The Day the Beer Sexism War was Won

A few weeks ago I wrote a small piece about Bolton Beer Festival and its “stand against sexism” and having been this weekend, as I have done annual for many years, I thought I’d reply to my own piece about the battlefield that has now been cleared and of the full and total victory that has now been won.

Sexism in the beer industry has become a hot topic over the last several months, but it has been gratifying to see that a number of our local breweries have taken this on board and rebranded/removed offensive marketing materials.  The war is not yet won, but we have prevailed in numerous battles.

This was the opening gambit in the festival programme and they sold themselves short, clearly not counting on the devastating blow they would strike with their “stand.”

Which was indeed a stand. With lots of nice stickers, so, if I get the intention correctly, women can label themselves…

Label themselves with slogans such as “I drink pints” and “I know about ABV.”

Of course what is offensive varies from person to person but so people think that everyone else can make up their own minds, when really then need others to do it for them.

I was then told that pump clip parade may have had to field a complaint, or at least a query about Siren Craft’s offerings.

 

 

Disgusting sexism.

In fact I mentioned as much to a brewer acquaintance friend about one of his recent cans…

 

Strangely he thought I was joking, so he clearly doesn’t take this issue as seriously as I do.

People are just better off removing women from advertising in general.

After all, CAMRA are removing women based on the clothes they wear.

Of course while at the festival I spoke to many people of the female variety who were aghast that some people were offended by the sight of, drawings, photographs or the very real, presence of a pair of breasts.

These women are suffering from internalised misogyny and aren’t really worth paying attention to when all is said and done.  I mean if they don’t see themselves as perpetual victims living in an oppressive patriarchy then perhaps they best off, much like darts walk on girls and F1’s grid girls, being ignored and ostracised.

 

In a war, generally two sides a fighting.  It must be really annoying when it is just one “side” doing a lot of huffing and puffing and the rest are actual belligerents who just don’t care.

 

The war is won, the battle for wokeness of all continues.

 

Viva la revolution.

 

Thanks for reading.

Advertisements

Beer: Zealotry, Supersessionism and Schisms

I will start this by admitting self-censorship on this post.

Apart from the fact that this piece has gone through numerous drafts as to its actual nature in my head, the title did originally have the word Putsch in it.  I thought better of it, mainly because was and still am getting pretty sick of Nazi associations.  Where as I like a good hyperbole as much as the next shamelessly needful, clamouring for any form of attention blogger out there I do have to draw a line somewhere.

That said, hate crime and the continual court trials of people for saying rude and apparently nasty things is exceedingly good fascism.

Anyway, this piece is actually going to be rather personal and has become focussed this way purely because of the events of Saturday 21st April 2018.

It was a glorious, sunny but not too hot as to burn my perpetually pallid-ashen privileged white skin, and I’d arranged to meet up with some old work colleges, some I’d not seen since the two and a half years I left my job of over a decade working with them.

Like an old musical group getting back together for the love of music rather than a cheap cash-in, we all clicked and it was like the conversation had never missed a beat.  The faint patters of 2005-onwards, beat out a wonderful rhythm and that this took place in the Marble Arch pub on Rochdale Road in Manchester brought into focus exactly what had gone on in my relationship with “the beer world.”

The fact that a phrase like that exists (world is far better replaced by bubble or echo chamber really) crystallises just what bullshit goes on in the world, the real world, thanks to the advent of social media.

I didn’t join Twitter until 2013, it would also seem that this was the year I also started this blog (I have other blogs that have been going far longer, good luck finding them) and joined CAMRA.

I had though, been drinking in the Marble Arch since 2005 when, on one Friday out of the month, I’d send out an email laced with double entendres that would get me sacked in a heart-beat these days, inviting out anyone who wished to spend a bit of their pay cheque on some beers and food in a few pubs in Manchester centre.

This was back in the day when the brewery was still in the pub, the Smithfield was still a hotel (and very red) and possibly the ceiling to the Crown & Kettle was only just being discovered.

It was the days of original Dobber, lip-stingingly sharp Marble Ginger and Pint, before cans became a chance to generate some fine Brewdog-style, everyone is picking on us, marketing.

It was a time of work mates just drinking, just actual drinking, in pubs, in actual pubs.

7 fucking years before my presence on Twitter.

I’d been going to beer festivals even before 2005.

Rather ironically in the Marble on this 2018 evening I did bump into 2 people I’d encountered on twitter previously.  One guy who runs Beer O’Clock show and I did once rile by claiming (rightly) that the #hopinions segments where getting very desperate.  They were then, who knows what they are like now.  The other bloke I think had just joined BO’C when I removed myself.

I’d asked them where they’d been and what their plans were for the rest of the evening. They’d done a few brew taps (non-existent in 2005, non-existent until about 2013) and that they were thinking of going to the Pilcrow, a soulless place, so desperately in need of a personality that it hadn’t even managed to steal one via osmosis from the “help” of willing slaves that built it from scratch.

I did suggest visits to the Angel, Smithfield and Crown & Kettle (as a route back to their hotel),  I had suggested a quick trip down the hill to Runaway Brewery but that wasn’t really possible given the time.  I do hope they took in those pubs and had a fine time.

They could have been tourists from another country or just unsure where to go next and looking for a pointer or two, instead there were from the beer world, knowledgeable and urbane and these two very nice people meant absolutely nothing to me.

For the five years I put into twitter, yes another odd phrase, I put half a decade of my life “into twitter” – I met and talked to some, nice people.

Not good people.  Good people is an anathema.  They were nice.  Helpful.  Friendly company.

This may be me burning my bridges but that is not the aim.

I left twitter, everyone’s lives moved on.  Next.

And then CAMRA have to do this revitalisation thing and I think I can guess, given the results, or at least THE ONE RESULT, what the reaction is.

It wouldn’t even surprise me if the reaction is very much like Brexit.

Old people.  What do they know?  Head in the sand.  Its OK, they’ll die soon and we can move on.  They don’t represent me.  I’m cancelling my membership.  I’m cutting up my card.  The vote wasn’t fair.  The threshold was too high.  Not enough of a turn-out.  I represent the silent majority.

As far as I’m concerned some would have actually wanted this result, I finally chance to virtue signal about how irrelevant CAMRA is and likewise how very relevant they are. A ha ha ha.

Nuance is dead.  Facts are dead.  It is and always will be us verses them but for some reason we can’t ever be the bigger people, shrug and move on, we have to, just have to move even further to the other side to address some hypothetical imbalance.

 

It is with no small irony that, being an actual active CAMRA member, I was thinking of leaving the organisation last year.  But life got in the way and I didn’t cancel my direct debit.

Why would I leave?  Well it is a nonsense really.  I give my Spoons vouchers to my mates.  I know enough people at all the local beer festivals I volunteer at (to get free beer, like everyone else does) to guess I can continue to volunteer at them (mainly because I’m quick, helpful and not as drunk as most of the other volunteers working behind the bar) and it just seems like a unnecessary folly.  A folly I am at least making use of in actual involvement.

In the Venn-diagram of CAMRA vs craft and everything in between, the bubble peak point because in my time out of it, I drink, I enjoy myself and I’m surrounded by real people free of beer bullshit.

On 21st April 2018 a vote happened.  A few people on social media got upset.  A few people on social media were OK with it.  A few people on social media fell out with each other because of it.

In the real world.  With real drinkers. In real pubs.  Drinking was done and no shits were given.  Let the beer egotists argue amongst themselves.  Whatever fills up your day.

The bubble is inflated by the hot air of elitist, all of which needing their own and their adversaries bullshit in order to justify their own reason for being in the bubble.

Of course this post is part of the bullshit.  Here is hoping it is the one final turd that causes the shit-show to slurry as a giant shit-tide out into the fucking sea.  I somewhat doubt it.

I raise my glass to you all.  It passed the time.

 

Thanks for reading.

One in the Pink, Brewdog in the Stink

 

I feel cheap linking to Brewdog, I feel cheap writing about it

It is quite simple to grab attention these days but the relative shit storm that greeted this huge virtue signal warms my cockles.

It appears I have to be kept in all beer/twitter related rages via my mates on Whatsapp, then like prodding a sore tooth I step foot onto said social media platform and then disappear down a rabbit hole of shit for an hour.

Of course in this wonderful age of mainly faux outrage, trying to look like you’re at the forefront of equality and not just using it as a cheap marketing tool is always going to be difficult but as with anything Brewdog related, it is just being talked about that is enough, positive or negative in unimportant.

Of course what needs to be clarified, when parody is not enough is this…

THE GENDER PAY GAP IS FUCKING BULLSHIT

Terrible maths built on top of agendas of rage built on foundations of shit of every kind.

But I suppose if I genuinely had a liking for Punk IPA I might stroll into their Manchester bar and simply demand my 20% off Pink IPA as, at least for that day, I will identify as a female.

The politicising of the most banal things infests everything these days.

Black Panther was made out to be something greater than just a super hero film with black actors in it, when everyone fawning over it seemed to forget about previous heroes films like Hancock (Will Smith) or the good, great and dog-shit Blade Trilogy (Wesley Snipes) to name a few.

Same goes with Wonder Woman the previous year. In fact one cinema in the US hosted “women only” showings of it.  Then had to append it to “identify as women” to full assuage the temper tantrum brats out there.

Wonder Woman and Black Panther were/are successes because the general public want to see a good, entertaining film; gender and race seldom enter into it.  If everyone was so pumped for Wonder Woman then perhaps Justice League wouldn’t have been a major flop.

Why am I talking films?  Because if I may suggest that all beer is also actually a craft (and not craft, if that makes sense), then like films and music people are injecting segregation.

It is not about equality or finding a balance, it is becoming an unnecessary need to find and sew division when there needn’t be any.  The “with us or against us” diatribe is a nonsense but it is playing up big time both in the entertainment industry and it would seem, the beer world.

And like I don’t care who stars or directs or writes the films I go and see, I just want to see something good, nor do I care about the gender behind the mash paddle; it could be a 3-headed elephant like creature with 5 breasts, 3 vaginas, 2 penises and a plethora of gonads and I would not care a jot as long as the beer was good.

One final thought on this subject of segregation, while swimming through twitter shit I saw this…

Now I can firstly assume that the women only tasting is also open to those who “identify as a woman” too but either way after being told that beer has to be more inclusive it seems a sad indictment that, private entity or not, the wonderful Rutland Arms, the organiser(s) of Sheffield Beer Week and Ladies that Beer would think this was a good direction to go in.

I know the theory behind it, I understand it, I simply don’t agree with it and if equality is supposed to be some kind of virtuous and moral stance then this, well it’s discrimination isn’t it?

Plus I’m wondering if the staff at the Rutland Arms will all be female for the 2pm tasting too?

Meh.  In the end I obviously cared enough to write this piece about it but this is just a distillation of events that lead to disillusionment.  The above are genuine questions, so if anyone reading this wants to point this piece in the direction of those involved then the comments are always open (pending spam block) for replies.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Bolton CAMRA Beer Festival – The Wokest of Woke

So after the jollity of the 29th Bent & Bongs beer festival in February and the recently passed 31st Wigan CAMRA beer festival next up will be the Bolton CAMRA beer festival held at the Ukrainian Club (not to be confused with the other Bolton Beer Festival, now held at the Macron Stadium, that was once held at a rugby ground in a giant awing heated by jet engines that caused condensation to drop from the roof into your pint).

I thought I’d quickly search twitter for any news on beers and was greeted by their most confusing of pinned tweets.

More prominent stand against sexism?

I don’t know what that means.

There is a physical stand, the ones made of wood, against sexism where one can view leaflets and other materials?

If this is going to be the case then I’ve never seen a stand dedicated to being against sexism in all the times I’ve gone to this festival so anything, as opposed to nothing, is always going to be more prominent.

Might there be a physical stand, the ones made of flesh legs, where people will protest against sexism?

This, again is not something I’ve witnessed at beer festivals past, so it will definitely be more prominent.  Though if it is this type of stand being taken and it happens while I’m waiting to be served I will be slightly miffed.  If this is the case I hope there are times displayed around the hall to highlight when these stands will take place.

Perhaps there will be a stand with the CAMRA commandments on it?

Again, new so obviously more prominent.  Then again B&B and Wigan managed to pass off (and have do for 3 decades) without the need for this.

I guess people in Bolton and Manchester are more sexist and this is required in this little backwater towns.  Who knows?

And on the food stall at Bolton I’ll trust you can also purchase a word salad to go with your beer?

 

Thanks for reading.

An Interesting Beer Interview

Despite being out of the beer loop it was quite a surprise that I had an interview, perhaps a none broadcast pod-cast, fall in my lap quite recently.

I’m not one for conspiracy theories but it does seem a bit odd that I was never made aware of it whilst I was part of that most exclusive of clubs.

Anyway, I present it to you for your own delectation; transcribed as best as I can, all spelling and grammatical errors are mine, as you’d expect.

 

Interviewer (I): Hello, its everyone’s favourite blue-haired beer communicator Simon Jessica Wrighton, here for another episode of “Beer, its a really fucking serious business” and I’ve yet again braved not only stepping outside of London but also, being in the North of England, outside of Manchester and Leeds, to bring you this interview with John, brewer and owner of Common Sense Brewing, here in [remember to add which backwater town this actually is].  So John, as most of our readers and listeners might not know about you and your beer please tell us a bit about yourself.

John (J): Well, my background was in science and I home-brewed for a number of years and then, following a small lottery win I thought I’d see how well a hobby could grow into a business and if I could make enough to leave science and hopefully earn a living doing something I preferred, while being my own boss and hoping that I didn’t end up hating it.  8 years on, so far all 3 of those criteria have been met.

(I): And tell us a bit about the beer.

(J): Well, we brew a variety of beers, your pales mainly, we have a bitter, a mild, a stout and sometimes I try and dabble in what seems to be on trend in the beer world.

(I): So would you say you’re more of a traditional style of brewer or a more modern, forward thinking brewery?

(J): I brew what sells really.  Obviously my main market is my local area and it has a more of what you probably call a traditional feel to it but they all seem willing to try anything.  Likewise I can sell to wholesalers who can ship it around areas it isn’t really practical for us to reach.

(I): Give us an insight into the set-up of the brewery.

(J): Well it is a one man operation, I…

(I): Person.

(J): Sorry…

(I): One person operation.

(J): Er, OK.  So I’m the sole person handling the brewing, sales, admin, accounts, marketing and everything else in between.

(I): So you don’t have anyone else on your staff.

(J): Not at the moment no, I’m handling things quite well as I’ve have done since I started.

(I): But in the future you may need to employ some other people to help, possibly from other ethnic or gender backgrounds?

(J): What?

(I): You’ll be an equal opportunity employer?

(J): Well, yes, because I think it is the law.

(I): So you might end up getting a woman to help out.

(J): I suppose so, but if the time ever comes I’ll get whoever is best qualified or suited to whatever role I need filling.

(I): So what you’re saying is that you wouldn’t employ a woman?

(J): Where are we going with this, I thought I was here to talk beer and brewing?

(I): Yes, of course, but I’m sure our fans want to know that they won’t possibly be buying your beer knowing they are funding someone who doesn’t believe in equality.

(J): Sorry? You’ve lost me, but look, if the time comes I’ll advertise a role, interview whoever applies for it and then make a decision based on what information I’ve gleamed from them and their CVs, but this seems to be a hypothetical discussion so perhaps we should just talk about the present?

(I) Yes, of course. Tell us a bit about your most popular beer.

(J): Right, it is a very simple 4% pale ale.

(I):  What is the grist make-up?

(J): Just pale malt with a bit of wheat for head retention.

(I): So you don’t use any black malt?

(J): Er, not is this particular beer as it is a pale.

(I): But you do use black malts?

(J): Well yes, in my more amber and red beers and I of course use chocolate malts in my mild and stout.

(I): So what you’re saying is you’ve not yet brewed using all black malts yet?

(J): Er, no because I wouldn’t get beer, at least beer as we know it, out of that.

(I): Don’t you think you should at least try?

(J): I could try but experience and the general science behind brewing says that I won’t get beer from it.  If we are still talking about beer that is?

(I): Yes, of course we are.  What is the hop profile?

(J): I use Admiral hops for bittering, I use Admiral for bittering the vast majority of my beers just to keep it simple and cost effective.  The aroma comes from liberal use of Mosaic hops.

(I): Do you use more Admiral or more Mosaic?

(J): Erm, Mosaic but that is because of the nature of the beer.

(I): So why not use more Admiral?

(J): Because that isn’t what this beer requires.

(I): So you’re saying that Admiral and Mosaic aren’t of equal value?

(J): Eh? They both do important jobs but both are quite different in the jobs that they do.  Seriously pal, are we still talking about beer?

(I): Touched a nerve have I?

(J): No, you’re just confusing me with this line of questioning.  Is there anything else I can answer for you.

(I): Yes, of course.

(J): Is it about beer or brewing?

(I): Of course it is.

(J): Ask away then.

(I):  Why don’t you maintain quotas for how much hops and malts you use?

(J): What do you mean by quotas, I record all the weights I take on my brew sheets if that is what you’re getting at?

(I): Good.  So you’re saying we could look through you’re brew sheets and see how equally you spread your use of hops and malts.

(J): What do you mean equally?

(I): To make sure you use everything equally.

(J): What?  I can’t use everything equally, that isn’t the nature of the beer I make.

(I): So you’re saying you don’t use hops and malts equally?

(J): Well, they do completely different jobs.

(I): So they aren’t equal?

(J): What, hops and malt, are we talking by weight?

(I): Yes.

(J): Well, no, as I just said, they do different jobs and they can’t be compared as being equal.  There is no like for like comparison.

(I): Not even as an average?

(J): What? Especially not as an average.  Honestly, are we still talking about beer here?

(I): Thank you John, thank you for your time and a highly revealing insight into the brewing practices up here in [remember to add name of this rainy backwater].

(J): Er, thank you.

 

 

 

Thanks for reading.

 

The Surgeon and the Dildo…

It’s only words…crosswords

I thought dildo as an answer to the “sex toy” clue but I can only assume it is slang specific to the ram-shagging area the crossword was written in that it also can describe “an effeminate man” as it isn’t a descriptor I’ve heard of before.

Dildo in my circle is using as a generic insult, slightly more harsh that idiot but more amusing.

Oddly it was this morning as I got up for a long-held in beer piss that it dawned on my that “US Negro” is an anagram of surgeon.

Looking at anagram solvers online it seems that surgeon isn’t one of the best words to get an actually sensible anagram out of.

Naturally in this climate of hysteria and over reaction it is nice that the BBC, ever so keen to devolve into a tax payer funded version of BuzzFeed, sees fit to yet again trawl the twitterverse to find something to fit its brave, new narrative.

Thankfully, twitter is not short of white people with white guilt ready to call words “illegal.”

 

Despite the obvious connotations of racial discrimination; just like Caucasoid is a wholly scientific term to describe a biological taxonomic grouping, so too is Negroid.

The main problem here is that the derivations of Negro cause countless people to think of the word used by racists and as such just thinking of the word is mind poison to people living in the safest of spaces.

Context is unimportant. Some words are bad.  Period.  Down the memory hole.

If Derby CAMRA were smart their next crossword should feature an anagram of “cis white male,” for this term is OK to use and not in the least bit derogatory in either a racial of sexuality sense.

For now.

 

Thanks for reading.