Another installment in my series for This Greedy Pig.
What is Craft beer?
A craft is defined as ‘a pastime or profession that requires some particular kind of skilled work’ and is ‘usually applied to products produced on a small scale’. Although brewing is without doubt a kind of skilled work ‘craft beer’ is a term that seems to elude precise definition. Growth in sales of craft beer over the past few years have been enormous and it is the current trending niche amongst operators. However this massive growth has attracted big companies looking to cash in on the craft brand, leading to a dilution in its definition. There isn’t a real straightforward answer to what craft beer is. But I believe there are minimum criteria that must be met to genuinely be considered craft.
Actually Making The Beer
This one seems to be patently obvious, surely to sell a craft beer you actually have to make it yourself? Yet some people fall at this first tiny hurdle along the path to being craft. Marketing company Innis and Gunn are launching a new range of products early this year and are not shy about jumping on the craft bandwagon.
This is another post for Edinburgh Whisky Blog where I attended a tasting of a series of Barrel Aged Rusty Nails.
I was invited to join the tasting panel for an unofficial, off-brand, barrel aged Rusty Nail experiment run by Drambuie Brand Ambassador Bruce Hamilton. The Rusty Nails were each aged for 55 days in first fill casks seasoned with one of; cabernet sauvignon, Drambuie 15 base whisky, port, bourbon, rum, and sherry. As well as this the Rusty Nails were twisted a little with Gancia Rosso, Cherry Marnier, and orange bitters.
After enduring the kind of severe soaking that only the unpredictable Edinburgh winter can provide I was primed for a warming winter beverage, or seven.
To welcome us and refresh our memories we were treated to an original Rusty Nail made according to Bruce’s recipe, packed full of liquorice, cloves, and blood orange flavours with a pleasantly warming boozy burn. From here the tasting was to proceed in silence to avoid collusion with each of the panel making their own notes to compare at the end. As well as this we were to guess the seasoning of the cask in order to avoid forming opinions before tasting.
This is the first in a series of fortnightly posts to fashion designer This Greedy Pig’s blog.
In the first of a series of articles considering the wonderful ways of all things wet and intoxicating I’d like to begin by establishing some basic ground rules for obtaining and serving said elixirs in a public environment.
Too long have simple errors been committed. Too hot burn the fires of contempt for the weekend warrior in the breasts of the world’s bartenders. I’d like to turn these uncontrolled infernos back into flames of passionate service and rectify the simple errors committed by the uninformed. We all need to learn how to be human.
This is a brief OPINION piece I wrote in reaction to my visit to the CAMRA Scottish Real Ale Festival yesterday.
Picture the scene, a huge gathering of the best drinkers, drinking the best beers, brewed by the best breweries, in a country endowed with an incredible brewing scene. All of these passionate people under one roof, tittering at Tennent’s drinkers, hating Heineken fanboys, and frowning upon Foster’s fanatics. Continue reading →