THE Dark Revolution is upon us. Most people will be unaware, but it’s here, in Salisbury, within grasping distance of the city centre. Some people do already know, as I discovered on a recent, Friday afternoon foray to the Old Sarum airfield. It’s a micro brewery secreted amongst the cluster of First and Second World War hangars, sheds and shacks bordering the runway. Classically understated, with no signage anywhere, possibly in tribute to the early 40s, when most of the road signs in southern England were dismantled in preparation for the German invasion.

It was brimming with enthusiastic beer connoisseurs and casual visitors alike. The sun shone and I quickly struck up conversations with random strangers, all of whom were entranced by the romance of our surroundings and intoxicated with the choice of tastes and flavours on offer. I tried three of the seven or eight on offer that afternoon; ‘Voodoo’ a smoked chipotle porter (6.2% abv), ‘Velveteen’ a chocolate milk stout (4.8% abv) and ‘Supersonic IPA’ (5.4% abv). They were served in one third pint measures, which made the going quite easy, after all you’re there for the flavour, not the volume.

It was intensely tranquil somehow, on the edge of the field, in the sunshine, amongst the history. It was almost like we were waiting for the sirens to scramble us all off to waiting Spitfires, in which we would power through the clouds, battle Jerry, save the nation and be back in time to finish our beers before heading home for a corned beef tea.

The guys behind the bar, the brewers, were passionate about their product and the craftsmanship that went into it. I’ve seen that passion and heard those stories several times in micro-breweries around Salisbury; Downton, Sixpenny Handley, Hop Back, Stonehenge. They attract people and encourage conversation, local pride, local drive, energy and ambition.

The people of Salisbury are always pontificating on what we need as a city, read the weekly letters page, a ‘Citizens’ Assembly’ was mooted this week, adding another layer to the plethora of councils and committees stuck in a quagmire of indecision about the city’s future. I’ve travelled to many towns and cities around the world, visited many market squares, parks and gardens, but never once encountered a statue erected in praise of a committee.

In the meantime, we have a Dark Revolution of craftspeople already walking the walk. Perhaps in years to come a new statue will be unveiled that will adorn the blank canvas of the Market Place. Whether it will be in tribute to the inventors of Supersonic IPA or another of the modern craftspeople emerging from the shadows of austerity remains to be seen. The effort required to hunt them out is amply rewarded.