The Lentil Takes An Impartial “behind-the-scenes” Look At This Exploitative Short-lived Middle Class Fad
Pop into any local in the Golden Triangle today, and you’ll probably be confronted with a bewildering choice of speciality ‘hand crafted’ bottled beers, many with eye watering price tags.
But what is behind the new trend for expensive ‘craft’ ales ? What does it take to produce them ? And how do they command such extraordinary prices ?
I visited a fairly nondescript terrace house on Warwick Street to meet local brewing brothers Rufus and Miles Boden and to learn more.
ME: So gentlemen, tell me more about your family’s long tradition of brewing and distilling which allows you to adorn yourselves with the title “Master Craft Brewers”.
Rufus: Obviously with my experience at Price Waterhouse Cooper, and Miles’ role in HR at Microsoft, we’ve both come to know the difference between a relatively cheap draft real ale, and a really expensive bottled ale.
ME: Well perhaps you can talk me through the ‘magic’ of the craft brewing process then please.
Miles: Sure thing. Well we put the yeast and stuff in this pan . . . .
Rufus: . . . . the mashing kettle . .
Miles: . . . then we turn the gas up to full blast for a bit . . .
Rufus: . . . . to impart the flavours of the organic ingredients into the ale . . .
Miles: . . . . . and to kill the germs . . . .
Rufus: . . . and then the ale needs to mature . . . .
Miles: . . . cool down . . . .
Rufus: . . . . so that it can be bottled . . . .
Miles: . . . . without me scalding myself.
Yow, holy sh*t that’s hot . . . . easy does it . . . . . and that’s another six done . . .
ME: Fascinating. And tell me gentlemen, how do you conjure up such exotic and enticing names for these beers ?
Rufus: We firmly believe that the word “label” should appear in the name . . . . so we have “Red Label”, “Yellow Label” etc. Then we choose a heroic figure, someone from history, Nelson perhaps, or a sporting icon . . . maybe Will Carling . . . . and we get . . . . . .
Miles: . . . . Carlings Black Label . . .
Rufus: Look Miles, if you’re not up for this, why don’t you f*** off back to f***ing Microsoft . . . . .