There are few things in our British culture that can inspire as much heart-felt outspoken passion as beer. In this country beer is almost it’s own religion and unfortunately like most religions it can be scrupulously over analysed to the point whereby instead of bringing people together, it starts to divide them. Also like religion when people start preaching at me that any one way of doing things is right or wrong, my hackles start to go up.
I’d say in the current climate nothing divides beer lovers more than what I believe to be two arbitrary definitions. They are of course Craft Beer and Real Ale. The now infamous Brewdog once said that these definitions should be as simple as ‘…beer brewed for taste versus beer brewed for volume…’ and that would be a fair definition if we were all being grown up about it.
However the very fact that there is a distinction made in the first place has led to misinformation and subjective opinion standing in the way of simple satisfaction. Surely it’s as rudimentary as ‘Am I enjoying this beer in my hand. (YES/ISH/NO – delete as appropriate). But such has become the aggressive, outspoken tide of opinion that you could be mistaken for thinking that there is a war raging between real ale and craft beer lovers – and you may well be right. It’s a sad trait in many of us that if we like something we’ll always find a way to justify it. But if we don’t, we’ll find ways to falsify it.
Now it seems many have ‘picked a side’ and going to the pub can often mean an earful from someone who’s become confused as to what beer should be about. But having listened to the bleatings of both sides for years I have come to a conclusion… It is nothing to do with beer at all. Strangely it seems there is an allegiance being formed to the storage and delivery vessels that beer comes in. Basically Keg ale vs Cask ale. To summarise further Cold beer with high carbonation (Keg) vs Cool beer with lower carbonation (Cask). After all what we are drinking is fundamentally the same thing. It’s brewed in the same way with the same core ingredients. There are obviously differences as to how beers mature in each vessel but ultimately it’s the brewers job to understand those differences and to make a great beer regardless. Yes temperature and carbonation do have an effect on the taste and aroma of a beer and as such there are differences between cask and keg ale, but ultimately the consumer just needs to decide at the bar whether he/she likes the taste or not. There is no right or wrong about it.
However the thing I find most confusing of all is the aggression that surrounds this topic. It’s one thing to say that you personally prefer one or the other but it’s a whole other leap of bias to say one is universally better than the other. And also, how the hell can choice be a bad thing? We live in one of the most exciting and eclectic countries for beer on the planet so let’s all begin to celebrate that!
So it’s important for you all to know that if you like our beers on cask, keg, bottle, growler or cupped from the holy font of the VelociRapture himself, we will always do our best to accommodate you. We love beer and we know that all you DinoRiders love beer too in your own unique way. So as brewers it is our job to celebrate that uniqueness and make sure the dinosaur in your hand is the one you love.