Posts Tagged ‘beer’
There are plans to open a chain of discount pubs who will be selling you beer for a pound-a-pop, which of course, has sent drink awareness campaigners into some kind of sober meltdown. The first of these boozers has already opened in Manchester and, thus far, absolutely nothing negative has happened.
The second is about to start doing business in Stockton on Tees, and they would like a special license where they can sell beer from 8am. Why you’d want something that makes you tired and farty that early in the morning is another matter. Maybe they’ll do cheapo fry-ups?
Either way, if these pubs are a success, the chain wants to go nationwide, selling various lagers, bitters, ales and ciders for £1.50-a-pint, or £1 for a half. These prices aren’t that dissimilar to Wetherspoons and a host of local pubs that aren’t part of a chain as such.
Not that booze botherers are having any of it. Colin Shevells, director of Balance, said: “Drink is already too affordable, too available and too heavily promoted. We know that problems are caused by it being too cheap. The PoundPub is just part of a much bigger problem. We need to wake up to the problems cheap alcohol is causing both in the short and long term.”
Mike Wardell, a director behind PoundPub said: “The first PoundPub in Atherton, Greater Manchester has just won an award from CAMRA for the most improved site for our range of cask ales. It is hugely popular and successful, and customer feed back has been fantastic. We are responsible retailers, and this is about giving value for money to working people.”
“No one said anything when Workingmen’s clubs were offering bitter for 99 pence a pint, in fact it was pretty popular. We will offer a quality product at an affordable price. These two sites are the test, and a lot will depend on how successful they are as to how we expand. At a time when 12 pubs a week are closing across the country we have to think outside the box a bit.”
These PoundPubs aren’t just selling cheap ale – they have trad pub games like darts and billiards, but no satellite TV. Basically, they sound amazing – although the beer might be lousy; there’s only one way to find out if that’s the case.
BrewDog are taking the Michael out of Russia’s anti-gay business with a new beer called ‘Hello My Name is Vladimir’, just in time for the Winter Olympics.
The beer carries the sarcastic strapline of ‘not for gays’ alongside an image of Putin himself. The Scottish brewers consider this to be the first ‘protest beer’. BrewDog have also sent a case of the 8.2% IPA to the President himself.
50% of profits from the sale of Hello My Name is Vladimir will be donated to charities that represent oppressed minorities.
James Watt, BrewDog co-founder says: “We sincerely hope that when Vladimir Putin is tired from a busy day riding horses with his top off, grappling with burly men on the Judo mat or fishing in his Speedos, he reclines on a velvet chaise longue and has one of his handsome helpers wet his whistle with a glass of Hello My Name is Vladimir.”
“As Hello My Name is Vladimir is clearly marked ‘not for gays’ we should bypass the legislation introduced by Putin outlawing supposed ‘homosexual propaganda’, so Vlad shouldn’t have an issue with it. He might even invite us to ride bareback with him in the Siberian mountains.”
“It’s been our mission at BrewDog to upend the status quo in whatever form it occurs. Whether it’s the stranglehold the mega brewers have had on beer production in Europe over the last 50 years, or in the case of Russia, the sick legislation that discriminates against millions of its citizens. Our core beliefs of freedom, integrity and passion drive all our actions. Since we started in 2007, we’ve always striven to strike fear at the heart of the gatekeepers and establishment, the launch of Hello My Name is Vladimir is simply a continuation of that tradition.”
They always spoil it by talking, don’t they?
The maker of beers such as Peroni and Grolsch have been fiddling with their lagers and, as a result, everyone’s been buying other booze. ”SABMiller’s Q3 trading statement was beneath market expectations at lager volume level, despite some useful emerging markets volume growth,” said analysts at Oriel Securities. “Moreover, reported earnings remain under pressure from currency headwinds.”
See, the company think that people aren’t buying their beers because of price increases and the depreciation of currencies against the U.S. dollar. However, what is blatantly obvious to anyone with a mouth to drink with and a life worth forgetting through drink, their beer is simply not worth buying because you may as well try and get drunk on wine gums.
In Europe, Australia and North America particularly, SABMiller is ‘plagued by weak consumer sentiment’.
With the biggest variety in lagers and ales on the shelves we’ve had in yonks, SABMiller’s sales are surely heavily reliant on teenagers and stuff in the sale bins. Until they start giving their booze a punch again, they can assume that sales will continue to dwindle.
Today, England’s first motorway service station pub opens, which will inevitably cause a huge kerfuffle as people assume that drivers won’t be able to resist the temptation of getting bladdered behind the wheel, despite the fact millions of drivers successfully scoot past pubs every day without ending up swilling pints in their cars.
The pub is called the Hope and Champion and is two storeys of boozy goodness. You can find it at the services on the M40, next to junction 2 near Beaconsfield which is in Buckinghamshire.
The pub opens at 4am and closes at 1am. They’ll serve beer from 9am.
Wetherspoon’s are planning more of these motorway boozers and point out that it isn’t just a pub as they’ll be selling a range of non-alcoholic drinks, tea and coffee (with free refills) on top of the usual local real ales, wine, spirits and beers. They’re probably going to sell food too, so if you’re in need of a fry-up while driving, they’ll be on it, going toe-to-toe with the Little Chefs of the road.
A spokesman for Wetherspoon’s said they think most of their profits will come from passengers buying a pint or people on coach trips, adding: “We are not naive. We know that giving drivers the chance to have a pint off the motorway is an unusual offer. But equally we do not live in a nanny state. We expect drivers to act responsibly.”
The motorway pubs will have the national Drink Drive Awareness logos on… well, everything. As well as that, soft drinks will be much cheaper than they usually are in pubs and elsewhere in the service station.
Various charities and pressure groups are not happy, picturing our motorways ablaze with car-wrecks thanks to drink driving. However, service stations aren’t exactly paragons of virtue as it is. Their original purpose was to provide rest spots and toilets for people on long journeys, but rather than a bit of piece of quiet, service stations are more like a mini Vegas, filled with gamblers and video games.
If Wetherspoon’s undercut the ridiculously high prices we find in service stations already, we’re all onto a winner until some berk spoils it for everyone by getting battered on cheap ale and driving into traffic. Play nice. Don’t spoil it for everyone.
Happy New Year! For tomorrow. Many of us will be ringing in the new year with a clinking of glasses filled with [Aldi’s £9.99] champagne and looking forward to 2014. But are you going to join in the latest charity fandangle and be a dryathlete? Giving up alcohol for a month might seem extreme, but even if you aren’t minded to do it for charity, rumour has it that you could increase your pension pot by £20,000 just by taking part.
Actuarial firm JLT employee benefits has calculated that, purely going on the beer money saved, your pension fund could be topped up by £20,000, which could then convert to an annual additional income of £1,000 a year, plus 50% spouse benefits. Unfortunately, however, they also assume that you are a 22 year old male who intends to stop drinking in January for the rest of his working life.
The calculations are based on the well-known fact that 22 year old men drink nine pints a week, at £3.20 a pint. The weekly £28.80 cost adds up to £125 for the month of January, and the cumulative effect of investing an extra £125 every year until Mr Average 22 Year Old reaches the unimaginable senility of 68 is the aforementioned £20k bung.
Those 20,000 reasons not to drink in January are only bonuses on top of the evergreen reasons not to imbibe such as overindulgence, dieting, or a lack of funds. But is it really worth it? In 44 years’ time, inflation might mean that nine pints cost £20k, or maybe the State Pension might have eroded so much that every extra penny will count. He probably won’t be able to retire at 68 anyway, the amount of times the Government has
increased changed the eligible age limit.
Or, if you are so concerned, you could just save an extra tenner or so into your pension* every month instead.
*Other retirement/long term savings vehicles are available
Well, one pub is trying something different in a bid to kill the queue – they’ve got technology involved so you can order through your mobile.
If you go to the Keyworth Tavern in Nottingham you can even order your round while you’re on the way, thanks to this Orderella app. You can order from your table once you get in and a bartender will bring over your booze. You’ll only have to stand up to defecate or dance badly to the jukebox.
All drinks are charged to an account to avoid actually using cash and the app will be rolled out at 50 pubs across the UK next month.
Landlord Adrian Clarke reckons the app has already gone down well, saying: “A group of customers even had a bet to see which would be quicker – ordering a drink on the phone or going up to the bar as normal. The phone app won.”
Naturally, the advent of not using cash could mean that the app generates a feeling of ‘pretend money’ and you might end up buying far more than you intended, but at least you’ll get a roaring night out of it. It won’t matter if you’re legless now.
Have a look at the app here.
Britain’s pubs may well be closing down, but it is a different tale for those people who are actually brewing the stuff. 187 new breweries opened in the last year, which takes the total number of breweries in the UK to almost 1,500.
CAMRA said breweries are seeing a revival, and include a beer brewing pizzeria and a transformed Dairy Farm.
There are brewing booms in London, with 23 opening in the capital while West Yorkshire has had a surge, now having 57! Thanks to all this action, there are now 5,200 British beers on offer, which is excellent news.
Sadly, 26 pubs are closing each week in the UK, as landlords struggle with high rents and competition from the cheap booze sold in supermarkets. Just over 50,000 boozers are left, which is the lowest number of pubs in the UK in more than a century. In stark terms, that’s 68,000 less pubs than we had 30 years ago.
Someone has come up with chocolate beer spread and it has a name that is more fun to say than Emmanuel Frimpong. The new paste, called Birra Spalmabile, is available from Selfridges and it is recommend for use on toast or in cakes.
Spokesman Claudio Lorenzini said: “This is not the first time in Italy and in Europe that someone has tried to make a non-liquid beer, but the experiments carried out have not been successful because the combination of ingredients was not a winner.”
“We believe that we have found the right formula with the use of high-quality products.”
Apparently, this gunk tastes like “a sweet and beer-perfumed jelly with an intense scent and a full-bodied taste”.
If you can’t get your hands on it, you could always drink beer and eat chocolate bars at the same time and just keep saying “spalmabile” until you soil yourself and pass out.
The North/South divide doesn’t just extend to paying £300,000 to live in a cupboard next to a far-flung tube station. Southern jessies are also paying more for their ale! In fact, on average they pay 65p more than people in the North of England, who are flinging cheap lager down their necks, having baths in it, and dabbing it behind their ears.
While beer enthusiasts in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and Derbyshire are happily wasting their lives supping pints costing £3 or less, London and Home Counties boozers are forking out £3.60 or more.
But the best place for beer bargains is Staffordshire (HOME OF ROBBIE WILLIAMS) where you can get pie eyed for a very reasonable £2.95.
This is all according to the Good Pub Guide, which has also rather gloomily predicted that 4,000 pubs will close this year because they’re ‘stuck in the 80s’ with boring food and bad service.
But why would prices differ so wildly for a pint of beer?
‘In the South East, big brewers used to own most pubs, which tended to limit the competition,’ explains Pub Guide spokesperson Fiona Stapeley. ‘But I think people in the South East are simply less careful with their money.’
OOFT. FIGHTING TALK. Let’s settle this outside an 80s pub with a pool cue and a smashed bottle of McEwans.
Britain’s first naturist spa hotel wants an alcohol licence, because what could be better than the feeling of a summer breeze on your undercarriage while drinking a refreshing beer? Well, local residents aren’t best pleased about the idea because they think it could encourage ’lewd behaviour’ by guests.
Councillor Robert Alden is frightened that alcohol would turn the Clover Spa and Hotel, in Erdington, Birmingham, into a strip club, which would in turn attract ‘local youths and troublemakers’.
“There will be a rise in inappropriate behaviour and displays of flesh,” he said, as he pointed out the establishment in Chester Road was visible from a children’s nursery. That’d be children not long of the boob that fed them and not worried about nudity like weirdo adults are.
An unnamed local curtain-twitcher complained to the council that ‘naturism (predominately male), alcohol and children should not be in close proximity’. Women, it seems, are fine.
Tim Higgs, the owner of the hotel, reckons these objections are unfounded: “I do not get where the objectors are coming from. It is a spa, a respectful, quality establishment for naturists, not a pub, you can’t just come in off the street.”
He added that councillors were free to visit the premises whenever they wished.
Red Bull, for some stupid reason, decided to sue a Norfolk micro brewery over their name, Redwell. You’ll notice that, as someone who can read and use their eyes to tell the difference between a small blue and silver can and a brown beer bottle with an entirely different label, an action was folly at best.
And because we side with beer makers, here’s a massive picture of them as a free advertisement.
Red Bull’s brand enforcement manager Hansjorg Jeserznik said that the brewer’s labelling was ‘highly similar’ to their own RED trademark and operated in the same marketplace.
Brewery owner Patrick Fisher said he was shocked by Redbull’s demands, which said that the Redwell name would lead to ‘confusion’ in the beverage marketplace and ‘tarnish’ the Redbull brand.
Fisher said: “Our name is different, our branding is different. We don’t make energy drinks and we’re not planning to move into Formula One or send a man skydiving from space very soon.”
Well done Red Bull, for giving Redwell a free marketing campaign which they wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise.
BrewDog has launched a crowd funding initiative last week, trying to raise £4 million and, in the first 24 hours, they’ve already hit the £1 million mark. They have until January 2014 to reach their goal.
The company has previously raised £2.2 million from customers in two previous Equity for Punks funding rounds, which went towards expanding their facilities and pub chain.
This latest venture is offering 42,000 class B shares priced at £95 each, which would give shareholders given a lifetime discount on Brewdog products.
And where are these expansions happening? Well, BrewDog want to open a chain of specialist craft beer bottle shops, called BottleDog. The first one should appear in London.
All this, from a company that thinks it’ll top £20 million in sales this year.
Do you like beer? How about FREE beer? Get yourself a 4 pack of Coors Light by just taking a quick call from everyones second favourite Belgian, Jean-Claude Van Damme (just behind Philippe Albert).
After you have taken the call you choose your local supermarket, print your voucher and then go and help yourself to your reward.
As you can see, the ale features their mascot Eddie the Head with the Trooper typeface aping the Iron Maiden logo. Basically, it looks just like their 1983 single of the same name, and has a big Union Jack (one must always Union JACK, because it winds-up jumpy patriots who say ‘Union Flag’) draped in it.
According to Swedish publication Aftonbladet, government-owned chain of booze shop Systembolaget, think that the design contravenes Sweden’s alcohol laws.
Systembolaget’s Therese Elmgren said: “There has been a discussion about the label. The alcohol law stipulates how it can look. We therefore don’t yet know when it can be launched.”
However, no-one is quite sure what law is being contravened, so we’ll just assume that our Swedish cousins are a bit jumpy about a beer that features a zombie charging at you with a broken flagpole.
Speaking previously about the beer, which you can only buy in Robinson’s pubs and this year’s Download festival, Bruce Dickinson said: “I’m a lifelong fan of traditional English ale, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when we were asked to create our own beer. I have to say that I was very nervous: Robinsons are the only people I have had to audition for in 30 years. Their magic has been to create the alchemical wedding of flavour and texture that is Trooper. I love it.”
The number of local pubs in the UK has fallen to its lowest point in over a century, say the old gits at the Campaign For Real Ale. In fact only 57,000 locals are left, thanks to annoying wine bars, chain pubs and fancy 5 star gastro joints called things like The Lazy Ox and The Fox’s Anal Fissure.
This sad news, which makes you want to immediately hotfoot it to the Pig and Whistle and stare vacantly into a pint of Speckled Badger, comes as traditional pubs are closing at the rate of 26 a week.
Chief executive of CAMRA Mike Benner blamed the government, saying: “We believe that the scrapping of the beer duty escalator and the extra 1p off beer duty announced in this year’s Budget could mark a turning point for pubs.’
But the government also intend to crack down on dodgy dealings from the big chains and introduce a new watchdog scheme which could save local pub landlords £100 million a year.
Let’s hope the humble pub survives. After all, there are only so many times you can see the words ‘pulled pork’ on a rustic blackboard before you want to go mad and attack someone with a pool cue.