If there is one thing I hope to hear less of in 2017 it would be this phrase… “The London Beer Bubble”.
I’m not having a go at the people who refer to these words, it is just for me I don’t agree there is such a thing. London is a huge place with a lot of beer on offer, people of all ages and backgrounds enjoy good beer on completely different levels. Ok, so attending beer events and hanging out in London a lot does mean I bump into the same like-minded people, this is a great thing and they have become friends. But there are huge groups of people there I don’t know who are all there to enjoy the beer. I pour pints for hundreds of people on a Saturday afternoon at Leyton Orient, all enjoying the different real ales and bottled beers, some don’t think about what they are drinking they just know they like it, others want to know everything about it and might even make notes. Are these people not part of “The London Beer Bubble”? Are the many London CAMRA members not part of the bubble either? City workers on a Friday night after work drinking pints of Kernel or Fourpure, who probably don’t care for anything but the taste and social aspect not part of the bubble? They most likely wouldn’t consider themselves in the London Beer Bubble, yet they are doing what all us beer geeks want, drinking good beer in London.
We all want to see the breweries we like and have close relationships with do well, we want to see their beers in the pubs of London and the hands of the drinkers. People outside the “bubble” drinking these beers is surely what us as beer geeks want to see?
Maybe I don’t truly understand what people mean by “The London Beer Bubble”. If it was to mean that those drinking in London in a close community are sticking to just London and not looking outside the bubble then I think there is even more reason to pop it. London may be the cauldron pot for British Craft Beer but there are places I have visited which have it locked down better. Places like York and Norwich, where keg and cask sit hand in hand in most the pubs I visited, being enjoyed by all walks of life with no one trying to put a label on it. There is so much more to be seen on this small island.
Really all I think “The London Beer Bubble” means is our group of friends and brewers that we see on a regular basis around the many great beer spots of London. People are drinking good beer outside these circles, like it or not supermarkets stocking better beer means that people outside the “bubble” are enjoying good beer and starting their own beer journeys.
London’s beer scene is growing, more and more people from different backgrounds are starting to express interest in good beer around London. Let’s embrace that and pop “The London Beer Bubble”.