Sunday, 26 April 2015


Popping out for a quiet one
One of the main objections to opening a licences establishment these days (and the rare times it happens, it's usually a Spoons), the the fear of "alcohol fuelled disorder". It's one of the main motivators of the wowsers behind Alcohol Concern. Even the Drinkaware posters typically depict the downside of alcohol consumption with a photo of a (badly staged, and thus usually blurred) drunken fight.

But how prevalent are boozy brawls these days? Maybe I go to the wrong places, but I've never seen anything worse than arguments.  It's probably true that I, along with most other beer bloggers, are unlikely to go to places where we're likely to get beaten up, as we (allegedly) go to taste the beers rather than get tanked up on them.

It may well be true that a certain level of trouble happens in city centres with a large concentration of clubs. But the typical patrons of these are students. The combination of immature brains, poor alcohol capacity and a raging sense of entitlement can be a heady mix. A certain level of disorder is likely, but it's nothing that kids haven't been getting up to for centuries.

My opinion, as always, is that the Ruling Classes do not want the Lower Orders drinking, as it reduces productivity and gets them talking about stuff that they'd rather not be discussed.  How better to put them off than to basically scare them away from pubs by telling them they'll be beaten senseless if they set foot in them?

Alcohol consumption can have it's downsides, yes. But it's far more likely to result in a raging hangover and a sense of bitter self-recrimination than a trip to intensive care.


  1. Completely agree - apart from a few big city centres this "alcohol-fuelled disorder" just doesn't happen. It certainly doesn't in Stockport! It's a myth put about - and supported by the likes of the Daily Mail - with the intention of supporting more restrictions on alcohol consumption.

    (Has the pub refurbishment post been pushed back, btw?)

    1. Big city centres? I think not - it's small towns where the real chew goes down. Apparently genteel market town centres turn into arenas of chew on many a Friday and Saturday night. City centres tend to have fewer carrot crunching divs visiting them and are better policed.

  2. Back in the 80s I remember the word being that Robbies' was 'fighting beer' - other beers might make you maudlin, amorous or nauseous, but Robinson's bitter was guaranteed to get you scrapping. Presumably there was some local tradition of drink-fuelled pugnacity behind that, in which case I wonder when it changed. Or maybe it was always a myth.

    I've heard some fairly heavy-duty effing & blinding in pubs - generally Spoons - but I can only think of two occasions when I've seen an actual fight break out, and in both cases the pub closed not long after. Perhaps that's a factor - with the fear of alcohol-fuelled disorder ramped up so high, there's no tolerance of the (increasingly rare) real thing.

  3. I think Jeff makes a fair point about small market towns, but they probably just like fighting as there is cock all else to do. I don't think they necessarily need to be tanked up.

    Nor can I remember when I last saw a fight in a pub. Probably in Liverpool over 25 years ago.