And of course this all poses the question: could it happen here? There are lots of breweries and I personally don’t always feel confident when I go into a pub and are faced with a row of hand pumps or keg taps for breweries I’ve never heard of. Is this still about pub quality? I’ve had flaccid cask beers and sterile, still craft keg, which I am sure could have been sorted out in the pub, but then I’ve also had dull, unimaginative beers that were surely brewed by committee.
However, does this mean that I should be actively calling for a shake-out? That I should be hollering for the closure of breweries up and down the land? I don’t think so. A certain amount of these new start-ups represent someone’s dream, while others are the cold calculation that this brewing lark can make money in the short term. Who am I to say that someone should lose their business, whether I agree with the ethics or not? I would never want anyone’s brewing business to fail, no matter how bad the beer is, I think the lack of quality would do for this hypothetical bad brewery — the market, as is the case about the argument with lads mags that was so succinctly argued in the Guardian here, will sort things out. If a beer is bad, you don’t drink it. I wonder if there is an element of mean-spiritedness, elitism and sheer arrogance in wanting breweries to fail? The flip side of craft beer is perhaps smugness?