Are Beer People Good People?

There’s been a hashtag going round about #Beerpeoplearegoodpeople. But that seems to reflect a camaraderie within the craft beer world rather than a more general statement.

I’ve been involved in CAMRA and the general beer world for thirty-five years, and have to say I’ve met plenty of great people, some of whom I’m happy to count as friends. The vast majority of brewers and licensees I’ve come across have been very decent, genuine and committed.

But, on the other hand, the beer world has its fair share of the intolerance and antagonism that you find anywhere else.

Let me give a few examples:

  • The people who think that making a large section of the pubgoing population feel unwelcome will in some way benefit pubs

  • Those who imagine that making common cause with the anti-drink lobby may help the pub trade

  • Those who support minimum alcohol pricing, otherwise known as screwing the poor

  • Those who are happy to sneer at “boring brown bitter” and “old man pubs”

  • Those who think that cloudy beer (except in specific styles) is in any way desirable

  • Those who imagine that craft beer is immune from the opprobrium that attaches to all other lifestyle vices

  • The well-known beer writer who was happy to tell blatant lies about a political party he disagreed with, and then found it a subject of humour

  • The slightly less well-known beer writer who expressed the wish that I should suffer a heart attack

  • Those who think that attacking the organisations that own and run pubs is a good way of protecting pubs

  • Those who believe that business owners should be forced to keep unprofitable operations going

  • Those who are more outraged by seaside postcard humour than the mass rape of underage girls

  • Those who think that destructive vandalism of pubs will attract younger drinkers to cask beer

  • Those who think that rendering millions of pub visits illegal will be anything but disastrous for the pub trade
The conclusion must be that “beer people” are just like any other people, with a wide range of political views, dislikes and prejudices. It’s a myth that there is some kind of warm, cuddly beer community. And I’ve recently seen some astonishing bitching within the Manchester “craft” brotherhood.

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