The storm is brewing
This state of affairs had left a bad taste in the mouth of the Chairman of the Workington Craft Beer Association.
It had been clear for some time that tastes in beer had changed, but nothing amongst the Workington Craft Beer Producers had changed with them.
This corner of the world was the last bastion of beer made with the floral garnish method. The success of the Workington Association’s Members in Craft Beer followed from years of small innovations in critical elements of the process. The Workington Method was developed by three local Craft Breweries who dedicated themselves to the exploration of floral garnishes that both scented and gave weight to the flavour of the beer; and yet which were elements that no competitor could easily discern from analysis of just the final product.
The news had came through to the Workington Craft Beer Association just a week before. The Members had lost their craft beer supply to the largest hotel group in this corner of the County. The craft beers they had produced for a hundred years had held them firmly in position: but no longer.
The Chairman could feel that a storm was brewing. It was a storm that risked the wrecking of the Workington Craft Beer Association, and worse, could spell the ruin of what the local newspaper had referred to as the ‘Workington beer miracle’.
The monthly meeting of the Members was a sober affair. The first response was a predictable search for those who were to blame for this threatening situation.
It was the culture that was to blame. Workington – with its back to the sea – was never designed to protect itself from a threat from an inland direction. It was this sea-facing culture that stopped them seeing the advance of these competitor craft beers along the roads that crossed the high mountains and into Workington.
It was the Researchers who were to blame. They should have stood looking out over the gates of this bastion of beer and scrutinised the approaching threat. ‘We would have been far better prepared if we had understood much earlier the nature of this competitor threat to our craft beers.’
‘We must make our peace with George Knight,’ was the Chairman’s concluding remark. Our motto has always been that the production of alcohol demands far more discipline than the consumption of it. Our development of the floral beer principal has been one of small and careful steps over the years. There are people who know how to steer the ship in calm waters, and then there are those who know how to weather the storm. We know his methods are extreme, but this is a situation that demands the extreme. We should call on George Knight.