Craft Beer Gets Its 10 Commandments

The Everyone Welcome Initiative

This is one of those pieces where you have an internal debate about whether you wish to write about something or not because this only exists inside a very small world, for now at least and this one world is the beer bubble

But I suppose forewarned is forearmed and as I would never miss the opportunity to castigate threats to free speech and free thought I may as well have at it.

First read on the Manchester Beer Week website about being the launch of a “diversity manifesto” I wondered what the audience would be like…

So diverse…

It’s almost like they had to bus in white people from that there London, Liverpool and Sheffield just to bump up the attendance.

Anyway, that is an easy shot, that it took place at Fairfield Social Club, a place where hipster racism exists in God’s own image should have been a clue.

“But what is wrong with the 10 Commandments?” I hear you cry, “you’ve mentioned it in the title, get on with your point. I can’t see anything wrong with rules which are basic common sense and good human behaviour.”

No.  This is true.  Taking Commandments 6 to 10 most seem logical.  Given this is the bible; it is amazing that people leading up to its writing and publication weren’t just murdering and robbing each other because they had no set of rules (holy or otherwise) to follow.  That there were enough people around to write this stuff it’s fair to say that a great many people have a certain innate morality.  Perhaps we should credit that to our supposed creator(s) too but what is life without actually written rules and therefore surely there is nothing wrong with this manifesto?

Rules are about control.

The infantalise those that feel compelled to follow them and therefore the followers feel compelled to compel others.

My main wondering is how far this goes.  No compulsion, but are we then suppose to think that all venues not displaying this list are horrible, evil, squalid places?

Any place that doesn’t have these rules won’t have them because, they will think they are bollocks, they don’t care and they are quite open enough as it is but mainly because those that wrote them and the acolytes that adhere to them, won’t and would never have gone in those places in the first place.

Woke CAMRA of Bolton were quick to get in on the act…

Makes you wonder if this CAMRA branch will actively boycott pubs and bars that don’t display these rules, other than the 10 pubs of their area they actually bother about.

Long live the beer schism.

 

Much like the 10 Commandments, the first 5 about an all-powerful yet strangely paranoid and vindictive God.  That this initiative sets it stall out, before its rules, by actually talking about it NOT being snowflakey, PC-gone-mad and virtue signalling all seems quite self-evident about the actual intentions.  Me thinks the authors doth protest too much.

More than anything, this sets up businesses and their employees as those beholden with the keys to kingdom.  An army of poorly trained and at the very least completely oblivious workers who now have to police what people say and how they act.  It is a sham and an absolute nonsense.

It creates borders and boundaries, it creates individual groups and sets them off against each other in some faux war that apparently needs to be won in the name of bringing people together.

In the Koran (like all religious texts, rip offs of each other), it state that there is “no compulsion in religion” – which is cool, until the ultra-orthodox play the convert or die card.  Just like gay-conversion therapy and other shit, zealots of every stripe are the ones to be wary of.

Then again I would say all this; I’m an alt-righter, a privileged man, with white skin, scared that his controlling patriarchy is collapsing.

Meh, we can all play the victim card if we choose, some are better at it than others and the really good ones can make money from it.

It plays into a bigger part of the so-called “culture wars” (wars, again, everything is about fighting).  Growing up life used to simply be about; believe what you want, just don’t let it interfere with anyone else’s life.

It seems that those that preach secularisation of religion seemingly need to replace one belief system with another, their lives unable to function without rules and an orthodoxy to follow.

 

 

 

Thanks for reading.

 

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Stairway to Heineken

*Not to be performed in guitar shops*

There’s a Logan who’s not sure if all that glitters is gold
Is he buying a stairway to Heineken?
If he does then he knows, all Brewdog bars are all closed
Maybe investment from private equity is what he should go for.
Ooh, ooh, is he buying a stairway to Heineken?

There’s a sign on the wall saying punk, but are you sure?
But craft deals in absolute and not duality of meanings.
In a Fevertree by the brook, there’s a neckbeard who sings,
Some day all beer will be subject to minimum unit pricing.

Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it makes me wonder.

There’s a feeling I get when I look to the bar,
And my autistic spirit is crying for leaving.
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke in the breeze,
But a 2007 ban makes those stand outside.

Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it really makes me wonder.

And it’s bellowed that soon, if we all sing the same tune,
Then the Peter will lead us to reason.
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long,
And the cellars will echo with Kegstar.

*Enter Drums*

If there’s a bushel in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now,
It’s just a spring clean, please ring CaskWatch.
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
It’s either cask or keg and that’s it.

And it makes me wonder.

Your head is humming and it won’t go, in case you don’t know,
The CAMRA’s calling you to join them,
Boak Bailey, they can you hear the wind blow, but did you know?
Your blogs are really just all hot wind.

*5th best guitar solo ever*

And as we drink on down the road
Did we all just really sell our souls?
There walks a lady we all know
Who fights beer sexism and wants to show
Adverts disguised as journalism turn to gold.
But no one listens very hard
The tune will one day all be lost.
When it’s just beer and that is all
Your hand is dealt, now just call fold.

Is he buying a stairway to Heineken?

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.

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.

A Beer Burka

The Seasonal CAMRA Festival Must-Have

Pirate performer ‘mortified’ after she is told to cover up her cleavage at beer festival

When Wigan CAMRA host their “treat adults like adults” annual beer festival they usually have a theme night where you can get free entry if you are dressed as that year’s festival theme.

Being Wigan, everything is generally related to pies and rather laboured puns.  Puns which would probably turn the stomach of the puritans gleefully filling the pages of pumpclip parade

This year, 2018, it was a PIE-lot.There has been a PIE-King (that’s a pun on Viking, clearly cultural appropriation) and a whole host of other that despite searching for images and being to lazy to walk to my glass cabinet to check the artwork, I can’t be bothered to delve in to only to point out that there was once, of course, a PIE-Rate.

So where as modern feminists leap with joy as young women lose jobs as walk-on girls in darts and grid girls in motor sports, because, you know, women should have choices just not 100% there own, so too it would seem that CAMRA, as they try and “revitalise” and after a few recent to-dos and as they succumb to the inevitable supersessionism that is spreading through the beer world like a virulent yeast infection they have now gone full circle and over to the other side.

A side inhabited by the virtuous, the puritanical, the zealots.  Those against choice or even actual equality.

Whether future CAMRA festivals will feature dress codes for women, remains to be seen.  Perhaps it might depend if the festival is held in a place of worship where alcohol is acceptable but what a woman wears is subject to patrols by their approved modesty police.

Or maybe everyone can take a breath, behave like adults, so trying to feed into an “us vs them” mentality and actual approach life and all its aspects with rationality and clear thinking.

It can happen.

Maybe.

 

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.