The 19th Watford Beer Festival: real ale can still remain relevant in a world of craft beer.

Posted on November 14th, 2013 by Robin Goldsmith in Beer, Drink

Beer glass

A beer glass from the 19th Watford Beer Festival

Spurred on by the American craft beer revolution, the same drinks category in the UK is on the up. Brewdog’s Punk IPA, for example, is a drink of choice for many younger consumers sick of bland, big-name lagers. However, real ale is definitely not dead. If craft beer is seen as an end in itself, or as a stepping stone to appreciation of the "real stuff", there can be no doubt that well-made beer is in the ascendancy. Recognition of the value of traditional styles, albeit with a modern twist, is a natural consequence of this.


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The London Coffee Festival

Posted on April 29th, 2013 by Robin Goldsmith in Beer, Drink, Food

London Coffee Festival

I know I moan about London from time to time, especially when stuck on the Tube, but surely nowhere is ‘Cool Britannia’ more in evidence than in our capital city. London has been totally transformed since the 1980s and must be one of the top culinary destinations in the world for pure choice. You can eat or drink anything in the capital and the London Coffee Festival illustrated how London has become a haven for top quality coffee. From pop-up stalls to sit-down cafés, you can really enjoy your caffeine-in-a-cup like never before. There are clearly too many coffees to mention, but I particularly enjoyed the strong and delicious Neapolitan style from Kimbo and the delightfully smooth Vietnamese coffee from The Saigon Coffee Company.


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Flat caps and Luddites?

Posted on January 29th, 2013 by Robin Goldsmith in Beer, Drink

GBBF 2012 scene

‘Not so old’ real ale revellers at the GBBF 2012

In January’s edition of What’s Brewing, CAMRA’s monthly news magazine, there was a highly insightful article by food and drink market researcher, Peter Jackson. He investigates why more 18-24 year-olds don’t drink real ale when it often tastes better, has probably a greater variety of styles and costs less than lager and cider. I completely agree with everything he says in this article, so here are two of his key points and a few thoughts of my own.


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The Beer Tax Escalator: CAMRA members lobby MPs

Posted on December 13th, 2012 by Robin Goldsmith in Beer, Drink

Pub beer

According to CAMRA, 3 million fewer UK adults visit the pub on a regular basis as a result of the beer duty escalator, which increases tax on alcohol by 2% above the inflation rate each year. This, in turn, is being blamed as a major contributory factor for the increase in pub closures. Therefore, following a 106,000 signature e-petition, CAMRA organised its biggest ever campaigning event, as over 1,200 members lobbied Parliament yesterday, demanding an end to this damaging piece of legislation.


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