Monday, 15 September 2014

The Holy Grail of Craft Ale

I was in London on Saturday for a meeting of the Brewery History Society committee. As I sat in the meeting room, plodding through the business (inculding this competition), I felt my beer spider sense tingling. There was a presence in the room. My eyes were inexorably drawn left, where I could see some bottles and cans sat on top of a cupboard.

"Hang on a minute" I thought, "they've still got caps on, they must be full". It's always best to keep track of where there's beer, you never know when you might need it. Perusing what was there, it suddenly dawned on me that the silver can looked strangely familiar. Could it be what I thought it was? I hesitantly edged over to get a better look.



And sure enough, there it was. The Holy Grail of Craft Ale: Heady Topper, brewed by John fucking Kimmich himself. Hesitantly, I reached towards it, but then I stopped. Dejected, I dropped my hand, for I knew in my heart of hearts that I was not worthy. I'd already drunk some cask beer, made by another, lesser, brewer that wasn't even American. It would be criminal to mix it with Heady Topper. And it wasn't for sale anyway.  So I settled for basking in the glory of it, thrilled to even be in the same room as such a beer, and resolved to purify my body and mind, and steer clear of Wetherspoons, so that when I do see if for sale I will know that I'm worthy enough to drink it.











17 comments:

  1. To steal it would have been akin to stealing the crown jewels.

    Some crimes raise the criminal above the common criminal in into a category of gentleman thief. To have the audacity to steal a genuine John Kimmich? You would be Raffles to the power of 10.

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    1. I suppose I could have become a legend, but what if it's like end of Raiders of the Lost Ark? If I opened a can whilst unworthy I might find an angel of death comes out and melts my face off.

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  2. What's wrong with Spoons? That's where I most recently had a Kimmich beer, and it was jolly good.

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  3. But it's completely wasted on the plebs who go in Spoons.

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    1. Yes, that was the starting point of the Kimmich thing. Bryan, you'll need to read Matt's blog if you haven't: .http://totalales.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/missing-point.html

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    2. Oh yes, that piece of snobbish nonsense that pulled all the other snobs out of the woodwork - and fortunately also the anti-snobs... (-; I'd done my best to forget reading it, though at the time I did add to the derivative discussion on B&B's blog.

      I'm very glad Kimmich has had the opportunity to use a proper cask ale brewery to make ales that will (in the main) be properly conditioned and served.

      And so were other normal-looking drinkers in my local JDW, I heard one of them remarking on how he'd tried "that one there and it was effing gorgeous", or words to that effect.

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    3. Offer people what they want. Wetherspoons customers want cheap beer and burger deals. They don't want poncy craft beer any more than they want Opera on the telly or that 'orrible caviar muck on the burgers.

      Its patronising paternalistic snobbery to insist on trying to "improve" the masses. If they want to drink Kronenberg and Ruddles County, who are we to deny them? Send the poncy craft beer to the poncy craft bars, then everyone knows where they stand.

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    4. I used to drink in my local 'Spoons every week, and I would always seek out the best beer they had on offer.

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    5. yeah and I occasionally pop into Lidl, doesn't make me their core demographic.

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  4. My own experience does rather disprove your point though. Perhaps you should tell me more about your detailed research into 'Spoons customers and their motivations and spending habits.

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  5. your irrelevant anecdotal evidence proves the square root of fuck all. its not rocket science to figure out what spoons' target audience is, just look at their offering: cheap macrobeer and microwaved food.

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    1. ... and the beer festivals, number of hand pumps, number of pubs in the Good Beer Guide, number of pubs with Cask Marque accreditation, specially imported beers, foreign brewers, 'craft' beers?

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  6. all good advertising. suck up to the morons at camra a bit and the stupid mugs will basically do your marketing for you.

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    1. Ah, so it's a cunning plan of fiendish complexity: fool beer fans into coming to, and even promoting, your pubs by selling good beer.

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  7. IMV Spoons try to appeal to as many bases as possible - they're certainly not just targeted at the low-end value drinker and eater. Indeed I can think of some towns (e.g. Bridlington) where the Spoons seems to be the smartest pub.

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  8. if you're in a town where spoons is the smartest pub, get back onto the train.

    its not that they're rough, I've been a regular in my share of rough pubs and get along fine, its just that they're fucking shit. They're everything that a good pub is not.

    A spoons is not a pub. Its a faceless, soulless, corporate crèche for alcoholics and tourists. It is to a pub what starbucks is to a local coffee shop.

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