Controversial Craft Beer – Or is that the point?

Stiletto, Levitating Turtle and Cookie Euphoria might not jump out as being typical names of a beer – indeed one might expect to find them in a menu of a dutch coffee house, however this is not the case. No. In fact these are but a few of the many craft beers that Edge Brewery in Barcelona is releasing on the unsuspecting Spanish market.

Two years ago Edge brewery opened in Bogadell, Barcelona, and ever since it has been going from strength to strength. Although Head Brewer, Sean Mclin, explained to me that breaking the Spanish market is easier said than done, given that they are fairly enamoured by their Estrellas, Edge has been giving it a good effort.

The forthcoming release of a sour beer named after certain very Spanish something that only the very bravest would consider tampering with – Sangria – will determine whether or not this culture can be cracked.

The Sangria Sour, as it will be called, uses the same ingredients that would go into making the wine, however the fermenting and brewing process leaves it with an undeniable ‘beer’ taste and indeed it is hard to argue it is anything but a beer. This might sound like turning a paella into a burger and although this would certainly turn a few heads and provoke an angry rant from some, why not experiment and tinker – especially having seen what Edge have already pulled off!

“Like anything else I think it is just the people, I just love being around all the people involved in craft beer, it’s just a vibrant group of people, happy, relaxed – you know… I’ve seen it from the late 80s all the way through to now and nothing has changed – the types of people who are attracted to this industry are all the same, they’re all cool people and that what makes it makes it so much fun.”                                                              Sean Mclin, Head Brewer Edge Brewery

This said not all the beer I tasted was to my liking indeed Sean conceded that of course you are never going to please everyone all of the time: “What we aim for is pleasing some people most of the time.”

By the end of the interview I was feeling a little wobbly despite the fact that I had only had about four bottles – and this is where my problem with craft beer comes in… They all tend to be bloody strong and largely without reason – this is coming from someone who knows nothing about the beer making process mind you, maybe there is a reason. Can you not make a 9% porter 4%?

Ever since alcohol was invented people have enjoyed getting drunk, whether it is for dancing reasons or a mere escapism – this is unlikely to change, especially in my case as it is an essential part of my ability to take a turn around the dance floor. However Craft Beer is designed for the connoisseurs or people who just want to have a tasty drink – not for someone who wants rocket boosters tied to their feet.

The rest of Europe is being soused in craft beer, indeed in London you now have to make the effort to find a pub that serves a good old London Pride which frankly sometimes is all I want. Micro breweries are great but so is familiarity sometimes! This said however it is essential that people in whatever business go out and push the boundaries for better or worse and in this case it has to be said that the former runs true.

If you have jumped the gun and already seen the interview then I apologise for the slight slurring of words towards the end. If you haven’t then have a look, and take into account the 11% saison that was starting to take effect towards the end!





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