Thursday 29 January 2015

News in Brief #11


Brewers Indulge in Collaboration Madness

Inspired by the new fashion for Collaboration Brews, every brewer in the world has teamed together to make a beer that will be in a pub near you soon.

Made with pale malt and cascade hops, these being the only things everyone could agree on, the massed brewers set upon the long and important decision of agreeing a name.

"We decided on 'A Beer' " condescended London brewster Emily Popartcan "It was the only thing we reached a consensus on."

"Had to list everyone involved, though. Pumpclip's bloody big."

Just a bit of fun

Sexism Defeated Thanks to Beer Festival

In Somalia this month, 20,000 12 year old girls were forced to undergo genital mutilation, while in Sudan 1000 female school pupils were abducted and impelled to marry Boko Haram soldiers.

Meanwhile, at a Manchester beer festival, activists ensured that a couple of mildly sexist T-shirts were covered up so CAMRA members couldn't ogle at their vague misogyny.

Feminist and easy victory seeker Molly Roanew told us "No longer can women be oppressed in this world. I'm glad I came to this beer festival to defeat this evil.".

" My PR person said I should do this. What's 'beer' anyway?"

Politics Invades Beer Blogging World

UKIP huckster and non-controversy-seeker-dear-me-no Mudgie Mudgington was aghast to see people discussing politics on his blog this week.

"Honestly," he said slightly convincingly "just because I do a post saying Nigel Farage will be the saviour of public drinking in Britain, and that the Lab/Lib Dem/Con/Green/SNP/Plaid Cymru Conspiracy want to execute anyone even contemplating consuming alcohol, everyone thinks I'm some kind of bizarre scaremongering loony. Surely people realise the threat to their lives? And more importantly, the threat to me and my pint in this cheap pub."

"Politics is bad for you. I'm only interested in what's right. "

Saturday 24 January 2015

Are Pubs Really Important?

The most important issue facing society today

Do you remember 2010? There was some kind of election if you recall. Now, I do my best to avoid such things as I consider myself depressed enough. But, I was reading about on a Doctor Who forum. As you do.

Now, if you have the misfortune to be a longtime Doctor Who fan, you will have heard of a gentleman by the name of Ian Levine. Mr Levine is the original Superfan.  He found a few missing episodes back in the 70s and 80s, but these days he's more regarded as a bizarre aberration and, indeed, an example of the worst of fandom.

Anyway, around the time of the 2010 Election, Levine posted on the Gallifrey Base forum about his voting intentions "Which Party's policies," he wrote "would be best for the continued production of Doctor Who?". We thought he was joking, but then we remembered he'd never betrayed evidence of a sense of humour before.

It's important to realise that, as fans of things, such things are important to us. And that's all OK and good.  But there are other things that are more important.

Say you're a pub blogger. Pubs are important to you. In fact, they could even be pretty much your whole world. You may even look up a particular political party's manifesto and see which bit will be good for the pubs you like, regardless of the effects of these policies on health, education, trade and industry etc.  (other government departments are available).

Pubs are an important part of British culture. But are they the only part that matters.

Tuesday 20 January 2015

News in Brief #10

Spesh To Be Sold in Wine Bottles

Soon to be a historical document
Non-dwelling itinerant favourite Carlsberg Special Brew has fallen foul of the Portman Group's new rules on alcohol units-per-container. Carslberg UK had been expected to either water it down or decrease the  can size. However, in a shock move, their marketing department has revealed a different plan.

"We thought," exclaimed PR man Damien Parasite ",'yeah, why not put it in a green 750ml glass bottle with a screwcap'. That way we can sell it to the middle classes as a fancy thing. And as everyone knows, it's OK to drink high ABV beverages as long as the right people do it in proper circumstances. Right? Posh people can't be problem drinkers surely?"

Homeless mentally-ill street drinker Harry Stringtrousers told us "Bah. Never mind. We've all found supermarket own-brand sherry is better value these days anyway."

Old Man Feels Uncomfortable in Craft Bar

"Your telomeres must be this long to enter"
In a hipster joint near you, lone middle agers are feeling slightly awkward.

"I came here because I heard there was a beer on I needed to tick off." complained 54 year old CAMRA member Greg Steakbake "But I couldn't find a padded seat. So I stood at the bar with my half surrounded by all these trendy young people who were talking about things I've never heard of."

"And why do they dress like that anyway? I'm surprised they can afford it with the prices of that craft keg stuff they buy. I was shuffling about on the slate floor wondering if I should have another and the bearded barman started offering me tasters of some fizzy overhopped nonsense. That was it for me. I had to leave before I died of embarrassment."

"It's almost as if the place wasn't aimed at my demographic or something."

Crafties Ditch Old Favourites

You sure they're not brewing Craft here already?
Crafty Hipster beer types are reported to have given up drinking their regular craft beer and are waiting for new ones to come out.

Interviewed today, hipster and general person cooler than you are Luke Lumberjack-Shirt burbled "I hear people are still drinking Thornbridge of all things. They been round for, like, ever. I personally think Beavertown and Weird Beard are no longer Craft because they opened up before 2013. I'm only drinking beer from breweries that started last week from now on."

"In fact, I'm going to camp outside this London railway arch until a new Craft Brewery opens inside it. Then I can claim they do the best beer, like, ever."

"At least for the next 20 minutes anyway."

Sunday 18 January 2015

Old Beer Ads #14 - Ruddles (1993)

Believe it or not, there was a time when Ruddles was a highly regarded beer, rather than the go-to cheap filth at Wetherspoons. Even more surprisingly for an independent brewery, they had a TV advertising budget. And if you had such a thing, what better course of action that to give £50,000 of said budget to Vivian Stanshall, ex-leader of the Bonzo Dog Band and notoriously unreliable pisshead.

Stanshall, possibly when a bit more sober, cooked this one up in his flat in Muswell Hill, roughly based on his Rawlinson End work and an old Edward Lear poem you may recognise.  Extravagantly hiring Dawn French to be unreconisably made-up as Sir Henry Rawlinson, it's a perfect example of money-no-object advertising excess.

It kept Stanshall going though. Not a drinker of Real Ale, he spent a large proportion of the money on recordings for Warner Brothers (yet to be released due to rights hell) and vodka.

Unwell with alcoholism and tranquiliser addiction, and indeed only 18 months from death, Stanshall spent a lot of time blotto and as such this as took far longer than normal to get in the can. More money spent. It's possibly an exaggeration that these events made Ruddle vulnerable to the takeover from Greene King a few years later, but it makes you think.

So Viv, it's all your fault. Still, thanks for "The Canyons Of Your Mind".

Monday 5 January 2015

News in Brief #9

9am Club Condemn Return of John Smiths

"Yay! No prising off the fonts and reprinting the menus!"
Following the announcement that JD Wetherspoons have made up with Heineken, the former early morning smooth drinking stalwarts have been surprisingly up in arms at the news.

"When we were told by the Team Leader one Tuesday that the Smiths had run out," said disgruntled lark alcoholic Bob Cirrhosis " and we were distraught. 'What are we gonna drink now?' Lager is too fizzy and Ruddles has too much flavour.  Then we were offered a coffee as consolation and our lives were transformed."

"Now me any my mates meet here at Spoons for a triple mocha skinny latte and brioche muffin every morning.  Now we hear the Smooth is back. We're going to have to change our routine again."

"It's as if the bastards are playing with our affections"

Tryanuary Only for "Right People and Things"

We'll vet you for coolness beforehand
Crafty Hipster promoted desperate winter trade increase attempt "Tryanuary" started this week. The idea is to drink a new beer every day for each day of the 31 in January.

Inveterate publicicity hound and entirely-coincidental microbrewery owner Julian Spargebucket Facebooked yesterday "Yes, it's true. We want people to try new things. But we heard older people were trying boring brown bitters and golden ales. That's not the point, guys! We want young people drinking microcraftbrewery beers. I mean, get with the programme and do the right things, man."

Sam Nocustom, an owner of a bar deserted post-Xmas told us "Eh? Tryanuary? What's that?"

Old People Encouraged to "Go to Pub"

Men in pub circa 1953. Mudgie is the young one
Following reports that elderly men are lonely, professional nostalgist and tide-retreater Mudgie Mudgington has started a campaign to get them down the pub for companionship.

"It's true that today's codgers don't want to be seen doing what yesterday's codgers did. After all, now there's Countdown and Cash In The Attic, which are less effort that going down to the local for a pint of mild and dominoes.  But I think destroying your brain with pints of best is much more preferable than destroying it with daytime TV."

"To be honest,  it's me who wants the company really. This Sam Smiths is so piss weak that even 6 pints in an afternoon doesn't make the pub cat seem to converse with me."