Monday, 27 February 2012

Original beer

Blank page. No words, just a constellation of thoughts, spots the edge of the darkness of the mind; attempts to articulate thoughts, bring together words and introduce them to each other, the networking of language. And then the process begins, the words take to the floor to show off their moves and wow the crowds and something that makes sense is created. But is what I write original, or is it just a reflection, or a rescrambling of everything I have ever read and digested? Is what I write down to the influence of language and the environment that I have grown up in or is there such a thing as an author? 
I wonder if it’s the same with brewing a new beer, that maybe unconsciously the brewer is dealing with an idea of something that might work, a remembered flavour, a dream of colour or a style that needs to be subverted? But then this leads me backwards, leads me to think, is there room for originality in brewing or are brewers just brewing what other brewers are brewing, who in their same way are brewing what others are brewing? A circle of brewing. Do brewers make singular beers or do they unconsciously echo the beers that have gone before, merely adding different varieties of raw materials and updating the technical process. But then maybe this is why brewing is often seen as a unique fusion of art and science. There’s the artistic swirl of creation along with the applied graft of science.
The reason for all this Monday morning mulling is that I have been thinking a lot about various beers and how they come to be. The question I ask all too often, what’s behind this beer, can all too often be answered with the words, ‘we had a gap in the 4-4.5% range’ (pick your own abv). On the other hand there are brewers who wonder what will happen if they add A to B and use C at a certain stage of the process. Are they artists or just more perceptive in the way they make their beer? More questions than answers here I think but it’s good to ponder all the same. 


  1. I've covered this one. It was posted on April 1st though!

  2. All beers are original. Even those who follow the same recipe will be different. It's the details. Some people might not be able to notice, but it doesn't mean it's not there.

    As for "innovative". Well, that's another thing...

  3. Adrian,
    Perhaps the Stowey Brewery are breaking the mould. Or perhaps we are just hobby brewers that happen to have a commercial licence. Last tow beers were grown from our own hops in the garden and then from Sorachi Ace hops for a Japanese evening at the local pub. Now been asked to produce a beer with a medieval 'feel' any suggestions?