The Microbrewing and Craft Beer Revolotion
As the brewing revolution “hops” up (see what we did there?), and the debate rages about the definition of ‘craft beer’, now really is the time to take a fresh look at beer.
With the Office of National Statistics announcing earlier this year that craft beer has been added to that infamous basket of everyday family purchases that they use to calculate inflation, we can be sure that this is a long term production trend that will develop and grow along with our tastes.
Consumers have long recognised the influence of provenance in food, and now this interest is expanding to beers, with the number of breweries in the UK trebling since 2000 to a mighty 1400 today. It seems that the picture of a dusty pub, devoid of women, inhabited by CAMRA enthusiasts each holding a conical pint of IPA is fading, and in its place are new, local micropubs filled with enthusiastic staff and customers sharing the joy of a home grown ale.
Alongside this rejuvenation of community based ventures are those who believe that now is the time to sweep away beer snobbery, and to take craft beers from pubs to restaurant tables. Beer is of course regularly included as an ingredient in batter, in pie gravy and in marinades, but now some restaurants are beginning to offer beer pairings with food, instead of wine. Indeed Jane Peyton – named Sommelier of the Year by The Beer Academy – is a strong promoter of this change in attitude. Why not serve a pale beer as a pre-dinner aperitif in a flute? Or a rich stout in a stemmed bowl glass with your beef? In addition to the pairing of beer with food, there is also a huge increase in beer cocktails –beer sangria anyone?
As this resurgence takes hold and the years of high beer duty and pub closures end, our national companies reflect this growing trend: Oddbins have reported as 31% increase in beer sales this year, M&S have added 20 new own-label beers to its range, and Carlsberg UK has increased their craft range this year to 39 options. As the availability increases and these trends filter throughout the drinks sector, we are now seeing far wider variety in the presentation of beer. Glass manufacturers have reacted fast, and there are some beautiful ranges of glasses developed especially to serve craft beers.
So while the arguments continue as to the precise definition of ‘craft beer’ the important point really must be that times are changing in the world of beer, so go out, have a fresh look at what’s available in your local – and keep trying till you find the right beer!
We have a fantastic new range of Beer Glassware on our website from Pilsner to IPA glasses. And with discounts for purchasing over 5 or 10 packs, breaking into the craft beer revolution needn’t be an expensive venture. View the range of Genware Beer glasses here.