’ll end this I guess.
As I sit here with my pint of Hepworth’s Prospect, not my barrel aged, smoked, soured, fruit infused, nitro, key keg coolness, my pint of honest to goodness Pale Ale, I want all our CAMRGB gang to keep enjoying beer, believing in friendship and dreaming that we are something good.
Thanks and have a very Happy New Year.