I am guilty of many things, on occasion even thinking things through properly before diving headlong into the project and then realising what the work load actually is… but, I have pondered a few things, hopes, aspirations and even an “if I win the lottery” type thing…
2010 was a year of great change and being quite frank, insanely busy, I can but hope that the good things out weigh the bad considerably.
- I really want to see greater collaboration, city wide, or just two local breweries. Sometimes I think UK brewers look at the US brewerying social schema out of the corner of their eye. Maybe it’s just a British thing, something we’re expected to leave at primary school, the idea of playing/working together. Get over it, invite people in, homebrewers, pro-brewers, your favourite brewer in france, italy, germany or the US. Do it! now… get on the phone, internet and do something about it!
- Enlightenment on the part of our treasury. Long shot, I know. But, I would love to see greater involvement, more enlightened taxation systems in place, with out the macabre stick of “taxation for health” and other social ills being used as a lame excuse. Taxation on volumes produced please, rather than by ABV, perhaps? Put the politics back in the box, bury them and forget where you did bury them.
- Migration away from a dispense system bias. Becoming non-denominational in out outlook toward the idea of quality brewed beer, without bashing CAMRA. Cask, Keg or Bottle, it’s about what goes in, and how it’s stored and poured that makes a difference. Better collaboration, or dare I say I communications between CAMRA, SIBA and who ever else, to pull in one direction.
- More and more quality beer bars. Beer centric bars, with a not-too-geeky-a-leaning are a massive change in the way that we might access quality beer. Of course, then comes the onus of quality HR needs, good supply and favourable rents and leases… but they can all be worked around. Applaud those that have taken that leap and make great new beer venues open in 2010.
- Craft Beer. This american-ism, to my mind has become a bit of a catch all toward anything exposed to oak, a bucket of C-hops thrown at it or with a sightly “off-centred” styling. Perhaps the wordsmiths out there might like to start debate to as what really is a great descriptor for what is the stewardship of an artisanal process that is constantly evolving and changing toward a more and more experiential product. For the moment, “Indy Brewing”, brewing independently of the status quo, drawing inspiration from other industry, taking inspiration from your consumers, searching for your flavour: Perhaps being recognised, becoming distinctive for what emerges from your taps rather than the branding or verbage that perhaps papers over.
- 1000 beers to drink before you die: Dear beerwriter-y types, If I see one more of these books, I will find you, lube it up and… well you get the picture, because, I should be dead according to those numbers. Better still would be campaigning against mediocre “beer books” that I stumbled upon out there.
- Being Unreasonable. When ever you feel like complaining about something, consider this: Creating an alternative. If you’re not happy with the status quo, do something about it. Work with a local brewery, help promote their efforts. Work with a local beer bar, help set up a micro pub. Get beer into your work place, arrange tastings. Start little tasting circle. Help spread the word.
- Homebrew. Do it. It’s the best thing ever. If you love beer, great food and find cooking easy. And, have good cleaning routines… DO IT! You’ll take a greater appreciation for the beers that you drink in the pub, or buy from beermerchants.com, than from any book, blog or tweet. Remember, support your local homebrew shop.
- Celebrate. We really need to better celebrate the true industry heroes. We need to better celebrate the brewers, landlords and out and out beer passionate people. Everyone loves a “nice job” pat on the back, so can we not bring it to ourselves? Hell, if it takes sponsors, energy etc: I’ll throw my hat in the ring?
- Meetings and conferences: When gathered together, please can we realise the time invested, the moment and the potential for changing the norms and put away the self promotion. If you don’t know, say you don’t know and look around the room for resource to those that do. Lets get a little professional about this?
- Have fun. I think I work in the greatest industry in the world. I am surrounded by amazing, passionate and commited people. We have to remain focused on what reason we got into this crazy crazy game, out and out love for the greatest beverage known to man. I want it to remain fun, exciting and always leave me with a smile on my face at the end of the day. With out you all, this would not be possible, let’s keep it that way!