Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Quid pro quo

A couple of months ago, I reported on plans by the Portman Group to introduce portion control for strong beers and ciders. But it seems as though the producers of these drinks are understandably reluctant to give ground if they get nothing in return, especially asking the government to accept that, if the smaller sizes are brought in, that these drinks should be recognised as legitimate products and not subject to arbitrary local bans of dubious legality.

It’s impossible to say that one particular drink is intrinsically bad and another good, and there are plenty of supposedly respectable craft beers and ciders sold at a similar strength level. Problem drinkers will simply drink whatever comes to hand at a reasonable price to give them the effect they seek.

While I doubt whether many drinkers of Special Brew make any attempt to adhere to the government’s alcohol guidelines, I’m sure there are plenty of people for whom drinking three cans in an evening suits them better than six cans of Carlsberg Export. They may be heavy drinkers, but they’re not causing anyone any problem and that’s no more than many pub drinkers (including members of CAMRA) routinely put away on Friday and Saturday nights.

And if one of the brewers was to launch their super lager in 33 cl cans – with a proportionate reduction in price – no doubt the anti-drink lobby would then start moaning about making it more accessible and selling it at pocket-money prices.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a beer drinkers’ consumer organisation that was prepared to make a robust stand against nonsense such as this?

14 comments:

  1. legitimate products?

    the only legitimate products are what middle class wankers like, Mudge, you should know that.

    9% Belgian Ale available in specialist off licence in the UK but drunk by tramps in Bruge is a discerning craft product that is drunk for the taste of the highly discerning wankers what neck it, Mudge, none of whom are out to get pissed and sit on park benches and shout at pigeons.

    just think, would Polly like it?

    Big Mac - No
    £15 Gourmet Burger - Yes
    Le Chouffe - Yes
    The Spesh - No
    Waitrose Prosecco -Yes
    Lambrini - No
    Nuts Magazine - No
    Rubens at the Tate - Yes
    2 weeks all inclusive in Benidorm - No
    2 weeks at the Tuscan villa - Yes.

    Apply the Polly Tuscan Villa Toynbee test, and you cannot fail.


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  2. "sit on park benches and shout at pigeons."

    You were there after the APPLE meeting, then?

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  3. A side effect of putting Kestrel Super in 33cl cans would be that they could also flog it to craft wankers like me for a fiver a throw, claiming it's an "Postmodern Imperial Pilsner" or something.

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  4. The thought has occurred to me in the past that they could do a "craft" relaunch of one of these beers in 33cl bottles, and sell it for more than the cans. But of course cans are now where it's at ;-)

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  5. Here's a revolutionary idea for the government: why not treat drinkers like adults, give them all the information you think they need, and let them decide for themselves? Or am I missing something?

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  6. A common failing of government is that they think they can actually change anything by minor, fiddly maesures.

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  7. RedNev said...

    Here's a revolutionary idea for the government: why not treat drinkers like adults, give them all the information you think they need, and let them decide for themselves?


    Indeed. And we could perhaps add 'smokers' to the 'drinkers' in that comment. Now that WOULD be revolutionary!

    Unfortunately, however, drinkers are going to follow smokers down the "lets regulate them out of existence" path. It's started already, and it will gather pace because the zealots and prohibitionists have honed their template of lies and propaganda with the pogrom on smokers. They know now that with a little fine tuning, the same template can be applied to drinkers.

    Prepare to be 'denormalised'.

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  8. "Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a beer drinkers’ consumer organisation that was prepared to make a robust stand against nonsense such as this?"

    Can't think who you're referring to, Mudge!

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  9. As it happens, Mr McNally has already been promoting Kestrel as a "British craft ager" on the apparent grounds that it's made of all-British malt and hops (in the Tennent's brewery in Glasgow ...)

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  10. Indeed he has, although the promotion is centred on the lower-strength variants.

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  11. Kestrel is craft but I don't think they should call it "super". That appeals to kids, like super man. Likewise with Super T.

    They ought to rename them "tramps lager" rather than "super lager" and display a picture of Polly wagging a disapproving finger.

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  12. Remember the old Tennants cans featuring 'Lager Lovelies'? Replace the lovely with a picture of a suitably frowning Harridan Harperson or Toynbee and there's the perfect government health warning!

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  13. you mean this leccy?

    http://www.cannyscot.com/

    that's what passes for porn in the Mudge household.

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  14. Good find there Cooky!

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