Thursday, January 05, 2012

That old chestnut again !

One of the things that concerns me as a beer 'ticker' but not necessarily as a beer drinker is the provenance of certain beers, and only a few days into 2012 another has raised its head on another beer forum. It has been suggested that Meantime 'London Pale Ale' is not actually brewed by Meantime, but is actually brewed miles away from London in Suffolk, at Adnams.

As a drinker, this makes no difference to me, it is a fine beer, and if it is brewed at Adnams, they are a  fine brewery, and I will continue to enjoy it when I see it. Result. If it is a good beer most beer drinkers will have no issue with who brews it, just that they like the end product.

However, 'Tim the Ticker' has a slightly different view. I often drink beers and have no idea who actually brews them. I take it from the pump clip, and accept that information at face value. I do not usually have the chance to scrabble about in a pub cellar to check on the cask to verify the information, and even then, that is not always a definitive answer to the brewer or the beer. If I do find a beer has been brewed at somewhere other than the brewery I assume then I do feel somewhat cheated.

I possess a GOBBS guide, and thanks to Alan's dedication, I can often trace a beer I have drunk through that, but not always, and it is a time consuming project.

Would it not be better, and fairer for everyone, for the pump clip to show where the actual beer was brewed to save anyone any confusion ? Those in the know can read a 'Steel City' pump clip and know exactly where their beer has come from. Why do other breweries not follow their example ? As I have said, it will make no difference to the many drinkers who just drink the beer because they want to, whoever may brew it, but to those of us who are 'anoraks' it makes a real difference. And if the brewery has nothing to hide, why should they not be transparent. It will not make a good beer less good, just because it is brewed somewhere else.  


Steve Lamond said...

People tried to submit a motion that the good beer guide include the brewery name in the beer listigns, but it was defeated.

Greene King is one of the worst culprits of not stating where their beers are brewed.

wee beefy said...

I can't understand why any brewery decides on secrecy about a beer's credentials - do they assume no-one cares or that no-one will find out? I seem to recall Marston Moor getting mardy when Oakwood fest asked them to confirm where their beers were brewed (their beers weren't on sale either way).

Multinationals have always been slack or downright misleading, but it seems micros aren't shy of a spot of "forgetful inaccuracy".

Honesty clearly pays though, since in my experience, Steel City beers are more enjoyable than Meantime or maybe Marston Moor. Perhaps transparency improves the flavour.