Like a little drama in your afternoon? UK beer writer Melissa Cole has some not so nice things to say about the peeps over at Brewdog. Apparently she was reading Greg Koch & Matt Alyn’s book The Brewer’s Apprentice. A Brewdog quote about the UK brewing scene seemed to strike a nerve. James Watt is quoted in the book as being “closed off.”
What I will say is this though: this is utter, utter rubbish and I would implore you not to listen to it. The UK brewing industry is not only booming and forward-thinking, it is also fabulously friendly and I feel, quite strongly, that BrewDog owes the industry as a whole a bloody enormous apology.
UPDATE: James Watt (Brewdog) Responds on her blog:
So Melissa, my comments are borne from experience working within the industry, not writing about it. And they are based on things which have actually happened to us.
If the UK Brewing industry is so open and friendly, why did a bunch of SIBA (over 10 UK Brewers) members put together a dossier to a Scottish journalist outlining that we fabricate our sales figures and performance in 2010? (By the way we don’t. We are a fully audited plc.) Is this ‘fabulously friendly’? Full story here http://www.brewdog.com/blog-article/281
Why, when we started back in 2007 and I called the MD of Orkney Brewery (Norman Sinclair) did he refuse to tell me who he bought bottles from by firstly claiming he forgot and then secondly he could not check because he lost all the bottle invoices?
Why did Dougal Sharp (Innis & Gunn) say to the Scotsman “it is widely known their sales are not as they claim yet they have gone out of their way to falsify and mislead the press.” Open and friendly?
No doubt there are some great friendly open brewers in the UK, but overall (and I am speaking in terms of our own experience and not generalities here) they are much more closed than our US comrades. We get on really well with Kernel, Dark Star, Lovibonds, Williams Brothers, Thornbridge, Hardknott, Camden, Magic Rock and others. And we are really happy to be part of this hardcore group which is changing the UK beer scene. However, the old guard of the UK brewing scene have been incredibly closed and perhaps threatened by change. And I think it was fair to make this comment I did in print and stand by it.
Oh and Kirsty, you work for Molsen Coors. Why would Martin want to discuss craft beer with you? Everything Molsen Coors stands for, represents and perpetrates is what is bad about beer in the UK.