Over the last several months I’ve followed with interest all the brouhaha about first Meantime then Camden town brewery and not forgetting a couple of larger American independents ‘selling out’ to, well, mega corporations really. I read an excellent article by Jules Gray on her blog site thenoisethatwemade which likened the ‘craft beer’ scene to the punk and post punk music scene. If I’m honest it struck a few chords with me, being of an age when punk first came on the scene and having experienced many other emergent genres in both music and fashion. I’ll openly admit that I embraced many of these sub-cultures and my sizeable multi media collection of recorded music, along with my wardrobe is a pretty eclectic collaboration. Even if you know me you’ll probably never guess what I will turn up looking like, although a fair bet is that a hat will be included.
I guess what I’m saying is that I’ve always had a go at most things and over the years I’ve taken bit from everywhere. I’ve never really been concerned about being part of an underground sub culture, although I’ve known many who have. We’ve all met them, talking about the latest bands, as if we should all have heard about them and got their latest recording, even though they talk about them soto voce and refuse to provide anymore information on where the band are playing next or which record shop is stocking their limited edition, independent album. I’ve never really got that, but the analogies Jules Gray makes are so true.
I can appreciate most drinks, some I like and stay with, others I just forget. What I won’t do is become all pretentious about it, just blindly following the latest fad just to say I know this beer that you’ve never heard of. You know, we’ve all heard them … ‘you should have been here last week.’ No, not me, I can appreciate the new, the old, the popular, the forgotten and hopefully, those that have yet to come.
So on that basis I don’t really get what all the fuss about selling out is about, especially when a cheque comes through the post earlier this week for 68% more than I put into Camden town brewery crowdfunding scheme, yeah a cool £68 for every £100 invested. Now I think that’s a decent bit of business on my part and if all my financial interests turn out like this I will be both rich and happy. If I’m honest I didn’t even think Camden were anything special. Okay the pale ale was decent and you can get it in on draught (keg) in the outer environs of Leeds, sort of a lager with a taste, my missus loves it, but there’s much better out there – ales not the missus.
I reckon some will now be turning their noses up at my capitalist morals, but we’ve all got to live and you need money for that, that’s what people go into business for and no one can blame them when they sell out. You know, to provide a solid future for their family and all that. Lets be honest, if it were you or me we wouldn’t give a flying whatever for what a hand full of craft beer aficionados think – would we? All I need now is for Mssrs. Watt and Dickie to do the same. Oh and if you know of any other breweries who might be worth backing please let me know. I seem to be doing much better in this arena than I have been doing with William Hill’s lately.