A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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Pivní Filosof -

I think that by "demonstrable quality" they mean that the beer is fit for human consumption. Whether is "good" as we understand it or not, that's something else.

Anyway, I've read the original article somewhere in the digital worlds, and it's a non story. There are rules for everyone who wants to set up a brewery in the UK, everyone who wants to do that has to go through the same. Some of them might be hard to understand (checking of criminal record, place an ad in the local paper), but they are the same for everyone.

The bloke is an idiot. If he really wanted to sell his beer only to friends, he would do it for cash only without having to tell the authorities, and if those people are really his friends, they will keep it among themselves.

Barry M -

He was definitely an idiot. It's fine to make beer and give it away, in whatever quantity in the UK and Ireland, but once you sell it, then the tax people will want a cut. That's what it boils down to.

Here in Germany I'm supposed to register as a home brewer, which technically limits the amount I can produce (200 litres per year) and the gravity. My friends and neighbours have not ratted me out yet, presumably because they get free, quality beer :D

Alan -

Who knew beer people were such statists? We all know good homebrew is vital to the barter economy. What's the difference? Is the law correct just because it is the law? If I can sell you a 20 year old two stroke gas lawn mower, I should be able to sell a beer.

Pivní Filosof -

Well, if we are friends, I'll buy your beer, lawn mower or home made cheese because I know you and trust you, and I won't ask you for an invoice or any sort of document on the product, I know that if there's anything wrong with the lawnmower I can go back to you and you'll see that it gets fixed, and I know that your beer or cheese won't make me sick. I won't care if you have a permit to sell them or not, really.

Now, it's not that I'm against this bloke selling his beer, but he should have known what sort of paperwork he was going to need if he wanted to make his brewery official. The question here is, if he only wants to sell the beer to his friends, why bother to register it then? Is there something he is not telling us?

Bailey -

We get tons of these stories in the UK. They can be summarised as: "Bureaucrats ignore common sense and ruin fun of ordinary person." When you dig deeper, they're invariably more like "Ordinary person blatantly ignores clear rules and is annoyed to be told off."

I agree with PF: if they're his mates, he shouldn't be *selling* them beer. If he wants to sell beer, he has to pay duty and comply with the law.

Now, whether those laws need changing to make it easier to start a small brewery is a different question!