It’s a book about revolution in which the old is overthrown, the new is brought in, amid the noise and chaos of the mob, the execution of the ruling classes, the constant rumble of the wheel of revolution as new victims are sought, the dissolution of the dissonant, the death of the dead. Well sort of.
Our revolution: a greater demographic of people drinking beer, drinking all kinds, unaware and unabashed whether it be keg, cask or drawn straight from a pumpkin; the Sven the Unready beard, the radioactive winkle-picker, the psychedelic short back and sides, the Dresden shepherdess drainpipe, who cares, I certainly don’t, the stuff I’ve worn in order to belong (jeans ribbed and unwashed for a year, for instance); the Sensurround of flavour, the taking apart of tradition and the snap crackle and pop of aroma; and then the digs at the old, the daubs of the walls of the old, the hauling in of the tribes, beer revolution.
It’s also about evolution: gradually, unperceptive, glacier smooth in its passage, the new beers and brewers emerge, the big parade passed by, an easy going emergence, here we are, saison, stoutly done, no fuss, no furore, here we are, new beers for old.
It’s also about devolution: we want to do a Belgian Quad so we’ll do it our way if you don’t mind, if it’s all the same to you, thank you very much; a Victorian mild, an oatmeal wild, a sour-smiled gyle, we did it our way. Devolution max.
Elocution: here’s a Pilsner, a Spezial, a Kellerbier, a Rauch, a Bock, a Dunkel, a beer that has nowhere to hide, the received pronunciation of brewing and beer, the hardest challenge a brewer can surmount, lager.
Britain’s beer revolution has many faces, and no doubt some of its children will be devoured, but there’s no going back now.