The brewery taproom is one of the temples in which we gather to say a secular grace, in a ritual designed to alienate ourselves from our true sense of alienation.
Beers have a discursive role in our cultural system. Let’s read them with all of our critical faculties.
Why do we defend beer that is economically unjustifiable and the product of unsustainable late-cycle excess?
A mere three years and three kilometres separates Cornwall’s Rebel and Verdant Brewing Companies, but their fortunes have been continents apart.
This summer, England got its first certified Trappist ale. While not yet perfect, it already shows signs that it will honour Belgian abbey ale traditions in an authentically English accent – confident in its own quiet authority.
The focus on a single ingredient - American hops - is the top of a slippery slope. It encourages an ever-narrowing focus on certain elements of that ingredient, which sends us sliding towards a place where fizzy, alcoholic fruit juice can be mistaken for beer.
A Chaucerian pilgrimage to the Ales Tales Belgian Beer Festival in Bethnal Green, on which two signs are given, three poets share their wisdom, 10 ales are drunk, and one circle is closed.