Posts Tagged ‘beer’

Camden Town Brewery sells out

December 22nd, 2015 3 Comments By Mof Gimmers

camden town beer 300x300 Camden Town Brewery sells outBeer hipsters and ale enthusiasts will be unhappy today, as the craft booze makers at Camden Town Brewery have sold themselves to Budweiser vendors and global drinks behemoth, AB InBev. One tweet has already seen them being asked how much a soul costs. Aww!

Anyway, the brewer accepted an offer from the massive lager company, in a deal that is apparently worth £85 million, putting Camden’s Hels and Pale Ale in bed with Stella and Becks.

Of course, there’s already some fallout over this – one of the Brewdog founders stopped crowdsourcing and inserting wacky rebel sentiments in sentences to say that they won’t be stocking Camden Town beers at their bars any more. AB InBev are busy at the minute, as they’re trying to buy SAB Miller for £70bn, as well!

SAB Miller themselves, who normally flog Peroni and Grolsch, bought up Meantime earlier this year. Craft ale has never been so popular, so the big guns are sniffing around them all.

The founder of Camden Town Brewery, Jasper Cuppaidge, reckons this buyout changes nothing: “AB InBev are investing to build a new brewery to our exact standards, so I can continue to make great beer. They’re not making a beer for us.”

“To stay at the forefront of this movement and secure our future success, we have to build a bigger brewery, employ more people and gain access to an international distribution network. We can’t do this on our own. You only have to look at brands such as Innocent… they’ve gone from strength to strength by joining up with Coca-Cola.”

Iain Newell, European director of craft beers at AB InBev, said: “We have a passion for great beer. Camden Town is a creative business with a great range of brands that will complement our existing portfolio.”

We’ve seen all manner of great vending machines on Bitterwallet. We’ve had ones that make fresh crisps, those that dole out meat, and the one that vends live crabs.

Now, we’ve got one that will sell you a crate of beer. Forget those stupid ones that give you a can or whatever – this one will sort you out for an entire weekend (or afternoon, knowing some of you lot).

beer vending machine 500x375 All hail the vending machine that serves CRATES of beer

This particular machine can be found in Belgium, where goose fat chips and beer are seen as basic human rights. And, funnily, this one doesn’t seem to want to ID anyone who uses it. Marvellously reckless that.

This machine does require you to scan your ID into it, but seeing as it is a machine and not a human, you could nick your mum’s and load yourself up with ale and impress your pals.

So, if the UK could hurry up and install one of these in every town, that’d be marvellous.

Tesco to stop selling Carlsberg

October 2nd, 2015 4 Comments By Mof Gimmers

beer 300x2251 Tesco to stop selling CarlsbergTesco is pulling nearly all Carlsberg products from their shops, as part of some cost cutting scheme. Obviously, no-one on Earth has Calsberg lager at the top of their list of beers (it is ‘serviceable’, rather than ‘a delight’), but some people will no doubt feel aggrieved at this news.

That said, you’ll still be able to buy four-packs Carlsberg, provided you live near one of the selected 200 stores which will still stock them. If not, we’re sure you’re aware of the fact that there’s a local off-licence who will sell them to you.

Carlsberg is the latest brand to get the boot from Tesco, as they’ve been getting rid of Ribena, Capri-Sun and Kingsmill from their shelves this year.

A spokeswoman for Tesco said: “We have taken the decision to discontinue a number of Carlsberg products in our stores and online. We will continue to offer customers a great range of beers, lagers and ciders. Colleagues in store will be on hand to offer assistance and suggest alternatives should customers find a product they used to buy is no longer available.”

Imagine. Walking up to another human and saying; “I normally drink Carlsberg, so I’m looking for something similar, because Carlsberg is the only beer for me…”. Bitterwallet would throw a can of Bass shandy at them and kick them up the arse while we were at it.

Anyway, this is bad news for Carlsberg, as they’ve not been performing too well of late, so getting thrown out of the biggest supermarket in the UK is going hit their balance sheet pretty hard.

And look! We managed to do a complete article without doing a ‘probably the best…’ joke!

beer Takeover to see a world of very average beer combiningAnheuser-Busch InBev, who happen to be the largest brewer in the world, are looking to do a takeover of SABMiller, which means, between them, they’ll make around a third of the world’s beer.

Together, they’d have a market value of roughly $275 billion, and they’ll make a killing in the growth markets of Latin America and Africa, and have a whole load of breweries in Asia.

Of course, European drinkers won’t be at all fussed about this, because Europeans aren’t too bothered about the products owned by either company. Between these two, they own Peroni, Grolsch, Budweiser, Becks, Coors Light, and a whole load of other lagers that you might refer to as ‘piss’. At best, they’re beers that’ll do, if there’s nothing else on offer.

Interestingly, AB InBev are controlled by 3G Capital, who are a private equity fund who have orchestrated takeovers of Burger King, Heinz, and Kraft Foods. That means this is very likely to happen. Meanwhile, you’ll carry on with your hard liquor, wine and craft booze.

AB InBev have been eyeing up SABMiller for years now, and it just so happens that SABMiller’s share price has just dropped by around 15%, so it is perfect timing for AB InBev. Whether antitrust authorities will put the scuppers on it, is another matter entirely.

However, SABMiller might make eyes at other brewers like Heineken or Diageo, in a bid to cover their own behinds.

Punch Taverns to close 158 pubs

August 24th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

pint of beer 300x180 Punch Taverns to close 158 pubsWe all know that there’s too many pubs closing, so it is bad news that Punch Taverns are goin to sell 158 ‘non-core’ pubs for £53.5m, to some people called New River Retail.

The pub company plan to sell off its non-core pubs at a rate of about 200 a year, which is pretty dreadful as they’re likely to be less profitable, but vital small village pubs. New River Retail are a company that deal in bargain shops and food outlets, so this sale won’t see more pints pulled, sadly.

Punch boss Duncan Garrood said that this sale is going to allow the company to focus “on our higher quality core pub estate”.

Allan Lockhart, property director at NewRiver Retail, said: “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of the pub portfolio from Punch Taverns, which represents a strategic progression for NewRiver, following our acquisition of a similar portfolio from Marston’s in late 2013, the successful result of which has led us to identify similar opportunities.”

Maybe it is time to set up that speakeasy in the basement, eh?

£11.50 for a pint, anyone?

March 2nd, 2015 4 Comments By Mof Gimmers

beer 300x225 £11.50 for a pint, anyone?

In some places – we’re looking at you, craft beer nerds – you won’t get much change from a fiver when buying yourself a pint. Of course, there’s pubs out there that’ll charge you a couple of quid for some booze, but across the country, prices are going up.

So someone’s peered into the future to see how much a pint will cost in 25 years’ time. Experts at Lloyds bank reckon we’ll be shelling out £11.50 for a pint of beer, which seems preposterous. Still, at least we’ll have autonomous cars by then to drive us home when we’re leathered.

That’s not all Lloyds have been working out. They also reckon that the cost of a loaf of bread in 2040 will be £4.20 and a dozen eggs is going to set you back £6.02.

Our wages will have gone up by 6p in that time, no doubt.

A spokesperson for Lloyds burped: “The average price of a pint has grown a staggering 294 times over the past 100 years, from an average of just 1p.”

Imagine that. 1p a pint. You’d have showers in booze. Anyway, this data was gathered by comparing the price of stuff in 1914, compared to the present day. You can only imagine how much our household bills will be by then, as the Big Six join forces to charge everyone for use of the sun to heat up our solar panels.

Budweiser reckon booze-free beer is more popular!

December 30th, 2014 3 Comments By Mof Gimmers

cameron beer440 300x204 Budweiser reckon booze free beer is more popular!Budweiser brewer – the dastardly AB Inbev – reckon that alcohol-free beer is the way forward. And yes, we’re all thinking of the same joke – there’s so little alcohol content in a bottle of Bud that it is little wonder they’re shouting about booze-free drinks.

Anyway, they think that young people these days, are more health conscious and that they’d just love a load of beer that won’t get them drunk.

The company already make Beck’s Blue, which is favoured by pregnant women down the pub, who are trying to not announce their imminent baby (although, that said, we’ve seen a few heavily pregnant women getting stuck into pints of Sourz as well), and AB Inbev assure the world that it is the most popular alcohol-free beer in the UK.

Baby Beck’s saw volume sales up 16.4% this year and AB Inbev reckon that British adults are more at ease with boozeless beer than they used to be.

It seems that the Millenials (the people aged between 18 and 34) are eight times more likely than over 65s to choose alcohol-free beers. The statistics (obviously, largely useless statistics, but we need something to write about) show that those drinking alcohol-free beer are doing it to make a good impression with the in-laws or doing it to cut down on their booze intake after Christmas.

So why are AB Inbev cooing at the Millenials? Well, their earnings are dropping, and during the last quarter, volumes were down 9.8%. It seems adults who like drinking beer would rather not buy this company’s wares. And how can blame them? They make, what is colloquially known as, ‘piss’. And the decent beers they bought, they seem to be meddling with the ingredients, which means booze-hounds are looking elsewhere.

With that, they’re going to start offering alcohol-free ale to people, with the angle of it being a ‘health choice’. A huge marketing push is expected during the new year. You’ve been warned.

Deathwatch: MPs to kill off ‘beer-tie’ for pubs?

November 17th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

beer 282x300 Deathwatch: MPs to kill off beer tie for pubs?There’s a lot of rules and regulations around pubs that many see as damaging to our noble boozers. One of them is the ‘beer-tie’, which means that tied leaseholders are legally obliged to buy their beer at whatever price their landlords choose.

The OFT said that ‘beer-ties’ were ‘working well’ for customers, despite the fact a lot of pubs have closed down because of it, which isn’t great for those who like a snifter down their local at all. This ruling has mainly hit pubs in less affluent areas the hardest, where they’ve been priced out of the market by landlords and of course, supermarkets.

Tied-landlords are shutting down pubs and the people that own them are flogging them as little more than property. It is enough to drive you to drink, if you had somewhere to drink that is.

However, MPs are pushing for an amendment to the proposed Pubs Code, where they hope to axe the ‘beer-tie’.

Greg Mulholland, LibDem MP for Leeds North West and chair of Parliament’s Save the Pub Group, is pushing an amendment to the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill which proposes that landlords should be offered a ‘market rent only’ option, which in plain English, means that they’ll have no obligation to buy beer from the group that owns their pub. That means a better variety of booze and, with more competition, better prices on the pumps.

If you’ve ever wondered why, for example, your local hasn’t ever served Doom Bar or Timothy Taylors, even though everyone wants to sup it, chances are, the person who runs your pub isn’t allowed.

Federation of Small Businesses chairman John Allan said: “Pub company tenants aren’t getting a fair deal and this will continue unless they have the option to go free of tie.”

There’s some opposition to this proposal, but these people are clearly not concerned about communities having proper boozers, rather than priced-up gastrononsense.

Will this be the end of the ‘beer-tie’ or are the breweries too powerful to budge?

Help For Heroes invent a beer

November 4th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

help for heroes beer 300x225 Help For Heroes invent a beerHelp for Heroes, the charity that quite literally offers help for heroes, has created a beer.

The Help For Heroes ale will be available in 250 branches of Tesco ahead of Remembrance Sunday. It’s a 4.2% abv affair, selling at the reasonable £1.97.

It was developed by three Help for Heroes ambassadors: Pete Dunning, Daniel Whittingham and Simon Brown, together with Marston’s brewer Genevieve Upton.

The whole project was a result of a chance meeting between the co-founder of the charity and Tesco’s beer buyer Chaira Nesbitt, who will now speak: “When I heard Bryn was struggling to get a fundraising beer off the ground I was amazed.”

“After he told me the type of ale Help for Heroes was looking to create I promised him the beer would be sitting on Tesco shelves within a year.”

The ale is directed at the lager set, who are BORED of the frivolity of fizz and settling into the ales because of the flavours.

The beer is festooned with the logo: ‘Created by Heroes; Brewed by Marston’s; Enjoyed by Everyone’ and five pence from the sale of each bottle will go to Help for Heroes, which supports the rehabilitation of injured members of the armed forces.

So there you have it. You can finally get drunk in the name of charity and if anyone asks you why you’re falling about everywhere (the beer’s not that strong so you’ll have to buy a load of bottles), you can simply burp: “Just doing my bit!”

Wetherspoons: tax-free boozing on Wednesday

September 22nd, 2014 5 Comments By Ian Wade

pint of beer 300x180 Wetherspoons: tax free boozing on WednesdaySeveral Wetherspoon pubs will be dropping their prices by 7.5% on Wednesday.

The pubs will taking part in national Tax Equality Day, which highlights how everyone would benefit from a VAT  reduction in the hospitality industry.

It’s been part of an ongoing palaver between the company and the Government over their tax battles.

More than 900 Wetherspoon pubs are taking part in the campaign.

The company paid out £275.1m in VAT last year, which took their total tax bill to £600.2m, which is 43% of the company’s sales.

On average, each Wetherspoon pub pays £12,700 a week in tax.

UK supermarkets pay no VAT on food, whereas pubs pay 20%. The company said this economic disadvantage has contributed to the closure of many thousands of pubs.

You can see their point.

While this may be a political point by the pub chain, you don’t need to be interested in this jostling. Basically, head to your local Wetherspoons this Wednesday and enjoy a cut-price piss-up. Hurrah!

world cup football No one watches the World Cup in a WetherspoonsThe pubs and beer sales are always up when the World Cup is on, but the football has not helped Wetherspoons at all.

You see, they don’t usually show football, and during the World Cup, they’ve seen their sales weaken.

In a trading statement before its financial year ends on 27 July, Wetherspoon said: “Sales have been slightly weaker during the World Cup. Although sales have slowed in recent weeks, the company remains confident of a reasonable outcome in the current financial year.”

Now here’s a thing - Wetherspoon pubs have actually shown matches during the international football tournament, but fans have obviously not noticed. Maybe it would’ve been an idea to shout about it a bit more earlier on in proceedings, rather than waiting until there’s bugger-all games left?

Shares have fallen a bit and the company have also decided to shut up shop a little earlier than usual.

They said the government’s late-night levy, which allows councils to charge for the extra costs of policing late boozers had gone up by around £4,000 a year in various places.

“Wetherspoon has decided to reduce opening hours from the current 1am to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays at most of our affected pubs, as and when the levy is introduced or renewed – a retrograde step for pubs,” Wetherspoon said.

We Really Want… a Synek beer machine!

July 2nd, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

beer 282x300 We Really Want... a Synek beer machine!All hail the Synek Kickstarter! Why? Well, this crowdfunder enables you to have any beer you want, at home, with the help of your computer. That’s nice isn’t it?

Obviously, you could just go to the shop and buy bottles of whatever your favourite tipple is, but this is for the homebrewer sort, who wants things a little different.

So, here’s the deal – you know what a growler is? Quiet at the back of class. A growler is a heavy glass jug that can store beer for transportation, which preserves some of the freshness. The Synek employs a plastic pouch, which has a tube system from your tap and can store one gallon of beer and is airtight so everything stays fresh.

You can fill it up with your homebrew or, if you prefer, waddle down the local with it and get them to fill it up with your favourite draught booze. Once you have a pouch full of liquid (seriously, stop sniggering at the back there), you pop it in Synek and you can then pull it straight from the tap.

While a growler keeps your beer for a couple of days, Synek reckons you can have lovely draught beer for up to a month. You can even keep your pouch in the fridge and swap one beer for another.

It’ll set you back $299 for the full shebang, which is roughly the same price as a fancy(ish) coffee machine.

If you’re already too drunk to concentrate on reading words, let this video explain what the Synek beer machine does (and enjoy Steve’s great sweary intro).

If you want to contribute to the Kickstarter and put some money up, click here.

Which countries have the cheapest beer?

July 1st, 2014 7 Comments By Mof Gimmers

The price of a pint is always far more pertinent than the fabled ‘price of fish’. No-one shouts “HOW MUCH?!” at an expensive piece of hake, unless you’re a seafarer or a fishmonger nerd.

Swanky bars may charge you £5 for a bottle of weak lager, while a CAMRA approved pub may well get you completely mortal for £1.30 a pop. But on average, is British beer cheap, compared to the rest of the world?

Well thankfully, we’ve been sent an infographic to help us find out which country is best for having a cheap snifter… but remember; cheap doesn’t always mean quality.

cheap beer 500x260 Which countries have the cheapest beer?

Turns out that the cheapest boozers can be found in Vietnam and Ukraine, which is nice. Unless you go their during civil conflict. The best shout on the list, for price and quality, is the wonderful Czech Republic. Their beers are incredible and, as anyone who has visited will tell you, booze is seen as a basic human right there.

If you want to avoid shelling out loadsamoney, then avoid the Middle East. Mainly because alcohol is banned in parts of it. Where they do have beer, it is expensive.

In short, the price of one beer in Iran buys you 13 in Ukraine.

If you want to see the rest of the list and the full infographic, and some interesting beer factoids, then we advise paying a visit to financesonline/beer prices for the low down on who drinks the most, which beer is the most popular in the world and a more.

Pub landlords to be helped by government?

June 3rd, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

beer 282x300 Pub landlords to be helped by government?Britain’s pubs are fantastically important to the community, but in recent years, too many of them have found themselves struggling thanks to stupid rents and booze costs.

Well, the government have come up with some new rules in a bid to help pub tenants who are finding it difficult to stay financially afloat.

This new statutory code includes the right to request a rent review after five years and there’s also action being taken after a lot of landlords complained about the ”beer tie”. For the uninitiated, ‘tied pubs’ are those who are forced to buy their supplies (quite often at extortionate prices) from pub companies that own the premises.

Thanks to ‘tied pubs’, over a half of publicans told the government that they earned less than the minimum wage.

“Far too many landlords feel their income is squeezed by big pub companies. So today we are tacking action to make sure they get a fairer deal,” said Business Secretary Vince Cable.

These reforms will see the appointment of an independent adjudicator who will be able to enforce new rules and impose sanctions, financial penalties and such, on pub owners failing to play along with the new rules. Tenant landlords will have the right to review the information that pub companies use to determine increases in rent and tenants of companies that own in advance of 500 pubs will have the right to ask for a “parallel free-of-tie rent assessment”, which will basically show them if they’d be better off going independent.

While there’s little confidence in anything offered by a government, we can only hope that this sees some kind of pub revival.

wine glasses 300x199 Dream job alert  wine and beer testers wanted #freeboozeGood old Aldi. Not only are we all fans of their low prices (and the best supermarket ads on telly), they are now seeking to win the hearts of many more by seeking official wine tasters on Twitter.

The ten “aspiring wine connoisseurs” will receive two free bottles of wine, plus tasting notes, each month, and in return need to produce a measly 140 character review. And drink the wine, of course. Potential applicants have until June 2 to apply with a 150 word spiel and their Twitter name.

And if wine isn’t your bag, drinks retailer Oddbins are also out for public input. Oddbins already run an annual wine taster search and now, we kid you not, they are looking for beer testers. Consumers over the age of 18 who think they  could possibly put themselves through the hardship of drinking beer on Oddbins’ behalf can apply for the role, which will go towards the decision making process of deciding choosing which UK ales to stock.

By tweeting @Oddbins and including #OddbinsBeer, you don’t have many characters left to convince the company why you are the best beer-swiller for the job, but if you’re interested, you have until the end of May to come up with something short and snappy. The role is unpaid, but the chosen candidate will receive monthly deliveries of cases of craft ales in exchange for their guidance in the beer-picking process.

Ayo Akintola, managing director of Oddbins, said: “We are committed to placing our customers at the heart of our business model and recruiting a customer beer taster is consistent with that philosophy.”

While these are just two examples of businesses seeking customer engagement, it does show a growing trend towards using customers, in more than one sense of the word, and how this can be mutually beneficial. Even if you aren’t successful in becoming the Aldi wine taster, next time you buy wine, you know Aldi has wine tasters, which might make you more inclined to buy Aldi wine. And for the cost of a monthly case of beer, Oddbins generates publicity worth many times that amount, and even gets a mention on consumer sites whose readers might appreciate the opportunity to drink free beer…