The headline is almost a verbatim copy, taken from a German family owned brewery. Their slogan: craft beer since 1862. I changed the numbers to fit an English brewery, Fullers. More about them later.
First, let’s get to craft beer, or the recent hype about it.
For many decades the brewery industry went through a phase of consolidation. On a global scale this is ongoing. The No. 1 brewing concern, Anheuser Bush InBev, itself a result of countless mergers and acquisitions, wants to merge with the No. 2, SAB Miller, again a conglomerate of many breweries. Together the two companies will have a market share of 30% globally.
In the late 20th century, enough people got upset with what some call TV beers. Those beers, heavily advertised on TV, had become tasteless. To appeal to the masses, the brewers dropped all character and taste. The running joke then was:
What does American beer have in common with having sex in a canoe?
Both is fucking close to water.
Today the jokes go like this:
Yet, even then you could find tasty beers in America. Avoiding the watery beverages pretending to be beer like Budwiser, Coors, Miller, etc., my favorites were Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Brooklyn Lager, Samuel Adams, and the imported Bass Ale. And in Europe you could find fine beers almost everywhere. Avoiding the TV beers like Carlsberg (Denmark), Heineken (The Netherlands), Kronenbourg (France), Warsteiner (Germany), there were hundreds if not thousands of great beers.
So in the late 90s people in significant numbers dropped those TV beers in favor of products from what was called micro breweries. And during the 2000s the trend went from micro breweries to craft beer. As a result you can now find thousands of beers. Many of those are really bad, a few are really excellent.
What people seem to have forgotten, many excellent beers have been around for centuries. Bass Ale, the oldest English trademark, is a prime example. There is no need to try all those craft beers, if you have proven beer champions.
And that brings me back to Fullers. On a recent trip I had the great pleasure of tasting their beers. The result: their London Pride is delicious. And their London Porter is brilliant.
Fullers has been around since 1845 and London Porter is the mother of all porters. And – to my surprise – it is the mother of all stouts, including world famous TV beer Guiness. If you like Guiness, I encourage you to try a London Porter. It is so much better.
London Porter is a very tasty beer, excellent in winter. And it goes extremely well with your steak, or game, or a any rich meal. Occasionally I now substitute red wine with a London Porter. It is that good.
Next time you want to try one of those fancy craft beers, why don’t you try one of those old, proven, classic, beers. Crafted since 1845. And many even longer.