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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A Sense of fun : Olympic proportions !

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

A sense of fun

Beers and House of Chilli from the Isle of Wight and some interesting people at the GBBF!

So the Olympics have finished, but the smiles remain, even if the full benefits won’t be felt for another 20 years, or so we are told. Hopefully, the Paralympics will be a fantastic success too (although can’t the Olympic flame be continued until those Games have finished ?). A real sense of fun has pervaded the atmosphere, which leads me to the following observation. Has food and drink become more “fun” recently? I think so and about time too!


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The Real Ale Revolution Continues

Posted on June 5th, 2012 by Robin Goldsmith in Beer, Drink

So real ale used to be thought of as an old man’s drink (probably an old English man wearing a flat cap) and as far removed from youthful trends as Jeremy Clarkson’s dress sense. However, this is clearly no longer the case.

CAMRA reports increasing numbers of younger drinkers and new microbreweries opening up, despite increases in pub closures. In the USA, craft brewers are flourishing and in Italy, there is a growing appreciation of real ale with over 360 microbreweries and a consumer organisation similar to CAMRA, called MoBI (Movimiento Birrario Italiano) – www.movimentobirra.it/presentazione.aspx?%2f. Now Spain is moving in on the act, but surprisingly it’s wine that’s driving this forward.

Rioja is famous around the world as one of the premier wine-producing regions. Tempranilo, garnacha and viura are three of the quality grape varieties used to make wine in this area of Northern Spain. Now barrels previously used to mature wine made from these grapes are being used to mature beer. According to the Drinks Business www.thedrinksbusiness.com, Mateo & Bernabé produce two kinds of beer – a wheat beer and a golden ale, using hops and wheat from England and Germany. It will be interesting to see now whether Spanish drinkers support this new venture, as cold lager still has a major hold over consumers’ beer tastes in the hot Mediterranean countries. What next – a real ale revolution in Germany ???

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