BrewDog and the Renaissance
While the arrival of Tokyo* allowed some members of the press to brand BrewDog as the new culprits behind British binge-drinking, others such as Ben McFarland saw it as a chance to celebrate the capabilities of a growing fraternity of UK based micro-brewers.
Describing how BrewDog were repeatedly “lambasted” and Tokyo* declared “the devil's drink”, McFarland points out how the mass media turned a blind eye to the real story beneath the headlines - that UK craft brewers like BrewDog are "currently pushing more envelopes than a Sunny Delight-fuelled octopus in a sorting office...while global and national brewers are haemorrhaging volume.”
In the words of McFarland, “there's never been a better time to introduce a broader, braver beer list” with UK micro-brewers literally on the doorstep.
As BrewDog and its peers continue to create and revive traditional IPAs and stouts alongside innovative and hybrid brewing techniques, “the days when British brewers banged out boring bitters at varying strengths are long gone.”
With the British brewing sector growing by 10% last year alone, craft brewing on home turf has made a remarkable turn around, partly thanks to the introduction of Progressive Beer Duty; an initiative McFarland says has allowed craft brewers to invest back into their businesses and turned beer production into a financially stable profession.
The rise and rise of UK craft brewing isn't just down to chalk board figures and finances though as consumers rapidly develop a thirst for locally sourced, organic produce over mass produced brands lacking artisan flair.
Craft beer in particular has helped to put kiwi, toffee, chocolate and coffee back onto the beer drinkers' palettes - or in the case of Tokyo* - champagne yeast, cranberries and jasmine as well as a serving up a swell of refreshingly new ideas as to how beer is packaged and presented.
And for once it would seem that the UK is going through something of a renaissance in step with its perhaps more notable beer producing cousins as “avant-garde, edgy brewers are shaking up the status quo in deep-rooted, beer-drinking countries such as Belgium, Germany and the Czech Republic.”
Pairing food with beer, putting vintage names back on the menu and a rapidly growing appreciation for quality craft brews over vast volumes of main stream equivalents really does means “the revival is brewing.”
Check out this month's copy of Restaurant magazine to read Ben McFarland's full article on the revival of British craft brewing.
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