We can do without “craft” elitism…

Dabbled in Facebook briefly. I use it as a “business tool” mainly (and it is a useful one), but if you’re there you get dragged into being “friends” and into “groups”. There’s a “Craft Beer” group where you’re only allowed to talk about “craft beer”. Some poor chap got told off for mentioning Robinsons beer…


I’m not a big fan of Robbies. Old Tom on cask can be a delight mind you. Like most trad brewers their sterile shelflife-first flavour-second bottled stuff is mostly not great compared to their cask, and their cask is mostly a bit unexciting. But entirely pleasant when found in good condition.

But just because they’re a bit trad, presumably pay full duty rate, are more than 10 years old as a brewery, and that you find their beers in Tesco… seems little reason to blithely dismiss them as “not craft” in my mind. Let alone get on a high horse about it.

They’re independent and family run… do not represent a huge chunk of the UK beer market… well below the 3% that makes up the US definition for craft brewers, let alone the overall volume of beer produced under the US market definition. I’d be curious to know if they brew less or more than BrewDog at the moment. BrewDog… that common, or garden variety, Tesco brewer who most certainly are on the full duty rate.

Craft defined by style? Maybe craft defined by hops?

The mindless faddishness of it gets my goat and I want no part in it. It reflects badly on the industry as a whole, and it makes folk who claim that they like beer look like a bag of fashion-victim style tossers.

Objective Definition of Craft Beer

Don’t try to define craft beer, that way madness lies… [Added 3/8/15 21:41: Please don’t read this as me insisting there ought to be some sort of an enforced definition… nor that I think I am laying down a One True Definition of Craft… it’s just a thought exercise. I do still think the concept is worth pondering.]

But hey, everyone seems to be defining craft beer again. I decided to give it a ponder, to flog the dead horse per se. Nowt better than a well flogged equine corpse. (I clearly don’t have enough to do… like accounting, inventory, and sales for example.)

The problem is nearly every definition goes into some wishy washy non-measurable territory about “quality” and ethos. This isn’t going to work… after significant thought (5 minutes, but on the back of several-years worth of feedback loop), here’s what I boil it down to from my own personal perspective. This is _my_ best attempt at a definition of “craft beer”, it gels with a lot of others, even BrewDog’s, but brings in stricter ownership rules and discards what I see as unnecessary minutiae & subjectivity.

  1. Brewery is “privately” owned and controlled.
    This is about being in control of creative direction, not being answerable to shareholders and investors. Freedom. Being an exchange listed company _definitely_ rules you out of the “craft beer club” (which, to my pleasure, takes Greene King out of the definition, huzzah!). Collective employee ownership is OK however – that’s about as craft as you can get I reckon. You can buy a brewery and have it still be craft too, so I’m not tying this down to founder-owned. Look at breweries like Moor, for example. [Disclosure: I sell Moor beer. It is awesome.] I’ll allow breweries owned by rich benefactors as well, so long as they have entire ownership of the brewery, so I’m not tying it down to brewer-owned either. If the owner(s) build it up, and sell it to Molson Coors… craft status stripped. Harsh perhaps, the beer probably won’t change in the short run (it will almost certainly change in the long run). But I believe craft is about more than the liquid in the glass.
  2. Investment companies / investors own, collectively, no more than 10%
    I think equity-investment in brewing is fine, see “rich benefactor” above, but a large corporate or institutional investor pretty much says one thing to me: where’s the exit strategy? It isn’t quite universal, perhaps, but it is nearly always the case that investment means travelling a path towards a destination of either sell-out-high or get-listed. Cash-in, cha-ching… that’s not craft. On the other hand, making lots of money by building a mega-successful brewery is perfectly OK. It’s “selling out” that I don’t believe is craft, unless the “sell out” is privately to a private owner in which case there’s room for the operation to remain “craft”.
  3. IMG_20150802_163304Beer clearly states origin and name of origin brewery.
    Origin fudging is not craft. I won’t budge on this one. Being shy about your production is not craft. If you’re embarrassed about how & where your beer is produced: it is not craft. I’ve no problems with cuckoo or contract brewing so long as it is done honestly – Yeastie Boys are an example of honest (and worthwhile) contract brewing. [Disclosure: Yes, I sell their beer. Because I love the beers.]
  4. Beer lists all ingredients.
    At a minimum top level ingredients, including brewing essentials such as yeast – so a list such as: Barley Malt, Flaked Wheat, Hops, Yeast, Blood Oranges, Otters’ Tears. I don’t really understand why this isn’t more normal, in my opinion it ought to be a legal requirement. But failing that – brewers should just naturally choose to do this! If you’re not proud of your ingredients, not ashamed to admit what goes into the beer, than you’re not craft as far as I’m concerned. I’m not saying brewers should give out the recipes to their beers – I am saying every beer should say what is in the bottle. And I want more than most here, as much as is practical. Malt types, hop varieties, yeast strain (and “our house yeast” is fine here). Whether isinglass is used at any stage too. Ideally this should be on the bottle, it can’t practically be presented for keg/cask – and sometimes hops have to change, often recipes evolve, but that’s what websites are for: 8 Wired, Hopwired [Disclosure: Hey, I happen to sell this stuff too.]
  5. Brewery meets a (to be determined) set of basic standards.
    This one needs some work. But, basically, I would lay down a set of minimum standards in addition to the core points above… I don’t think it is good to be too specific, like ruling out use of certain adjuncts, or brewing processes, etc. But there are some basics that are simple to audit. Some rough initial ideas: pays at least living wage (quality of people, I don’t think living wage is perfect but it is a start), invests in cold-storage (quality of beer), deals with wholesalers who invest in cold-storage (self-interest afoot here! But I believe *strongly* in improving supply chain in this direction – and the same applies for exporters and foreign distributors), educates employed brewing staff (owner-brewers excepted perhaps?), does not package beer in clear glass (personal enraged bugbear!) … what else? (All subject to debate…) [I’m, astonishingly, changing my mind on pasteurisation just a little, there are circumstances where I can accept it is not a compromise. Late additions of maple syrup, for example… how’s that for a subject for a “craft debate”?]

What, nothing about about size? Production volume? Etc… I think the US has shown that measuring craft by brewery size doesn’t work very well.

It may not quite be perfect… but it is “craft” as I see it, as much as I can pin it down within my own mind. Plenty of breweries I think are a bit crap fit within the definition, but defining craft beer can’t be about what I do and don’t like and it needs to be objective if it is to work at all. I use the word and if I’m to continue to use the word I ought to be able to outline what I mean when I use it… that’s one of the points of this post.

I’ve an ulterior motive in all this of course. Because I think, if done right, this can be used as a mechanism to drive change and improve quality in the UK beer industry. A proper craft beer representative body can pick up where SIBA fails to deliver, and bridge the gap to where the Beer Academy doesn’t quite seem to have the grunt to execute.

If there is to be a wider crystallisation of a concept of craft then mere definition is not enough… it needs an organisation behind it to work. Sometimes there are grey areas and a committee, perhaps, needs to make a ruling. For a definition to work lines do need to be drawn. And the organisation doing this needs to really stand up for the ethos behind craft beer… creativity and independence, and striving for quality. (We can’t make quality part of the definition, but an organisation can support and encourage it.)

This should be a membership based organisation like SIBA, where all breweries that meet the definition can join for a fairly low fee. (£250?) [But you don’t have to be a member to _be_ a craft brewer!] Major decisions are made on an open democratic basis – we have the technology to achieve this quite simply. The purpose of the organisation is to manage the membership, manage the definition, promote the concept of craft beer, and – importantly – make an attempt at defining best practice. Work to improve and modernise the world of great beer in the UK, which will be of benefit to everyone in the chain from farmer to drinker.

In the UK we’ve a lot to do to improve the pint of beer that ends up in the glass. SIBA isn’t doing it (but it does help), the Beer Academy isn’t doing it (but it does help), CAMRA isn’t doing it (and may actually have become a barrier to good quality).

Finally – “craft beer” should try hard not to look down on “not craft beer”. We’ll all have our own personal prejudices which we won’t give up (*cough*GreenKing*cough*). But we have to accept that some multinationals do make a high quality product, and sometimes it even happens to be rather tasty.

This has been a craft community broadcast brought to you by the vested-interest department… and I may very well change my mind tomorrow. Or after I’ve had a beer.

P.S. In all of this I think it is well worth being aware that craft is not necessarily equal to “good”, and non-craft is definitely not equal to “bad”. Good and bad are subjective and undefinable, there is debate even around identifiable brewing/beer flaws. Craft is not equal to “better” – but it will _usually_ be more interesting than the alternative thanks to the creativity and flexibility of the style of operation I think my above points encompass. Cases in point are to look at Greene King’s efforts at “craft”, and Marston’s “Revisionist” beers… which for the most part I don’t think are _bad_ beers, but they’re clearly contained and restrained beers… yet are the most “adventurous” beers breweries of this scale and shareholder-value maximising sensibilities will produce. (You can still brew really dull beer within the points of my attempt at a definition above, of course.)

To fine the unfined?

This is a sort of a “repost” of a BollocksBook post by a friend of mine.

He’s a very experienced cellarman, running a very good pub, serving good beer in typically very good condition. He really knows his stuff.

He likes the sound of some beers but they happen to only come in unfined form. The question is:

Is it OK to buy a deliberately unfined beer and then fine it so you can serve it clearer?

My own view on this is: NO – unless you have agreed this with the brewer of the beer. At least that’s the only case in which I’d do it myself. But I’d also probably not buy an unfined beer if I didn’t want an unfined beer.

Now I am pro-unfined and regularly sell products from three breweries that are 100% unfined (Moncada, Moor, and Weird Beard). I certainly don’t pressure folk into thinking they ought to be buying unfined beers though. But I’ll explain fairly passionately why some of the beers I sell are unfined if I am asked. Ultimately I sell these beers because there is a demand for the products in question of course – this doesn’t mean you have to buy or drink them though.

On the other hand I’m not anti-finings. I’m not a vegetarian and I don’t mind fish parts being used to clarify beer. I don’t think it is entirely necessary for the goodness of the beer, but it is necessary for selling beer to most of the beer-drinking market. And there is something beautiful about a crystal-clear pint. Yeast also doesn’t necessarily taste good… but a good unfined beer ought not be “yeasty”, nor even “cloudy”, with a few days on stillage it should be hazy at worst.

Anyway… my friend’s post is inside the walled garden of unofficial-CAMRA Facebook so I reproduce it in entirety here:

I have some cask real ales coming in that are unfined and will therefore have a haze to a greater or lesser degree. I am considering adding finings in the cellar before I condition the beer – I have done this many times before in my 30 years of cellarmanship, but only when the beer has been hazy due to a problem of some sort.

The reason for this is that the vast majority of my customers will not drink cloudy ale, and at the end of the day they pay the bills! Finings (made from the swim bladder of the Sturgeon) have been used for centuries to clear beer by taking out the unwanted stuff that sits in suspension in the beer. Finings cause these particles to congeal and sink to the bottom of the cask, hence making the beer clear. There is many an argument as to whether the floaty bits are good or bad for you, but that is not for here.

I appreciate that this means the beer will not be as the brewer intended it. Some of there brews are purposefully unfined to make them suitable for vegetarians or vegans, or because a brewer might wish their beers to be as pure as possible. I have the greatest respect for these folk and again this is not about whether a beer should be fined or not.

I am passionate about real ale, and want to be able to offer as many unusual, experimental and rare brews from small, independent brewers. But we are not in a trendy city – not even a busy town centre! I have a traditional local on the edge of a small town and therefore need to balance what we offer carefully. We generally struggle to sell cloudy beer and as small brewers ales are usually much more expensive than mainstream ones, we can’t afford to risk having to chuck it away!

So it’s a simple yes or no question – should I add finings to the beer.

Yes – It’s crystal clearly the right thing to do. Cut Diamonds are always better than Rough. Its fine with me!
No – How dare you? Leave the mist in the mystery, the amazing haze, the fuggled fog! Let the clouds reign!

And I’ve created my own everybody’s-welcome Survey Monkey poll for this too. Remember this is not a debate about whether finings are good/bad or clear beer is good/bad or haze is good/bad… just about whether it is “OK” for a publican to fine a beer that a brewer deliberately sells as an unfined product.

If you do the ArseBook you can go over there and join/read the existing discussion. (And please continue the discussion there if you do do the arsebook, but if you don’t there’s comments below and Twitter…) There’s supposed to be a poll there too, but it doesn’t work for me. Thus I have this:

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

What is this “natural” you speak of?

I’ve long been meaning to do a detailed write-up about beer packaging, so I have one place to point people to who’re somehow confused and have odd ideas about about “keg”. A poor and quite misunderstood three-letter-word is “keg”, and to be honest “cask” is pretty misunderstood too. I don’t have time to write that post… but I can address one aspect of the the pro-cask FUD that comes up frequently. The use of the word “natural” with respect to beer. To cut a long story short: it is pure propaganda.

What is “natural beer”? I think I can pick off a few obvious items that may make some people think beer has lost its “naturalness”:

  • Pasteurised – a process of heating the beer to ensure it is sterile – i.e. the yeast, and any other organisms that may change the beer are killed. Heating will of course change the beer in other ways as well, some volatiles (hop flavours for example) will break down. Pasteurisation is great for stability but perhaps less great for flavour. Stability? Well, perhaps not… live yeast has a known protective quality. It will sit in your beer and “mop up” some excess O2 thus reducing oxidation. (And no seal is perfect, so as well as helping with any O2 left in the beer after filling this helps with the small O2 leakage through capped bottles and probably even cans.)
  • Sterile Filtered – a different approach to achieve the same end. Rather than killing yeasts/etc it filters them out of the solution. But such a fine filter will also remove some large molecules that contribute to flavour. As for the beer now being “dead” – this has the same impact as described above. (If one of these two have to be used then I’ll prefer filtration… there is another approach: centrifuge. Thornbridge and BrewDog use this… and their bottled products are pretty fantastic.)
  • Contains “chemicals” – contentious. The obvious truth is that all beer is made from chemicals! What I guess we have to read into this in context is the addition of extra substances not normally used for brewing. What are these though? Near all breweries add chemicals to treat their water, malts come with the required enzymes for starch conversion, adjuncts like sugars/wheat/etc are perfectly acceptable for certain styles. So “chemicals” is really a pretty confused area and probably best considered bunkum. Some breweries may use added enzymes to speed up mash/fermentation processes I believe. I know a couple of good breweries adding an extra enzyme to de-glutenise beers without altering their flavour (a great thing for coeliacs!) I think that, like the word “natural”, the word “chemicals” is an all-too-easy-to-reach-for emotive word thrown around blindly in the whole cask/keg debate. (Were sulphites perhaps once used to stabilise beer?) (Where do finings in cask ale fit in here – isinglass and the various adjuncts used alongside it?)
  • “Extraneous CO2″ – what’s this then? In CAMRA terms it is use, in any way, of CO2 not created by the action of yeast in the beer. This is also a contentious issue. As there is argument even within CAMRA about the appropriateness of CO2 in the cellar. The big question is around aspirators (aka “cask breathers”) which let just enough CO2 into cask to protect the beer from air contact. And air, really, is the worst thing for beer. No good brewer wants you to be drinking oxidised, stale, beer. I go further and wonder what is so bad about CO2 full-stop. But I guess we hit a personal preference issue regarding fizziness here and I’ll leave it at that.

I think those four items are key to what is behind ideas about “unnatural” beer. The first two are ones I personally think are not really in the interests of good beer… and in fact in my book use of either of them is a line crossed. From what I’d consider a “craft” product to one that quite simply isn’t. Does it make beer “unnatural” … sure, I’ll buy into that a bit. It certainly makes it less than it was and, sure, one could say it makes the beer “dead”.

The whole chemicals thing is just puzzling to me. I’d like to know what these evil chemicals are… but I’ve yet to come across them in the brewing world. And as I said – without chemicals you cannot have beer. (Nor life, nor anything really…)

Now, CO2… the point of this post is to show that your ideas of “natural beer” wade into a big grey area in the world of modern brewing. We do have another point often brought up about what makes “cask ale” natural… that is cask conditioning. “Naturally conditioned beer”… i.e. carbonated by the action of yeast in the beer, not force-carbonated by addition of external CO2. So a natural beer is one that is conditioned in the container it is served from and that involves none of the items in the above list (assuming by “chemicals” we’re talking some odd crazy substances used to somehow adulterate the brewing process).

I bring to your attention the humble KeyKeg. An interesting little keg-type device in which beer is contained within a bladder from which it is extracted using pressure (air will do, but often CO2 is used). The important thing to know about KeyKegs is that many breweries who use them put exactly the same beer into them as they put into casks. Live, good, natural, beer. It conditions in the container it is served from. It does not come into contact with extraneous CO2. The only difference between this beer from keg versus cask is that the keg version will probably be served at a cooler temperature and with more (natural) CO2 remaining in solution.

This beer, from KeyKeg, is a fully “natural” product by any wild definition I can think of.

Moving on from KeyKegs… breweries filling conventional kegs usually do so from a conditioning tank where the beer has been “naturally” carbonated. Again. Live, good, natural, beer. Some even let the beer condition in these kegs (Moor, for example). The only point where the “naturalness” may come into question is when CO2 top-pressure is used to expel beer from keg. And frankly… that’s just a bit of an odd viewpoint to have, in my purely personal opinion. CO2 is CO2. The “extraneous CO2″ does not necessarily add “fizz” to the beer – if used appropriately it just maintains the CO2 level the beer is designed to have. That carbonation level has been chosen by by the brewer – it is as the brewer intends it to be. They’ve, naturally, brewed a beer to be served fizzier. You may not like that… but it is still live, natural, beer.

Next step is to swing across to the grey area of “cask conditioning”. Those “conditioning tanks” I mentioned before are used by many breweries to pre-condition beer prior to filling both cask and keg. So again – in all of the above keg scenarios identical beer is being put into cask. The difference is that the keg version has its natural CO2 level preserved by using CO2 top-pressure, and the cask has its CO2 level reduced via venting.

So sure – there are differences… but unless letting “naturally” created CO2 escape from beer to make it flatter is an essential part of being “natural” (really? really!?) then I think you can drop the silly cask-is-natural keg-is-unnatural approach.

(And I’m really really not saying you have to like cooler fizzier beer… I’m just staying stop claiming it isn’t “natural”. This is needlessly emotive FUD that does nothing for good beer except add confusion. If you want to play at politics (aka lying) then go join a political party… what the beer world needs is facts, not bullshit.)

Chemicals, sub-note: is there a finings Elephant in the room anyone? There’s the (emotive) “fish guts” isinglass finings, and alongside these many breweries use various finings adjuncts like silica-gel. There is an argument that these “drop out” of the beer and you don’t drink them. But there’s always going to be some trace of these “chemicals” left in suspension. Justin of Moor Beer also likes to use the word “natural” – in his case to refer to beer that has not been mucked with by adding finings (regardless of what container type the beer happens to be in). I have somewhat more respect for this usage of “natural”, but do prefer simply “unfined”… isinglass is, after-all, simply made from fish and fish are pretty natural.

[I’ve put up an additional post regarding some other iffy statements in the CAMRA article.]

Hellish data

I don’t have a strong side on this whole Camden-versus-Redwell Hells thing really. Trademarks piss me off – I’m basically a communist at heart and ownership of words/”brands” irritates me. Also, Camden “has form” for being a bully about them. But brands and brand-defence are an unavoidable part of the business world, like it or not it is the commercial reality. Camden’s actions are “understandable” – if not always in-line with craft beer chumminess. The Camden BearD incident is being remembered in the current context and is counting strongly against Camden in the court of public opinion. I’d try to put this aside and look at the current situation in isolation.

Anyway… I thought I’d assemble in one place my thoughts and observations from the day. Here it is. I tried to be neutral but have failed… both sides have displayed an element of childishness & general arseholery… or perhaps just hasty emotive decision making. (I advised myself against writing this post… but I never listen to anyone.)

Trademark filings & timelines…

I don’t know what Camden’s full history for trying to trademark ‘Hells’ is but in this specific instance and time the trademark seems to have been filed defensively. It was filed as part of the process of realising the brand was “in danger”. Would they have done it without the motivation of a Redwell-copycat? Possibly… will they actually be granted the trademark? Who knows. Gut feeling is that it seems pretty tenuous given it is so very similar to the name of the style ‘helles’ – then again there are far far sillier trademarks in force out there. Trademarks do not adhere to such logic.

I fact they filed not one but two similar claims – covering minor variations in text & graphics. In a similar vein to the Camden filing I’d guess Redwell’s trademark filing was a defensive legal move. They’ve probably spent some money on product development & branding so they’d be keen to be able to continue to use it. A problem I have is that Camden’s post implies that Redwell tried to trademark ‘Hells’ – my search of the UK trademarks site does not show this as being quite accurate:

“This week we found out that this other brewery filed two applications to trademark the name Hells on 27th August”

It looks like Redwell have filed to trademark their branding… which happens to include the word Hells. This is a bit different and blunts the impact of Camden’s argument slightly. That said… there is a certain similarity to the name of the beer, if not the presentation:

Camden Hells RedWellHells

Redwell has previously filed a trade mark for their brewery name/logo ‘REDWELL‘ and has very recently filed two more claims for ‘REDWELL IPL‘ and ‘REDWELL IPL INDIA PALE LAGER‘. They seem to have gone a bit trademark-happy. A bit odd coming from folk who published this in their defence:

“If we don’t stop the creeping rot of one trademark and copyright after the other then it never ends and just keeps creeping ever further into our lives..”

Camden on the other hand has no other trademark filings I can find – only that for ‘Hells’.

Is “Hells” a common spelling of “Helles”?

The data on the web, through the lens of Google is very much on Camden’s side in the argument over whether or not ‘Hells’ in the world of beer is a Camden brand or a synonym for ‘hells’ the style of beer. Check these Google searches:

(To try and keep my results “clean” I did these searches using Chrome’s “Incognito” mode.)

OK – but perhaps Camden just have crack-hot SEO experts. What comes up if we remove Camden?

  • “hells” “lager” -“Camden” – results are a bit junky, still some stuff about Camden, a few things that are clearly typos or spellos, a few actual beers though. US or Antipodean brews or homebrew. I’ve not closely examined all these results – but an eye-balling of the first 5 pages gives a strong impression that ‘hells’ is not common.

But hey, we’re being told that in Germany “dropping the ‘e'” isn’t uncommon. Two Germanophiles say this isn’t so.

A couple of blokes on Twitter are hardly definitive of course, however Google searches locked to ‘.de’ similarly don’t agree…

The spelling for the style of beer is very clearly either ‘hell’ or ‘helles’ and only ‘hells’ due to misunderstanding, misspelling, or jokey beer names usually not from Germany. There’s a UK one from Abbeydale in fact. The funny thing is that Germans do know how to spell German words oddly enough, it also helps that the German pronunciation for “helles” would not map onto the spelling “hells” (as far as I am aware). It’d be like saying “larger” is a common synonum for “lager”. The whole ‘hells’ != ‘helles’ thing is backed up by many beer references…

It is also worth browsing RateBeer and Untapped to get a feel for the reality that ‘hells’ as a beer name is pretty rare, rarer still as a name for a helles or lager.

This ‘hells’ is a not-uncommon synonym for ‘helles’ argument is bunk and should be dropped by Redwell, it won’t do them any favours.

The meat of the issue: Is Redwell’s ‘Hells’ a copy of Camden’s ‘Hells’?

I find it hard to believe there is no relationship between these two beer names. Redwell is based in Norwich – in East Anglia. They firmly place themselves in the ‘craft’ sector – so much so the they put ‘craft’ in their beer name (shudder). Camden beers, especially the Hells and Pale Ale are widely distributed throughout East Anglia. (I’ve often grumbled about this in fact… bars put on an unchanging line-up of Camden Helles & Meantime Lager and think they’ve “gone craft”.) The name ‘Hells’ in a beery context is very much associated with Camden in this region – amongst anyone who’s interested in good beer at any rate. On top of that the styles of these two beers are the same, even the ABV is the same… at this point it starts to look like a BrewDogesque publicity fishing expedition hinging on the idea that nobody likes a bully.

From the start I’d just hoped that somebody basically just couldn’t spell ‘helles’, knew shit all about beer, and had made a daft marketing decision. Currently leaning to thinking ‘not so sure’.

To me it is boiling down to:

Is it “right” to release a beer called “Hells” in the belief that “Hells” is a word that ought not _belong_ to a single company given its generic-seeming nature. Fighting your own “good fight” against “the man”…. or is it just pedantry, headline-whoring, and an act of everyday arseholery?

I kind of want to pick both sides here as I have sympathies either way… but dunno, it will be interesting to see where this goes. Gauntlets have been thrown and it is going to be lawyers at dawn.

Secondary to this: what is wrong with just spelling bloody ‘helles’ correctly people? Or ‘hell’ even? Pint of “Hell Craft Lager Beer” anyone? Personally I don’t give a toss about the ‘hells’, ‘helles’, ‘hell’ part of the name… but it could do without the “craft lager beer” bollocks. If you put “craft” in the actual name of a beer you’re doing it wrong. Leave that sort of idiocy to the marketing monkeys at Marstons and Greene King.

[Update 2014-09-14: SEE ALSO: The Brewery That Cried Hells – personally I find my own bias is swinging towards Camden in this matter. As a drinker I’m not a particularly keen fan of Camden or their beers, nor their past trademark actions, nor their origin fudging (are they still guilty of this?)… but Redwell just need to grow up a bit.]