Support Small Breweries!
Jennings, Caledonian, Skinners, The Wild Beer Co. What do all of these breweries have in common? They all closed in 2022. Jennings almost reached its 200th year in business. Caledonian were awarded CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain in 2002 for their Deuchars IPA. I’ve enthusiastically reviewed beers by Skinners and Wild Beer in these very pages.
And they’re not the only ones – nearly 60 British breweries have shut up shop this year. It’s something of a shock given how robust the industry was just a decade ago.
In these straitened times, when everyone is looking to make their money go as far as possible, it’s tempting to go for that supermarket special from one of the big breweries (I’ve done it myself), but there is an alternative: buy less, and buy better. This works particularly well when you buy beer for another person. Which do you prefer? (a) “I bought you some beer; it’s made in giant industrial vats by a robot” or (b) “I bought you some beer; it’s made by a wild-haired chemistry teacher called Wolfgang in a shed at the bottom of his garden”.
Buying beer that isn’t from one of the huge conglomerates means you’re supporting a small business. Buying less of it means you’ve already ticked of that New Year’s resolution to drink less. Everyone’s a winner!
The smaller breweries are really struggling at the moment, and the Southwick Brewhouse is a showcase for their talents. Wolfgang needs you.
Written by Richard Salsbury