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You may or may not be aware of the banter and information exchange that goes on on Twitter. I do think it detracts greatly from blogging, but sometimes a good subject comes up. It is in the Title above and was prompted by a comment from Mark Dredge about "great Scottish breweries" and my retort that while there are some good ones, there aren't any that are great. Barry chipped in too asking what defines a great brewery. These are great questions in a chicken and egg sort of way. "Does great beer come from great breweries?" " Can a brewery be great, yet not produce "great" beers?" " Are beers the point not breweries?" "What's the definition of great?"

I don't think I'm going to answer this completely, but there are one or two things that should be included in the definition of "great" in this context. My list isn't definitive. The beer must be very good and consistently so. There should be wide recognition of the brewery's place in brewing lore. The recognition should be across the range and whatever they brew. But it is difficult. Does Duvel become a great brewery solely because of Duvel, while the rest of the range is merely very good. Does innovation and tradition have anything to do with it? I'd argue Paulaner is a great brewery, but they don't brew a single great beer. Is Brew Dog a great brewery because of innovation? Is Marble because of a great range? You see how difficult this is?

Or is it just down to great beers? I really don't know the answer, but I'll be interested in others take on the subject.

PS: Even contenders from greatness have off nights. I wasn't at all impressed with Marble beers in the MA last night.