Sunday, 29 May 2016

News in Brief #46

Violating social norms, yesterday

Man Sits on Own in Pub

This week, during a busy Bank Holiday weekend, a man aged approximately 40 years old was spotted sat on his own drinking beer.

Landlord of the Pig & Slurry, Slaithwaite Barry Shortmeasure recounted the evening's events in shocked tones "He walked in through the door and came up to the bar and ordered a pint of bitter. He paid for it and say down with it at a nearby table."

"I'd never seen him before in my life." continues Barry "I was expecting him to be really drunk and over-familiar with the regulars. Or even sexually harrass the barstaff and call me a fucking bastard when I told him to knock it off."

"But he just sat there, sipping his pint in silence. After 45 minutes he got up, said goodbye and left."

"I hope he doesn't come back." whispered Barry "He scares me."

"Mine's a vodka and Dandelion & Burdock"

Cask Abolished For Summer

Due to the unseasonable (for England anyway ) warm weather, pubs have been reporting a decline in real ale sales.

"It's most peculiar," confessed industry trend reporter Bob Obviousinfo "it's almost as if they prefer drinks that are cold and refreshing."

Ever vigilant to prevailing trends, the drinks producers have responded "Yeah, they're all churning out 'fruit' ciders or stuff you can mix with ice and vodka now." confessed Obviousinfo. "Cask is dead at the moment as fat old men with beards are staying at home as it's hot. Breweries are going bust too. "

Brown beer lover and pessimist Mudgie Mudgington ranted "I knew it. I said it would happen. Thank God for Sam Smith's and their keg bitter."

Disclosure : Stella and Becks are Wonderful

Communicator Announces New Working Methods

Content generator and newly self-proclaimed Beer Journalist Curt Mattis today told everyone how he would be working in future. "Integrity and ethics are dead, man. They don't pay the bills in 2016."

"I'm letting it known that I'll write about what I'm paid to write about. Friends, brewers, public relations people - send me your beers! It's more fun and cheaper than being critical about stuff!"

"Don't get me wrong, man, I'll disclose everything I receive from brewers, like this contract I have with SABMiller. I'm off to Europe tomorrow to do content for them. Everyone will will want to read it when it's done!"

Asked if he will be altering his inimitable style Curty retorted "Of course not! Beer is still awesome."

"It's just that some beers will be more awesome than others."

Friday, 20 May 2016

News in Brief #45

The mark of quality

In Date Craft Beer Found in Pub Fridge

Last Sunday afternoon, infrequent drinker Sam Lightweight made an unusual journey to his local in Driffield. "I'd read about these Craft Beer things in the '10 to try' feature in Friday's I paper. So I went down to the Marquess of Anglesey down the road as I heard they had some."

"I went in and looked in the bar fridge and asked for a bottle of Chorlton Sandalwood. It was what they had most of."

"Anyway," continued Sam "I looked at the date on it and to my horror I found it was 24th June 2016. I went against everything I've been told about Craft bottles in pubs. Needless to say, I didn't get the authentic weird and musty taste, or even diarrhoea the following day."

Barry Shortmeasure, the pub's landlord "My fault for not checking, I suppose. Must have got a duff batch from Jimmy Clay's."

"They normally put reassuring post-dated stickers on them, I'm told."
Coming soon to a microbar near you. Frequently 

Town Centre Bar Redecorates

After having it's windows broken by drunken tossers for the fourteenth this year, plate glass riven shop conversion microbar The Dancing Tap is having a drastic redecoration.

Manager Mark Pilkington-Process said "Yeah, I was fed up with it. But had this amazing idea while the emergency glaziers were here patching the place up. Why not, like, have the whole place done out in Smartply? It'd be great and save so much time."

"So I bought 36 sheets of the stuff, and had all the windows, floors, tables, seats, bar and even the bloody handpulls made from it. We're like no micropub in the country now, man.'

"And if anybody tries to smash the place up now," said Mark with a big smile "they'll be poisoned by the formaldehyde fumes."

"It'll serve them right, the twats."

It'll have changed. At least for a while

Local CAMRA Chairman Disappointed With New Management

Last week, the Carpenters Arms in Birtle was taken over by a new management team. As is always the case, they promised great beer, a warm welcome and everlasting wonderfulness. And put it all on a big banner which they stuck above the pub door.

One person underwhelmed by these events, however, was local CAMRA bigwig Hamish McTand "Och, ah'd never go tae the place normally as ah heard it was shite. But ah had something to do nearby and needed a pint."

"Ah walked in, and they ignored me and carried awn cleaning and setting up the till or something, the bastards. Didnae say hello or anything. Drank the pint ah ordered and left. It isnae on. Ah told everybody on ma blog."

Newly-hired barman Tom Ullagefest told us "We'd heard about Mr. McTand and his exacting standards. We were hoping he wouldn't come in until at least our sparkler order had arrived. We can only apologise."

Asked why such a minor faux pas inspired such a reaction McTand said "Ah, though you wouldnae ken it, ah'm just a big sensitive bastard really."

"For a Scotsman, anyway."

Monday, 2 May 2016

Three Years

I don't remember why I started this blog. It was a long time ago. Maybe I was drunk at the time. Anyway, everyone else seemed to be doing it.

Unlike other people who do their stuff using aliases, personae and pseudonyms, all mine goes out under my own name.  I have no worries about people finding out my views about the beer industry and the people who inhabit it.  I'm unlikely to work in the industry myself for many reasons, mainly due to my inability to cultivate contacts and general lack of motivation and interest in other people.

As it is, I only get 3000 hits a month so it's doubtful anyone powerful spends a great deal of time here.  But that's a good thing. It means I can say pretty much anything I like, as long as it doesn't turn out to be libellous.

If I've learned anything about blogging in the last three years, it's that most people take piss taking in good spirit as long as you're not excessively mean or cruel. A couple of people have taken offence in the past, but if (as they say) they're aiming to be Serious Beer Journalists, then they'll have to deal with a lot worse than a scarcely-read Blogger making fun of them. For example, I doubt that, say, BrewDog has lost a single sale through what I've written about them, or Matt Curtis had an event cancelled through my "news" about "Curt Mattis".

I've always seen myself as somewhat apart from the rest of humanity, so it's only natural that I'll be somewhat apart from the beer blogosphere. No doubt I could get more exposure by doing beer reviews, and talking up breweries and bars. I don't, mainly because I'd be hopeless at it. I'm a crap liar. But if I did that, what would differentiate me from all the other blogs out there? I don't get freebies (apart from trade tickets to IndyManBeerCon, which I presume now will not be repeated), so I don't have to worry about disclosure. In other words, I'm free.

So, if you ever wonder about something I've written that seems inappropriate, harsh or just silly, it's because I'm trying to make a point about something. It's not personal. I barely know anybody in the Beer Industry.  I just think some things need to be pointed out, and as piss-taking is the only real talent I possess, that's going to be the way I'll do it.

After all, Beer is meant to be fun. Isn't it?