The news that the government are going to increase tax on strong beers really got on my tits. Unsurprisingly Brewdog, who brew a lot of strong beers, are more than a little miffed as well. More surprisingly they seem to blame CAMRA:
In our opinion, CAMRAs support for the proposed legislative changes reflect their own agenda. Not a concern about drinking issues in the UK but a preoccupation with pushing the same bland cask ales that never vary greatly in ABV, flavour or imagination. It's as unimaginative of them to come out in support of this legislation as it is unsurprising. As long as their boring beers, defined on a flavour spectrum of bland 3.5% mild to boring 4.2% bitter are unaffected they remain obliviously content and are callously indifferent to the greater development of the craft beer in the UK. It's a real shame these people are seen to represent the craft ale industry in the UK. They don't represent contemporary thinking about beer and they certainly don't represent BrewDog.
Now I know they were writing on their blog, and as my good friend Rob says beers bloggers like nothing better than slagging off CAMRA, but really isn't this getting a bit silly?
The actual position of CAMRA about the forthcoming change to beer tax is that they're disappointed about the increase in tax for strong beers but welcome the reduction in tax for very weak beers.
I would like to have seen CAMRA put the boot into the tax increase a bit more. And it would be nice if CAMRA took up The Pub Curmudgeon's suggestion and campaigned for real ales to be exempt from the tax rise, as the tax rise is supposedly to discourage people from drinking tramp juice lagers, not rare expensive beers.
I can't help but think though that the antics of Brewdog in baiting the Portman group would weaken the case for the products of 'craft' brewers being exempt from this tax rise.