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Wednesday 29 December 2010

Stirling University Craft Beer Society; An Update

You may all remember a while back that I floated the idea that I was thinking of starting a Craft Beer society at Stirling University. Although there was some controversy at the time about how much Craft Beer actually meant to people in the UK we seem to have done pretty well so far and I thought I should let you all know how we are doing in the few months we have officially existed.

We started well. Without any official members apart from a good friend and I we already secured some sponsorship from the very kind Richard Burhouse at He agreed to send us the 52wk Beer Club boxes so that we could be guaranteed a good selection of beer for our tasting events. This has been a lifesaver as although we have several great breweries within 30 miles (TSA, Harviestoun, Williams Bros, Tryst and WEST) it is still great to have some choices from all over the UK for our members to taste. Thanks again to Richard.

So then came Freshers week. We had a fantastic response and quickly became one of the largest societies in the University. This was amazing since we were a new start up. I couldn't quite get my head around the fact that a University with no Craft Beer representation previous had gone on to create a great group of people. The most important thing about our group is how diverse we are. We have hop heads like me, some people who only like dark beers, some who are new to the craft beer game, some who are CAMRA lovers, some who are not. What brings us together though is a love of well made beer; whatever colour, strength or style it may be.

We have achieved a lot in a few months and we have a firm plan of action for the next few. I took the place of El Presidente in the first few months although I knew all along that this was temporary as I am moving back to France in January 2011. We have it up and running though and what a great team we have. 2011 will see us brew our own beer, take over a pub for the night ( a la Oz and Hugh) and visit even more great breweries than we did in 2010. Not forgetting that I will be back in September 2011 to take the helm and hopefully get some great new people excited about the mini revolution that we have started.

Don't get me wrong its been hard. We have battled against a lot of red tape about what we are and what we are not allowed to do. We haven't had everyone on board and some people have tried to make it hard for us. We have also been accused of being 'nothing more than a BrewDog sales club' due to the fact that I used to work for them and gave them some publicity at our sign up table (along with many other UK and world breweries) Surely that's like claiming the UK government is propping up the News of the World because the head of communications used to work there?!?

Through the bad times and the good we have come out on top. We have helped to creat a strong group of craft beer lovers who are already managing to increase the profile of good quality beer in the local area. I am pleased and proud that we managed it. Thanks for reading and expect more posts than there have been lately. Ive been lazy; Sorry!



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