Q&As, CBRs and other excellent abbreviations, FTW. March 06, 2016 13:59
Team SP was recently asked to do a Q&A for the team at The Holborn magazine, ahead of London Beer Week which culminated with Craft Beer Rising (CBR). If you want to see what we had to say, you can have a look here.
One of the (pretty excellent) questions asked focused on UK drinking culture and what we thought of the current market- something that proved hugely relevant when it came to the fun and games at CBR.
Yes, it’s in East London. And, yes, it’s a bit hipster. But to us that’s all part of the appeal (one of us does have a questionable beard) and it was probably the most exciting place you could be if you’ve got an interest in the UK beer, and for that mater, cider, industry. Being the enthusiastic purveyors of complimenting snackage that we are, we felt privileged to be there.
What grabbed us was the energy in the room. It felt like everyone there knew this was a movement at an all time high, something that the complete sell out nature of the event backed up. From the tiny Hebridean breweries like Islay and Colonsay through to the ultra well branded London based outfits, there were quality wares and equally quality attitudes on show. All involved should be very proud, though the day after they were probably mainly a little hungover.
The thing with exciting/exploding ‘craft’ movements is that they start to be very successful, and with success comes money and scale- we’ve already seen some of the bigger players bought and there were a few of the giants of the brewing world at the event wearing their craft disguises. Inevitably that’s going to cause some tension, and it remains to be seen how the craft beer movement evolves over the next year.
Of course, when something that’s been built on values of small scale and local pride is suddenly widely available and created in volume, it will loose a degree of it’s charm, but so long as those foundations remain it’ll still keep it’s soul and every industry needs it’s leading lights to inspire the next wave of independents
And, as a business that’s primarily concerned with helping people enjoy one of the things they piggin’ love that little bit more, as far as we’re concerned anything that helps raise the bar in general (pun absolutely intended) deserves to be celebrated. The buzz and passion that was abundant in CBR will no doubt continue to ripple across the wider industry. And, we’ll drink a surprisingly strong IPA to that.