Some recent beer experiences.
PLIP! Sainsbury's at Nine Elms. At the checkout. I'm wearing a Moonlight Brewing 'Death & Taxes' tee shirt. The old(ish) dear on the checkout notices the shirt and asks what it means. It's an American brewery, I inform her. "American? Have you had that Goose Green beer?" Would that be Goose Island, I venture. Her face lights up. "That's it! I don't usually like beer, but I like the flavour of that one!"
See? Craft beer isn't just for da kidz. And I bet my checkout operator didn't have to spend £13 for it. I don't know where the lady got hers - I haven't seen it in Sainsbury's, though Tesco's lists it, along with the other 2 members of the US Craft Trinity of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Brooklyn Lager (I'm overlooking Blue Moon on purpose, before you comment). I wonder how long it will be before interesting UK beers in bottles start showing up in supermarkets, and yes, I'm also overlooking BrewDog. But they have the right idea, seems to me.
PLOP! Smart Phones. A lot of people have 'em. Not me - I'm habitually 3 or 4 generations behind the current technology. I'm That Bloke who bought a netbook. Anyway, Smart Phones are the thing. And the 'apps' that stamp your personality on them.
At The Harp at the weekend, somebody shows me a beer app. It's called YourRound, and it's a database that allows the drinker to search beers, pubs and even festivals. Say your favourite beer is Dark Star APA. You can search your locale to see who is selling it. Or you can check in at your local to see what they have. The app relies on brewers and pubs to sign up and keep the database current, but Binnie's son Alan was enthusiastic about it being quick and simple for staff to change the listing at the pub when they change a barrel, and if a fast-turnover pub like The Harp can do it...
You also get tasting notes and info on the brewery. I believe other apps are available that do similar things, and it seemed a clever way to simplify finding the beer you want. And it would save the pub or bar having to take to social media every time they change their beers. I think the YourRound app is free to download at the moment.
PLAP! I'm not sure if anybody else picked up on this in the Independent in mid-June. Beer is on the verge of a breakthrough in India, with a tiny but fast-growing brewpub niche. Another sign of the global reach of craft beer? How long before they have tickers and spoogebeerians? Hopefully they're a long way from that.
PLOOP! The Mansion House licence application is up before the Lambeth Licensing Sub-Committee on 17th July. The application doesn't appear to have been modified, so they still seem to be asking for that 24/7 4am closing.