Upon learning this HardknottAnn immediately insisted on commandeering my MacBook for the purposes of writing a blog.
Last night and this morning we got carried away with discussions on twitter regarding GBBF and how beers are selected. I touched on the subject last year as it happens, and it is interesting for me to look back at what beers were actually on. I'll admit to being surprised to see that Punk IPA was there. The fact that it was on the same bar as Cumbrian beer is a little baffling.
It may be that I have a few facts wrong about various specifics regarding GBBF, but despite that I maintain that there are interesting selection influences at play. It might well be that various officials can attempt to reassure that it is all fair and transparent. The impression I am left with is very different; There is a massive disparity between local breweries who appeal to local markets and those of us who are more successful further afield.
Besides all that, the fact that BrewDog will not be at GBBF is no great surprise to me. This was a win-win situation for them in many ways. If they got their beer there in KeyKeg it would have been a result, the fact that it eventually fell through is also a result. PR win again. I seem to remember several people, including me, forecasting that this would be what would happen.
It has been pointed out to me that BrewDog are no different to any other brewery in as much as they want to sell more beer. Spot on there, we all do. What we all have to work out is if CAMRA, and indeed cask beer, are important to us or if they are more useful in opposition.
I'm still working that one out, but it appears to me that the latter might be more successful if a brewer is looking for a gap in the market. Also, it could very well be a useful marketing and positional ploy to be quite public about the fact.