Two books on beer in the next month, out there; one,
November 17, World Bottled Beers, is a
song of praise to 50 great beers, of which I will write further; the other,
tomorrow’s the day, co-ordinated and co-written with Roger Protz, Britain’sBeer Revolution, a snapshot of now, David
Hemmings at the lens, profiles of breweries and beers featured, the likes of
which include the likes of Siren, Magic Rock, Thornbridge, Kernel, Fyne,
Meantime, Fullers, Adnams, London, blogging, barley and plenty of people. We’ve
tried to be vivid in our writing, tell the tales of the men and women who stand
aside the mash, driven to derive flavour and savour from the beer they make.
It’s a book about revolution in which the old is overthrown,
the new is brought in, amid the noise and chaos of the mob, the execution of the
ruling classes, the constant rumble of the wheel of revolution as new victims
are sought, the dissolution of the dissonant, the death of the dead. Well sort
Our revolution: a greater demographic of people drinking beer,
drinking all kinds, unaware and unabashed whether it be keg, cask or drawn
straight from a pumpkin; the Sven the Unready beard, the radioactive
winkle-picker, the psychedelic short back and sides, the Dresden shepherdess
drainpipe, who cares, I certainly don’t, the stuff I’ve worn in order to belong
(jeans ribbed and unwashed for a year, for instance); the Sensurround of
flavour, the taking apart of tradition and the snap crackle and pop of aroma;
and then the digs at the old, the daubs of the walls of the old, the hauling in
of the tribes, beer revolution.
It’s also about evolution: gradually, unperceptive, glacier
smooth in its passage, the new beers and brewers emerge, the big parade passed
by, an easy going emergence, here we are, saison, stoutly done, no fuss, no
furore, here we are, new beers for old.
It’s also about devolution: we want to do a Belgian Quad so
we’ll do it our way if you don’t mind, if it’s all the same to you, thank you
very much; a Victorian mild, an oatmeal wild, a sour-smiled gyle, we did it our
way. Devolution max.
Elocution: here’s a Pilsner, a Spezial, a Kellerbier, a
Rauch, a Bock, a Dunkel, a beer that has nowhere to hide, the received
pronunciation of brewing and beer, the hardest challenge a brewer can surmount,
Britain’s beer revolution has many faces, and no doubt some of its
children will be devoured, but there’s no going back now.