But, do we need them?
I am firmly in the YES camp.
So, why do we need to have Rockstar Brewers?
I think we’re better off, I think the lack of financial aspirations can be made up with social plaudit. The drivers for celebrating brewers is the CV building. Should a brewer wish to migrate to foreign parts,
If we’re asking brewers to brew us more experiential beers, at far lesser volume than the BMC brewers, then we should make reparations toward this, by giving them award to make weight. Yes, that’s a comparing apples and oranges idea, but we have to celebrate that difference.
but the laurel wreaths foisted on our brewer celebre, must be done with a great depth of insight and awareness of either the impact that their portfolio of beers have had on the market, or the game changing beers that they are producing, the breweries fortunes have been reversed?
I also believe that it makes it easier to attract out and out talent into the brewhouse, when we have acclaimed brewers at the top of our industry. It’s easy to look at the US brewing scene and draw parallel from the impact from Vinnie Cilurzo, Tomme Arthur, Sam Calagione etc, and what that has done for the status of a brewer. Uptake at brewing schools, the number of people looking for brewing work, has increased as fast as the number of breweries out there. Obviously the economists out there will see a supply and demand issue, to maintain a life-quality wage, but the rockstars bring marketing asset, just as a supremely tallented footballer. Shirt sales.
Perhaps we’re seeing it happen already. Kelly, leaving Thornbridge, arriving in New Zealand and going to work at Epic. A master stroke and really fantastic for both Luke and Kelly. But, who would fill that personalities shoes? Dom from Marble.
We’re blessed with supreme talent in the UK, and the sheer numbers of brewers will give us a cluster of quality brewers, that will rise to the top. The cream if you like.
Sid Boggle has alluded to a bunch, I could add to that list.
I think the brewers you will see, the litmus test, is that you know their name, as much the beers they produce and the brewery they work in. Their personality is as strong as the quality of their brew.