An artisanally crafted blog curated by Cooking Lager for discerning readers of beer bloggery

Friday, 11 February 2011

What Craft Lout means to me

What Craft Lout means to me. In any given product or commodity a degree of craftsmanship exists. During the industrial revolution and the adoption of factory systems to produce goods many thought the days of the artisan craftsman were numbered, but nothing could be further from the truth. The craftsman has adapted and prospered both within the processes of industrial production and beyond it by maintaining niche industry.

When you want some furniture for a new house your squeeze has made you buy, you have many choices. An antique shop full of old crap? IKEA full of new crap? A craft bit of joinery from someone that did better at woodwork than I did at school? The artistry is within the design and quality standard of its production. For any given piece of furniture the squeeze will decide what she wants based on its design, her taste, and I will simply go along hoping I can persuade her against anything that will involve me getting my screwdriver out and having to assemble anything “flat pack” from instructions poorly translated from an oriental language.

So where is the artistry in industrial macro lager? A mass produced product knocked out to a consistent quality standard with each unit product identical by a big machine with a big green button on for go and a big red button on for stop? The artistry is in the product design and the loving way the guy in overalls presses that green button.

Beck’s for instance, brewed to the same recipe since the world was in black and white and offering a genuine authentic German lager at half the price of any other Reinheitsgebot pisswater being hawked. Carling as another instance. Take a lager and hone it carefully to suit British tastes by the loving addition of adjuncts, super chilling and fizz. The examples go on and on. Each example of cooking lager and lout represents a loving attention to detail in its design then applied to an efficient production process that allows the cooking lager enthusiast to neck a skin full for tuppence. Stella lovingly brewed with maize as an adjunct and often derided. Maize has been used to brew since the times of the Inca’s. Take this ancient tradition and fuse it with the European Pilsner lager tradition and you have an exciting fusion of Inca and European tradition, all for 50p a can.

The question really isn’t, “What is craft lout?”, but is there a lout you cannot describe as “craft” Cooking lager enthusiasts can rest assured the cheap grog they know and love is a craft product. We all know what craft means, it means the beer we know and love. Lout = Craft, always has been, always will be.

1 comment:

Darren said...

kinda with you here Cooky. And not. While the lagers you reference are a consistently good (note good not awesome)product they are the McDonalds of the beer world. The dominance came through technology advances (mass lager brewing techniques) that rode rough shot over the old school ale brewers (yep the CAMRA dudes) and led to beers that have the price advantage - your cooking lout. Be careful what you heap praise on, the beer may arive flat pack!