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06-03-2015, 08:40
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http://boakandbailey.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/beerdestinations.jpg“What are the up-and-coming beer locations that you see as the next major players in the beer scene?”That’s the question the people behind*Our Tasty Travels have asked for this month’s beer blogging session (http://ourtastytravels.com/blog/session-97-announcement-up-and-coming-beer-locations/), leaving us, frankly, stumped.
Seriously, who knows? If we knew, we’d start a bar and/or brewery while railway arches are still cheap.
You don’t make a beer destination such as Prague, Brussels or Munich overnight — either your town has a long history of brewing, or it doesn’t. London has and merely forgot it for a few decades, so perhaps Burton-upon-Trent could pull off the same trick, but we rather doubt it, unless some colossal government intervention occurs.
But what is it that allows a place with no great association with brewing to*become*a beer destination? Let’s look at Sheffield, for example, which we know is the Hay-on-Wye of beer, even if your Bamberg-obsessed global beer travellers might not have cottoned on quite yet.

It is well-connected to other towns and cities and is a major regional rail hub.
Property remains relatively cheap thanks to an unfortunately long period of industrial decline.
There are tons of students, *who can still just about be relied upon to drink more than people with jobs and babies.
There are also artistic types — a side effect of items 2 and 3, along with attempts by authorities to regenerate the city by designating a creative quarter. Creative types*seem, in general, to be the harbingers of ‘craft culture’, with its street food and trendy bars.
There are lots of good-to-excellent breweries in the city or within delivering distance. Without wanting to go all ‘great man theory’, that is at least partly because of the influence of one*person — the late Dave Wickett (http://boakandbailey.com/tag/dave-wickett/).

Bristol, where the beer scene has exploded in the last few years, has a similar story to tell.
So, which UK university cities, which also have semi-derelict industrial buildings near the centre where artists might fancy living, are currently lacking a ‘beer scene’?
It’s wishful thinking on our part, perhaps, but parts of Plymouth feel a bit how Bristol did a decade ago, or like Hackney in the early 1990s — beginning to mellow, and the graffiti getting cleverer. It already has a pleasantly hippyish pub selling Belgian beer (the Bread and Roses (http://boakandbailey.com/2014/04/three-decent-pubs-plymouth/)) which feels like the city dipping a toe in the water.
Then then there’s Falmouth — an attractive, buzzing university town which already has a bit of a beer scene (http://boakandbailey.com/2014/07/falmouth-a-beer-geek-destination/)*and which, thanks to the proximity of Penryn*and its industrial estate, continues to attract even more new breweries (http://verdantbrewing.co/).
Session #97: Up-and-Coming Beer Destinations (http://boakandbailey.com/2015/03/session-97-up-and-coming-beer-destinations/) from Boak & Bailey's Beer Blog - Over-thinking beer, pubs and the meaning of craft since 2007 (http://boakandbailey.com)

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