"Perfect timing for this question! My girlfriend, Lisa, hosted a women-only beer event at the Caledonian Brewery and it was a real success! Beer is not only a mans' drink and the 'hipster' movement is one of the reasons for the change. The way to serve craft beer, and the different fruity aroma coming from the Hops really opens this complex drink to women", Richard tells me.
Complex with a fruity aroma? Sounds just like Fanny really. Fanny liked to match a tipple with her food, but she preferred wine mostly. Beer was reserved to be served with curries typically in the 1960s and 1970s at least. Have things changed much? What's your 'perfect serve' in food terms to match with food?
"Beer is becoming more and more popular nowadays, as you can see in the drinks menus around Scottish restaurants. Even as a French rep in Scotland, I sometimes match my cheese with a good craft beer and it is delicious!" Richard begs me not to send this interview back to France, for fear he will be banned. I'm sure there are no French readers so he will be safe. Ahem.
Craft beers just weren't around in Fanny's day. There were three kinds of beer that people drank in the 1970s, in Scotland at least - Tennents Lager, McEwans Export or Sweetheart Stout. Things have changed from those days of warm cans adorned with cold-hearted, scantily clad, crafty women, haven't they?
"I did not know those were beer, I thought they were just water with added aroma! The USofA was one of the first countries to push the craft beer concept, they still are more than five years ahead of us! I agree that marketing has changed, with trendier packaging, but I really think it is more the vision of the beer that has evolved!"
Scotland seems to have gone bonkers for artisan and heritage products - we are all tripping over our sourdoughs to bake with ancient grains - do you think it will spill over into the beer world? What trends should we watch out for?
"Craft brewers love to experiment, they are already using some special ingredients such as chipotle, lavender and rye - that's what makes this drink so interesting and complex. The possibilities are infinite, I trust the creativity of those young brewers to make it happen. The Scottish Craft Beer market is already booming, more and more breweries are working with distilleries to create some unique Scottish craft beer!"
Edinburgh is pretty much back-to-back festivals throughout the year these days, what makes the Edinburgh Craft Beer Revolution Festival so special? What should we all go? What can we expect when get there?
"A lot of women, as it's a women drink now," jokes Richard. "Seriously, the festival is run and organised by beer enthusiasts, where the only goal is to showcase amazing beers and to socialise with passionate, open-minded people. You can expect fantastic beers to suit every taste, unique food to pair it with - not just curries, but burgers and specialities such as Scoff's Cullen Skink in a Bun! And, of course, a lot of entertainment such as pub quizzes, arcade games, Giant Twister and so much more... You need to come and see for yourself!" Did someone say Giant Twister? I'm there...
Well, if like Richard you are gagging for a decent beer - he chooses Big Raspberry Dog Chew from Fallen to quench his thirst - and you fancy winning a pair of tickets to the Edinburgh Craft Beer Revolution for yourself (thanks to Lanyard Media), simply fill in the rafflecopter thingy with your details and so on (it will pick the winner) and leave a comment below letting me know which beer you are most looking forward to trying... Good Luck! Lanyard will send the prize directly to the winner.
Tickets are on sale now at www.revolutioncraftbeer.com
Online tickets from £10
On the door tickets from £10
Tickets include festival entry, a Craft Beer Revolution branded glass, a £2 beer voucher and entry to masterclasses. A donation to Brewgooder’s #DrinkBeerGiveWater can be made when booking tickets online, which helps provide clean water to over 1,000,000 people.