Sunday, November 28, 2010

Be careful what you wish for...

I didn't think I'd have a problem with minimum pricing, and we read that it's really on the cards this time. Actually, I don't read the Torygraph, but in fairness, I believe they broke this one (i.e. were fed this) so they get the link.

I reckon that I can live with this:
Under the plans, the minimum price for a litre bottle of spirits would be £10.50, while a 20-pack of beer would have to cost at least £8.50, and a bottle of normal-strength wine at least £2.

But hello, what's this?
Ministers are also to review the duty paid on beer, with a view to creating a new higher tax "bracket" for super-strength brews.

I'm not sure I like the look of that - at all.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Why keg is best.

Ever since J.W. Green of Luton started kegging beer in 1946, the advantages of this modern, hep, 20th century paragon of packaging over the old-fashioned, unreliable and generally shite alternative has been obvious to producers and consumers alike.

So why are we still revisiting this old argument? Some blame CAMRA for interfering in the value-free workings of the market which was making "cask" extinct: For foolishly diverting the asteroid of shareholder value as it plumetted towards the oblivious dinosaur that was real ale; For sentimentally interposing the landrover of publicity between the oligopoly's pack of hyenas and the huge-eyed baby gazelle of freedom; For rashly squandering the antibiotic of choice on the mortally sick puppy of an industry distorted by excess vertical integration.

With keg of course, we can extend the product shelf-life and deal with longer and more complex supply chains. We need no longer restrict ourselves to those outlets that can look after the product - but now sell to anyone who can hook up a gas bottle - there's loads more of those than there are good pubs.

It's not just brewing, it's beverage technology! It's totally now!

With keg we can get more people drinking our lovely "craft beer"! Of course we can. We can secure the future of beer. Just like J.W. Green did.*

* Became Flower’s. Taken over by Whitbread who are no longer making beer - they're in the business of providing hospitality.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

I have drank...

No! No you haven't!

You have drunk.

And also, you were NOT sat down.
Not unless someone sat you down there. Like you were a dog.

Deep breath. I'm OK now

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Misunderstanding of Science.

Well, as we all must know by now, Prof David J Nutt et al have published a study piece assessing harm related to the consumption of various psycho-active substances (let's call them "drugs" - there, that was easy).

The headline point has to be "alcohol is so the worst".

And of course, beer bloggers, chains firmly yanked, cages rattled, leap up yelping "No! that's not science!" and "Him! he's a discredited neo-prohibitionist". *

So, what do you think we should do?
Should the alcohol industry speak with a unified voice?

Should we (brewers of lovely "craft" products) join up with the industrial producers of fermented corn syrup? Should the beer bloggers carry on saying (in effect) "since beer is good, dangerous drinking must be allowed", and "it's not the state's job to tell me what to drink, although I suppose it should be allowed to tell me what to smoke, snort or jack-up".

Do we really mean that limiting access to my psycho-active substance of choice is bad, whereas those other drugs (other's choices) need controlling. Is this something to do with the "Narcissism of small differences"?

* Answers: (a) no, it's about a way of using "knowledge" to make decisions.
(b) he's not really, is he?

Monday, November 01, 2010

Public Harm

The past 50 years have seen the worst epidemic of public harm from a legal drug since the introduction of cheap gin in the 1700s. Although alcohol intake has doubled in this period , alcohol related harms have increased many times more on account of the culture of heavy and, particularly, binge drinking that has developed. There are a number of reasons for this epidemic. The major ones have been the last government’s policies of reducing the real price of alcohol and increasing drinking hours , plus the massive increase in the marketing of alcohol in supermarkets, often as a loss-leader . There has also been a marked growth in strong lagers and ciders of up to 8% alcohol content that appear designed to facilitate rapid intoxication rather than to satisfy palates.
David Nutt

more Nutt

Oh yeah