There are many things that I love about craft beer. I love the varying styles, the creativity and the taste that all my favourite breweries provide. But if there is one thing that I like the most about the craft movement, it’s the over-riding sense of community that comes with it. It doesn’t matter which venue you choose (be it a bottle shop, bar or tap room) as you’ll be surrounded by like-minded people and have a great time. It’s nice to chat about beer, likes and dislikes with people you would otherwise not meet. With the movement continuing on its exponential rise, what better way to celebrate it than document some of the important players out there right now?
Well that is exactly what David Colley and Gavin Joynt have set out to achieve with the release of their craft project; Brand Crafted. Not only does this showcase some of the guys and girls working in the industry right now, it also looks into what makes the craft scene tick. Providing a true insight into the labour of love that is brewing craft beer, they shed light on how labels and names are created, what challenges brewers face right now and where the industry’s future lies.
What must be said before I delve any deeper into the contents of the book, is that this is a passion project by these guys and one that I found out about through Twitter and also Kickstarter. Both Gavin and David have clearly worked tirelessly, providing both written content and the images used throughout this book to make it what it is in its finished form. This can’t have been an easy task for them but I do envy their jobs of going around documenting their travels and interviewing people along the way!
The book itself looks great and even has its own craft feel to it being printed entirely on non-glossy paper and being a paperback as opposed to hard back. Much in the way that craft beer is a representation of the passion of the brewers, this is clearly a reflection of the pairs passion for the industry and the job they undertaken to make it happen. Like their coverage of the industry being independent within, this is reflected in its approach of being about the people of the industry, for the people who love it by two people who love it equally so.
The book is divided into three sections: Culture, Community and Creativity. Within each are profile pieces for breweries such as Verdant, Wylam, Marble and Cloudwater among others. Also making an appearance are Hop Hideout, a bottle shop in Sheffield, and Alexandra Beer House in Halifax giving a broader view into the scene as a whole rather than inspecting breweries alone.
What I find most intriguing whilst reading this are the stories within it from brewers on their naming processes, their history and how they came to be and where they see their future. One thing is for certain, reading this will only boost your love for craft beer and the pair behind it have done an excellent job of capturing the positive energy within the industry right now, showcasing the love for what should come first; the beer.
Spanning 200 pages, there’s plenty of content and it can’t have been an easy job of deciding what and who to include, which bits to take out and which subjects to cover. I do hope though that this is successful enough to warrant a series of these types of books from the two, looking into more brewers, more shops and bars and maybe even offer some outings for beginners to encourage them into the craft scene. Is this a definitive reference book? No, but it neither purports to be nor can it hope to be as you simply cannot speak to everyone that makes craft what it is today. It does, however, show great promise for the future of both the industry and the pairing as authors and biographers of craft.
For anyone who is looking to secure a copy, the guys are currently attending a few local venues to promote the book, answer any questions and have a good ol’ chat about it! If you can’t visit them in person, then you can head over to Amazon or visit their site directly in order to grab one. They’re also on Twitter (@brcrafted), Instagram (brandcraftedbook) and Facebook (search Brand Crafted) so check them out and see what else they’re getting up to!