Little seems to cause more outrage in the beer world than the term ‘craft beer’. The bête noire of traditionalists, and increasingly rejected by those who once sung its praises but now see traditional big brewers climbing on the bandwagon, the question increasingly is: ‘what is craft beer?’ Without any firm definition, the C-word is open to abuse.
Yet there is no doubting that the craft revolution has been very good for beer, and beer drinkers – especially those of us more concerned with taste that method of dispense. And even the traditional world of the beer festival is not immune to its influence, it seems. The latest Craft Beer Festival takes place in Edinburgh between the 24th and 26th of November.
The Craft Beer Revolution Festival will showcase thirteen of the best breweries from Scotland, the UK and Europe including Edinburgh based breweries Pilot and Top Out, Glasgow based Up Front, Panda Frog Project from Newcastle, London based Howling Hops and Parisis from Paris. Not exactly a huge line up by most beer festival standards, but sometimes, you wish that there was a touch more curation at those events, rather than rack after rack of interchangeable brown bitters and golden ales. Showing themselves not to be purists, the organisers are also including Arbikie Gin and Vodka and wines from Vino for anyone exhausted by beer (or perhaps to tempt long-suffering partners).
There will be over 60 beers on tap, including a special festival brew, described as “a slightly spicy double red rye IPA”. And there will be the usual beer festival additions of pub games, food stalls, tasting sessions for the more serious and a music playlist compiled from online requests – how very modern.
The event takes place at the Assembly Roxy, and tickets are ludicrously cheap – £8 if bought in advance, which includes a festival glass, a £2 voucher and entry to masterclasses. On the door, it’s still a bargain, at £10. You can order here: www.revolutioncraftbeer.com