In case you have perhaps been tucked away to view the Transit of Venus in some remote uninhabited corner of the world, devoid of all forms of communication, maybe locked in a sensory enhancing zombie-like state after licking the back of a multicoloured tree frog. In case of all of those things and more, you may not have noticed that it was the Queen of England’s Diamond Jubilee this weekend….
Now I’m not personally a massive follower of the Royal Family generally speaking although I do think the Queen in particular does a good job. I can see the merits of having one, I can also understand some of the many arguments against the Monarchy, basically around some of the extended family hangers on. Whatever your views I don’t think anybody who saw this weekends events live or on TV, could disagree that us Brits certainly know how to throw a bit of pomp and ceremony around for a Royal celebratory bash.
So what’s all the malarkey above got to do with beer?
Themed beer events that’s what. One of my pet hates and one that saw this weekends beery enjoyment generally ruined in most places I chose to spend my hard earned loot, I just don’t get them.
To explain I’m not talking about themed beer events based on a beer style, a brewery or food matching for example, themed events where taste has actively been considered. I mean a themed event where the beers have been chosen purely based on a subject, this weekend being the example in question, where any beer with even the remotest link to Royalty graced local bars and beer festivals (with pretty average results).
Yes of course on occasions like the Jubilee there are endless marketing opportunities and some breweries are obviously going to be keen to take their piece of the Royal pie, but does that mean that every pump has to follow the trend without any thought to what’s actually behind the fancy pump clip?
I’m not tarring every landlord or bar manager with the same brush, nor am I saying that everyone that chooses to brew a beer for such an occasion is going to do a poor job. All I’m asking is that if you are planning a themed day, week, month, please do some research. Who’s brewed what, are there beers normally popular, take taste and quality into consideration, make your choices wisely and not just on the beers title. Otherwise it could be a very long Summer with the European Championships and Olympics looming large on the horizon.
What are your thoughts on such things, am I alone in this and just an overly grumpy killjoy, or does this irritate you too?
Fully agree with your sentiments on this subject, naming something without considering what it taste like or the fact people looking to make a quick buck. With the quality British beer around, an Jubilee or Olympic theme would be fine, just not a jubilympics… just focus on the quality products not the silly pump clips!
Bang on Sir, glad I touched a mutual nerve there. Lets hope we get some great beers for the summer and not just “Bronze Beauty” etc, thanks for the comment
Totally agree. The other thing I object to is that, with many breweries, the pumpclips tell you absolutely nothing about this new beer that’s just arrived on the bar. Like you don’t need to know anything else except that it’s named topically.
Leeds Jubilee IPA and Ikley Jubilation however have both been perfectly good beers.
Exactly Nick, if a brewery makes a special effort to brew a beer for an occasion fine, do it, make it special and tell us all why it’s special.. No bandwagon jumping if you please. Cheers for the comment mate.
For me, it’s all down to the (currently) rather recurring theme of integrity – though this time it is the integrity of the breweries. Naturally everyone(*) is going to want to make the most of the marketing opportunity an event like this brings, but it should never be used as an excuse to offload some poor beer knowing that the theme will be enough to achieve the sales.
Incidentally I had a couple of Jubilee beers over the bank holiday, where they represented a third of the range available on the bar, and they were the best two beers of the lot – all beers were from the same two breweries too and the rest were all fine, but the themed beers were better.
* this is of course a crude and no doubt inaccurate generalisation!
It’s there though isn’t it Dave, too many people taking advantage to shift mediocrity. If the trade took more care they couldn’t get away with it as it wouldn’t sell.
Again though, like you’ve quite rightly said, there are some great breweries doing it right which could take it’s place in our glasses. Cheers fella
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