Monday, 20 June 2016

News in Brief #47

Everyone likes us, and we don't care

Fashionable Breweries Now Beyond Criticism

This week, it has emerged that certain makers of beer are not allowed to experience the mildest of negative commentary from their consumers. "It's almost , like, we've built them up into some kind of irreproachable position or something." complained Craft content master and part-time barperson Luke Lumberjack-Shirt.

"I mean, I admit I spent three years saying everything that Beavertown and Cloudwater did were awesome, and told everyone to go and spend, like, vast amounts of money on their latest beers. But that's no reason for them to get all sensitive and set their social media acolytes on me."

"I mean, look at this tweet here. This person, @BrettSaison68 , told me I was a hipster into beer for poses and attention to get a future career. I mean, like, how rude."

Journalist Annabelle Anthracite said "Those who get paid to do a job should expect a certain level of criticism in a healthy society. It goes with the territory."

"But not Beer Communicators. We never get paid for anything."

Busy Monday in Craftyland

Customer Spotted in Craft Bar on Monday

Provincial town Craft Bar The Fobbing Keg, Loughborough today opened it's doors at midday as always. Assistant manager Samantha Emptychair sat herself behind the bar with her new George R.R Martin novel in expectation of a typical Monday afternoon.

But scarcely 90 minutes later, she was roused from her fantasy novel by the sound of the door. "I was shocked. This guy came in. And he ordered a drink."

"I never thought I'd ever see this." amazed Samantha "I was assured by the manager that the PubCo only kept this place open so they have somewhere acceptable to take clients to, as opposed to all the rest of their alcoholic codger-filled dump of an estate."

"I hope he doesn't stay too long. I want to finish this book by the end of my shift."

Impartial on the issues

Wetherspoons Holding Referendum

Value market targeted hospitality group and shelter for distressed souls JD Wetherspoon this week announced they were holding a Referendum on whether to secede from the United Kingdom. "For too long, we in this company have been under the thumb of UK law and it's endless restrictions." ranted empathetic employer and Chairman Timbo Martin.

"For instance, did you know I have to let my bar staff have a 15 minute break once every eight hours? And pay them £7.20 an hour in the admittedly unlikely event they're over 25? It's red tape like this that restricts our profitability and growth as a business."

"So, I've decided to ask my customers whether they would like their pub to leave the heavy legislative demands of the UK." ranted Timbo "And I've printed the Yes/No question on 6 million beer mats which I've had put on every table."

"My staff will collect them at the end of the night and chuck them in the appropriate bin depending on which box is ticked. Which I'll have weighed."

"I'll announce the winner at the next Seasonal Beer Festival. By which time I hope everyone will have forgotten. I'm sure my point of view will prevail anyway."

Near-permanent Spoons resident Bob Cirrhosis said "But I thought this place was independent of any standards of decency and decorum anyway?"

Dedicated Follower of Fashion

They seek it here, they seek it there

As many of you know, I work in a shop that sells (amongst other things) beer. We do around 300 lines of what is known in the trade as "Premium Bottled Ales", and have won awards for it. However, about 18 months ago our beer buyer decided this was not enough. No. He'd read that "Craft" was now a "thing".

So, we spent two days shoving up the PBAs and "World Lagers" to make room for the extra 90 lines he'd decided we should have, completely buggering the layout that took me a week to do in August 2012. But no matter. We were now selling stuff like DNA, Goose Island Honkers and cans of Thwaites 13 Guns.

Since the time it went in, I have learned many things about craft beer retailing. One being the habits of your average Crafty.  One person I know looked over our whole bay of Craft Cans and said "Well. It's ok. I suppose. Will you be getting Magic Rock in?" Two months later Salty Kiss, Cannonball and High Wire were listed and duly arrived.

Mr. Resident Crafty came shopping two days later. I took him to the beer and showed him our shiny new lines. "Hmm. Cannonball's alright. But will you be getting any Moor soon?". Ok. Right then. Eventually our buyer reached Bristol on his tasting tour, and the Moor came in at the end of April.

Mr Crafty told me that Nor'Hop and So'Hop weren't the best we could have got from them. Any more new lines coming in?

And this is the thing about trying to appeal to the Hardcore Crafty consumer. Your range, however large or diverse is never quite good enough. You need a constant turnover of "new" and "exciting" stuff otherwise they get bored and complain. In matters of the Craft, they are as fickle as can be.

We're getting Beavertown Bloody 'Ell and BrewDog Black Hammer soon. Do you think they'll be happy then?