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How John Cryne built a career by contributing to the beer community

  • Episode 7 - 01hr 23mins
  • July 20, 2017

Andy Thorburn is joined by John Cryne, secretary of the London Brewers' Alliance, to discuss his illustrious career in the beer industry, how Camra has evolved and the birth of beer festivals in the UK

Throughout my time working closely with this fascinating beer industry, I’ve been lucky enough to meet some incredible people who have made an impact wherever they have been, and left a big impression on me. It’s why I love this industry so much, and why I launched this podcast. So when I read an article about how John and Christine Cryne had impacted the brewing industry through hosting the London Drinker Beer Festival for the last 33 years, and with John being the secretary of the London Brewers' Alliance, I knew that I needed to meet him and get him on the podcast. John has had an illustrious career being an advocate and campaigner for real ale, organising some of the best and longest running beer festivals across the country, and facilitating the rise of brewing in the capital through the London Brewer’s Alliance. We have a great discussion about his journey through beer, the impact of Campaign for Real Ale, and how organising a festival requires goodwill and hard work.

Key Insights

  • No matter what happens, if you have a vision then persevere with it. No adversity cannot be overcome if you stick to your guns.

  • Cask Ale needs to evolve, and so does camra and its affiliate festivals. At the same time, for beer festivals to be successful, they need to appeal to an open market.

  • Pubs are closing at a rapid rate, and they need to adapt in order to survive.

Show notes

[00:01:26] CAMRA

[00:01:27] What's Brewing newspaper

[00:02:11] Moreland Brewery Brakspear Weathered brewery which was part of Whitbread

[00:06:26] Charles Wells

[00:06:33] Charles Wells had sold their brewing interests.

[00:06:39] to Marston's.

[00:07:12] Courage best bitter and directors

[00:07:15] Mcewan's

[00:08:19] Jennings Brewery

[00:08:25] Ringwood brewery

[00:08:30] Bank's Brewery

[00:09:07] Camden Town brewery and Meantime Brewing

[00:09:45] Wolverhampton-Dudley breweries

[00:09:55] Cameron's brewery  

[00:12:05] “Towards the latter days of being involved in camra in Bedford at the local level. I get involved with a with Camra at the national level.”

[00:17:25] London Drinker’s Festival

[00:17:32] Craft Beer Rising

[00:17:51] “So we've said if there are any volunteers who want to try and find another venue to run it they're welcome we'll help. but you know we're not aware of any where in in Camden Islington that would be that would work for us.”

[00:19:41] Ruddles County

[00:19:45] Fuller's and Young's.

[00:22:45] Timothy Taylor

[00:24:53] London Brewers alliance

[00:26:01] Crate Brewery

[00:28:19] Manchester beer festival

[00:29:22] “It's no good just appealing to the 50 60 year old demographic that knows what it likes and knows that it's like cask beer.”

[00:33:56] Beavertown hosting their extravaganza.

[00:34:33] Pete Brown opened London Drinkers Festival

[00:39:15] Brew wharf

[00:41:18] Borough wines brewery

[00:43:40] Signature Brew

[00:44:11] Titanic brewery

[00:44:56] Orbit Beers

[00:45:41] FourPure

[00:46:01] Hackney Brewery

[00:46:11] Camden Town building a massive new brewery

[00:46:30] Enefeld

[00:51:27] The Clifton in St John's Wood

[00:51:32] The Plaquemine Lock Islington

[00:51:40] Dartmouth arms

[00:54:42] Wenlock Arms

[00:54:46] “And that's actually incidentally the pub that inspired Brewheadz, one of London's newest breweries and Gianni actually lived across the road from that.”

[00:55:26] Old Fountain

[00:56:03] Draft House

[00:59:42] “You know if I moved next to a church and the bells ring that's my problem and it doesn't mean the bells should be shut off”

[01:00:57] Fuller’s 1845

[01:01:20] Reg Drury

[01:01:30] John Kealing

[01:03:53] Look at the advertising [1.3]

[01:16:11] “You got to clearly produce something that is of an extra that an extraordinary quality these days because of the competition.”

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John Cryne

John Cryne

John Cryne is widely regarded as one of the most influential personalities in the UK's beer industry. He played a crucial role in the success of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) having organised some of the very first editions of the Great British Beer Festival and, along with his wife, Christine, founded and hosted the London Drinker's Beer and Cider festival for the last 33 years. John is also the secretary of the London Brewers Alliance.


About the Show

Stories, insights and lessons from the incredible people behind the UK's craft beer industry. Andy Thorburn hosts a series of deep-dive interviews with various guests from the craft beer community. New episodes fortnightly.

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