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The Rise of the Microbrewery

Last week I asked my wife to to name a hop. She sighed, glared at me, paused The Archers podcast and took a sip of her G&T. 

            "Is there a Fuggles?" She ventured. 

If anyone was in any doubt that the beer revolution had reached the parts that other revolutions cannot reach then here was the evidence.  She went back to Helen and nasty Rob, but it left me thinking. Five years ago I could not have named a hop. Me. A serial imbiber of beer for nearly twenty years and yet for most of those years I could not have told you the most base of its ingredients. Is it wheat? Hops? Malt? Barley? Are they the same thing? And now I could probably walk into my local, head held high and ask if they have anything with Citra in it, not only knowing what I was talking about but doing so in the hope that I might not sound like a prententious git.

This is a testament to how far the beer revolution has come. Into our homes, pubs and bars and this miracle would not have happened without the microbrewery and more specifically the microbrewers. People of commitment, skill and a certain amount of madness that have revolutionised what was the most stagnant of industries. Beer has come so far so quickly that now even some of the original craft beers have become the norm.

Within the interests of this piece I cracked open a bottle of Punk IPA from the trailblazing Brewdog and it almost tastes a little bland. A beer that opened so many door and minds. A hoptastic revelation, terrifyingly fragrant, a zesty beast with more IBUs than I had ever previously  consumed within all those years of beer slurping. Yet now 'Punk' bobs limply up and down upon a sea of Triple Espresso IPA's, Champagne Barrel Belgians aged on aubergine stalks and Badger whisker infused Porters. I may have made one of those beers up but the rise of the microbrewery has seen the beer world go delightfully mad and like all revolutions it has been fueled by some rather unhinged, super-charged and super-committed folk. But unlike most revolutions these nutters have the interests of the people's delight at heart.

Whether you like your beer infused with Badger whisker or not, this revolution is here to stay so you might as well wrap your loving arms around it. Try Magic Rock's High Wire Grapefruit Pale Ale for a ferociously zesty smack about the chops of what new-wave brewing is all about. 

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