Sunday, August 29, 2010

Want it? Can't have it.

Some interesting discussion of beer adverts here and here. Of course, sexism in beer advertising is hardly something new. It's not to be wondered at - the creators must despise their audience to do the work.

I can't remember who first pointed this out to me, but nearly all adverts tell the same simple story. First we're presented with an image of something desirable but unobtainable, then the product is offered as a sort of consolation prize. So the conversation goes like this:
Advertiser: Want this? [Offers images of bustling high-energy metrosexual lifestyle (San Miguel) or beautiful people having great fun in your fantastic new apartment (Heineken)]
Me: Yeah!
Advertiser: You can't have it. [You're too poor, stupid, ugly - and you know you are] Have this to cheer you up. [proffers product]

Friday, August 13, 2010

Drinking in Britain. Wine v. Beer

Data Source:

I think we can all see where this is going...

Trying is the first step towards failure.

I hope the copyright owner (I guess that would be the enormously talented and generous Matt Groening) won't be upset.

Anyhoo, after telling you all how easy big beers are, I suppose it's time to admit that the mighty pale ale supposed to be at least 7% is actually a measly 6.5%.

Why? If I tell you it should have been boiled longer to concentrate the wort? Any guesses? Something to do with a heater?

You, boy at the back. That's right. Heater on the copper gave up on us. So there you go. I now always meant it to be 6.5%

I think its going to be good though. Obviously not as strong, or as intense as planned, and paler of course. Probably not a bad thing as it turns out, since it's quite progressive as it is. First outing at the Ulverston Beer Festival: Thursday 2nd September to Saturday 4th September.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Brewing the Bigger Beer

Or as The Dictators put it in their top ditty "Faster and Louder":
...Speaking as a young artiste who has so much to say
So now you know my situation
understand my aggravation
building up so strong inside
cause I wanna make some noise
I can live
Faster and louder
I'm a man
Faster and louder
(You might be able to check out the track here...)

So, how do we do the Big Bottomed, or Fuller Figured beer (if you'd rather)?
Well (and perhaps I shouldn't be giving away secrets like this - but imagine me as a sort of Penn Jillette of the magic circle of beer - only with less talent), we put more stuff in. That's it. That's all there is to it.
In fact, it's even easier than that. Because we put so much stuff in - we end up with a stronger beer. Two things are well known about strong beers:
  1. Beer geeks like them.
  2. People can't drink much of them.
So the Bigger Beer gets lots of attention, and we don't have to make a lot of it.

Even better than that, it's not absolutely essential to pay the usual attention to balance, or for that matter - anything. Since we can market the Bigger Beer as extreme or transgressive or category-busting, we'll find it hard to miss the mark. We make it. That's what it's supposed to be like.

But what if it's too hoppy, too malty? Too bitter or syrupy? It can't be. See?
There's people out there who will love it. Bless them, they probably talk about the saltiest meal they ever had.

Lots of people will hate it. But those unfortunates (with all their taste receptors) can stick to session beers. The future belongs to the hard of tasting with the armoured palates.

So what do you fancy? An Imperial Black IPA? A trippel hopmonster Stout? Let me go and throw some stuff in a bucket and I'll tell you which it is - when it's done.

Actually, the next one we're doing is a 7% pale ale with a bunch of Centennial and Amarillo in it.  Not too much I hope. Notes of pine, orange and rose, with lawns a-mowing in the distance.  A bittersweet base, like the last hot Sunday afternoon of a childhood holiday - you'll never see the other kids again. Should be ready at the start of Sept.

Friday, August 06, 2010

The End of Home Draught

Particularly Suitable For Cumbrian Beers