Thursday, 14 January 2010

The real dark side.

The Brew-I, my new found/made up religion was initially set up to counter the dark side of the brewing force. Global mega-brewers pushing their lifeless product with multi-million pound advertising campaigns. We all know the score. Then we have the pub-co’s, we all hate them and there evil market manipulating ways. But as a Brew-I priest I feel it must be emphasized that there is always balance to the force. Beer enthusiasts/the Brew-I as a whole act to counter the forces of the dark side, while the dark side use all too familiar tactics, marketing, consumer brand familiarity and stacking high selling cheap.

To tell the truth the Brew-I/beer enthusiast are amongst a minority. I have often thought wouldn’t it be a great world if almost everyone drank craft beer, and none of this mass market lowest common denominator beer existed. Or would it be? Or just maybe it might take the fun out of it, being a beer geek and all that is about hunting out rare beers and the best places to drink them. Finding folks like yourself and chatting to them for hours about beer, being part of a slow turning revolution would be no fun if there was nothing to revolutionize. Part of the thrill is in the chase so to speak.

But the thing is big brewers, small brewers, wholesalers, campaigner groups and all the organizations that make up the brewing industry seem to exist and evolve within a world of ever changing market equilibriums. All parts fit together to make the whole. This theory is well explained on a blog by the well known blogger/beer writer Pete Brown.

Here Pete points out that although its all good slagging off mass market beers or brewers, or having a go at CAMRA for being over traditional, or slating the Pub-co’s or pub licensing laws it wont help the brewing worlds position at all against the more real, sinister and deadly threat it now faces. This, as you would have probably guessed is from the neo-prohibitionists and government lobby groups.

You have probably heard it all before, in the papers and news etch about how alcohol causes such and such many deaths, cost the government so much money, is ruining everyone’s health and is destroying the very fabric or morality in the UK blah blah blah, blah blah all so they wont look as bad with they introduce the next tax hikes, fleecing the working folk of Britain out of as much as they can get away with. This seems to have sparked up allot of outrage within the beer blogging world.


I advise you read his blog as it completely pulls apart the neo-prohibitionist alcohol scare mongering information post by post. Its quite compelling, like watching a Rocky film.

Go on Pete, just one more round! I mean blog post!

But sadly I doubt blogger rants will have much impact on the situation on a whole, no matter how well written. But the bottom line is that people have a right to drink beer (or any other alcoholic beverage), but we also have a responsibility. Pubs, bars, shops and supermarkets all have a right to sell booze, but they also have a responsibility. So when people have the choice to pay £2.70 a pint in the social environment of the pub or going to the supermarket for the ‘12 cans for £5’ offer, (the sign right in your face as you enter the store) who is really taking responsibility?


Whorst said...

Alcohol is a pretty old. I don't understand why England all a sudden is so concerned about alcohol consumption. Shit, you can walk into my local brewpub and off yourself on 10 pints of 8% Double IPA and know one cares. Funny how art imitates life, isn't it? If you haven't seen it, rent V For Vendetta. You should probably own it.

Ed said...

I've got the comic book of that too! Oh yes, I'm not just a beer nerd.

Rob said...

Not seen that one. Mind you. what I didn't mention in the post is that this is basicly old news. If you look at the 1600's and 1800's you will see the government an prohibitionists have been at it for a long time. The difference between the UK and USA is that after prohibition in the US (you know the yanks can sometimes go 'over the top') they seemed to leave the whole thing alone. In the UK however things issue seems to keep coming back to haunt us. I covered this in my dissertation at Heriot watt doing brewing and distilling. They get all worked up, tax is raised, then things move on. Its nothing new.