Sunday, 20 August 2017

The GBBF: give the little guys a chance

This year there has been a blessed silence from the choir of whingers that pipe up when the Champion Beer of Britain is announced. Instead in the blogosphere there has been a more measured discussion on the selection of beers for the GBBF. I must admit I didn't really pay much attention to what beers were on offer this year, which could be considered bad form. Though the reason I didn't peruse the programme closely was I was simply enjoying myself too much, so perhaps not all bad.

Some of the commentators on the Tandleman's blog post have been complaining that the beer selection was dull, and more exciting beers should be chosen. Marble Brewery, whose beers were not there this year, are also mentioned as a sign that beer from good breweries is not ordered.

I'm not so sure myself. Though CAMRA does indeed move in mysterious ways, I like that they try to be inclusive. Small breweries, that never feature in the lists of usual suspects, have a chance to showcase their beer at a national level. And take it from me, if you work at one of these small breweries this is proper exciting stuff. So at the risk of offending breweries that think they are entitled to a permanent slot, and beer geeks that want to see a 'best of ratebeer' selection, is say let the little guys have their day in the sun.

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7 comments:

  1. I agree with this, but I do wonder if there is a lot of point in giving national awards to very small breweries who are not in a position to capitalise on the resulting surge in demand.

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  2. The point is to recognise great beer, surely? CAMRA shouldn't care less about the winners production capability.

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    1. I don't think it's unreasonable for a "people's" organisation to insist that members have a reasonable chance of seeing CBOB in the "flesh". I've still not found Binghams on a bar, although I've missed it a couple of times. I've already seen Goat's Milk away from Olympia.

      I think there's got to be some obligation to use the power of CBOB to benefit all parts of the cask beer chain - pubs and drinkers as well as brewers have to have a chance to take part in the excitement around CBOB rather than it become something for the hardcore beer geek only like Westveleteren.

      It's a bit like the argument that's been put forward in the comments on B&B that GBBF should drop its requirements for kils. Aside from the logistical nightmares, if a brewery can't find room for a couple of kils in its fleet (or hire them in) then it's probably not ready for exposure at GBBF.

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    2. I've seen Binghams in the wild a fair few times, but then I lived 20 miles from the brewery. And I used to work with Chris Bingham. On the other hand I'd never heard of Goat's Milk.
      I do see the point that having a beer no one will ever see as CBOB is of limited use, but I like the way that everyone has a chance. And they way CAMRA operates I would think a brewery has had to be around for a few years before it has any chance of winning the CBOB too, so at least the winner will be reasonably well established.

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  3. I wonder how much Coniston make from the contract brewed bottled Blue Bird?

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  4. You wanna flog your beer at their beardy gig? Buy a sponsorship and stop being tight & entitled.

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    1. I must admit that wonderful human beings that they are I don't have much sympathy with Marble. Having said that, the brewery bars at the GBBF cost a fortune.

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