— Brú Brewery (@BruBrewery) November 3, 2013
Of all the tweets that I saw over the weekend, this one in particular stood out. Posted on Sunday afternoon by an Irish microbrewery based in Meath, it apparently shows a severed beer line in a pub cellar. The owners of the Brú Brewery have alleged that this was done, deliberately, by one of the ‘big commercial breweries’ – and, moreover, that it has ‘happened to us a good few times over the last 3 weeks’.
Clearly, these are very serious allegations for Brú to put forward, and without proof are almost impossible to corroborate. Brú are adamant that it has nothing to do with them using the gas supply or equipment of other breweries (apparently they only use that supplied by the pubs). Speaking of which, they also haven’t stated which pub this incident occurred in, or if it has taken place in more than one cellar over those last three weeks.*
*Nor do they allege who they suspect might have carried it out. A rival drayman from a ‘big commercial brewery’? Landlord of a tied-pub? Jilted lover?
I’m no cellarman, publican or microbrewery owner – for all I know this kind of thing has been going on for years. Maybe it’s a simple case of coupling up another beer line, maybe not. But whereas last month there was flurry of naming disputes and high-profile arguments over intellectual property (Redwell versus Red Bull etc), this is a non-public, literally underground issue that drinkers never see. Whether more allegations like these will appear as the numbers of breweries skyrockets, only time will tell…