It’s that time of the month again, when beer bloggers around the world unite to blog about one topic. This month it’s hosted by Brew Beer and Drink It, and the question is this – what would you change to take us closer to the Perfect Beer World?
Well, I think I have to start by saying that the beer world is pretty damn good already. In the UK new breweries are constantly opening, leading to a huge range of different beers to enjoy – and the range of craft beer imported from all over the world just seems to grow and grow.
Of course, it’s not all a bed of roses. So in the best tradition, I have three wishes for a Perfect Beer World.
In a rather timely fashion, yesterday saw a debate in the House of Commons on what is called the “beer duty escalator”. Basically a mechanism to constantly increase the tax on beer, it’s resulted in a huge increase in the tax burden on – and therefore the price of – beer since it was put in place.
Now I understand the need for taxation at some level, but it’s now so high that further increases are revenue neutral – all it does is reduce the amount of beer that’s bought, and cripple the industry.
So, wish number one is to kill the escalator and reduce beer duty to more sensible and sustainable levels.
2. Brewing Freedom
Although we’re seeing a constant stream of new breweries opening up, becoming a commercial brewer is still a pretty huge step. Home brewers are allowed to give their beer away, but unlike home bakers or home jam makers, we’re not allowed to take a stall in the local farmers market or church fair.
So, wish number two is to allow home brewers to sell a small quantity of beer without having to go through all the complexity of full brewery licensing. Not enough to make a living necessarily, but maybe enough to buy me some shiny new kit!
3. Cybernetic Livers
Things have changed since I was a student. These days, I don’t drink to to get drunk – I drink because I love the tastes and complexities of beer. But there’s a limit to how much beer I can enjoy in one day, because after a while inebriation sets in.
So, I really need to replace my liver with one that’s 100% efficient at scrubbing alcohol out of my system. It doesn’t need to be instant, but even if it takes an hour to process the alcohol from a beer, there’s only so drunk I can get in those sixty minutes.
Suddenly, I could spend the whole weekend at a beer festival and try everything instead of having to take it easy and stick to half (or even third) pint tastings of a select few dozen.
So, wish number three is to have the alcohol tolerance of a thousand students.
If any genies are reading this, feel free to grant the above wishes in any order!