Originally Posted on Sep 07, 2016
Are you curious to know about the people behind the beers you buy? Or perhaps you want to know what inspires brewers to brew and beer bloggers to blog? Our “Q&A” posts are a light hearted way of getting to know people working in, and connected to, the beer and alcohol industry.
Today’s post features There’s A Beer For That, a campaign backed by Britain’s Beer Alliance. The aim of the campaign is to show people the choice of beers available and to show that there’s no need to have the same beer over and over again with over 140 styles and over 12,000 high quality beers available in Britain.
Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about what you do My name is Neil Gannon and I’m the marketing lead for the campaign There’s A Beer For That. My role has many faces but I spend most of my time activating the campaign with the on and off trade business in the UK and of course the online channel as well.
When did your love affair with beer begin and what inspired you to pursue your line of work? I grew up in a pub so good beer was ingrained in my psyche at an early age. No drinking, but I could pour a perfect pint of Guinness before I could legally drink one. As I went to university and began to explore the world of beer my passion grew and grew.
Tell us about There’s a Beer for that. How did it come about and what do you hope to achieve with it? The UK programme originated from a Global Brewers Initiative (AB-In Bev, Heineken, Carlsberg, Molson Coors and SAB Miller) in 2012, following category campaign success in Spain where beer was also suffering. The 5 global brewers united behind the mission to stabilise decline & grow the overall category agreeing £15M funding for 2013-15. The campaign was extended in 2016 with 2017 funding now being discussed. If we can see the steady growth of beer again in the UK and indeed an overall appreciation of the quality, diversity and versatility of beer we’ll be very happy.
What has the response been like so far? Excellent. We’re seeing many values that we test growing such as beer being seen as a drink for men and women, suitable for food, for greater occasions as well. We’ve also seen the industry get behind the campaign. We represent around 95% of all the beer brewed in the UK and also from the trade with John Lewis, Tesco, Morrisons along with the Pub Co’s all activating the campaign in store or in their pubs. We’re speaking to over 250,000 people a day via social media and our newsletter. The campaign has a pretty high awareness level now.
The craft beer movement seems to be going from strength to strength. Why do you think brewing has been such a great success in recent years? Craft is very interesting and we’ve seen huge growth here in the UK with new brewers coming on the scene almost weekly. It’s an exciting time to be in beer with new and varied styles of beer available like never before. The regional brewers are launching really interesting new beers and the growth of world and specialty beers delivers huge variety for consumers. We just try and help them navigate this space.
Many breweries are experimenting with adding unusual flavours to their beers. Are there any you think work well together and are there any you would like to try? I love what some of the American craft brewers are doing with pale ales and flavours such as peach. Great summer drinks.
What advice would you give to someone new to the world of beer and wanting to learn about the different styles? Sign up to our newsletter, follow us on twitter and explore our website of course. Outside of that try a few halves or paddles of different styles, buy mixed boxes of beers be open minded and you’ll surprise yourself with what you’ll discover and like. Getting friends around for a tasting night and throw in some great food matches, what could be more fun.
What do you think makes a great beer? Well served, fresh if possible and this means pack as well. Use a clean glass at the right temperature and you can’t go wrong. Balance in flavour is important, not all new beer is good. I look for some big flavour, long bitterness and citrus notes this time of year for example.
If you had to pick, which would be your top three beers in the whole world? Wow how do you answer that. I lived in Prague for a number of years and an unpasteurised Staropramen is amazing. I love Gamma Ray from Beavertown but back to the Czech Rep where in the north of the country they have a small brewer called Pivovar Svijany. Their dark 11 degree is one of the best beers I’ve ever had, brings a tear to my eye to just think about it.
What was your first drink and where were you when you had it? With my father on the night of my 18th and I believe it was a pint of Heineken in my home town in the west of Ireland.
What drink can you no longer face having had one too many? Tequila.
What is the silliest thing you’ve done whilst drunk? Fall in love……….
Thank you to Neil for chatting to us!
You can find out more about the campaign by visiting their website.