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Stirring things up in the Publican

I’ve had a busy month in The Publican, the pub trade mag for which I write features and a monthly column.  If you don’t run a pub you might not see it, so I occasionally provide links here in case anyone is interested in the topics.

Firstly, I wrote a piece about how pubs are the best places to watch the world cup – often better than being at the game itself (especially in the face of relentless vuvuzelas) – and there’s even academic research to back this up.  Research that states the bleeding obvious mind, but solid academic research nonetheless.

Then I got angry about people who pretend that pubs aren’t pubs.  It’s been a few months now since the new chairman of Pub Company Mitchells & Butler insisted a city analyst referred to the company’s pubs not as pubs but as ‘licensed catering outlets’, but he’s not the only culprit, and this is a viewpoint I’ve been mulling over for a while.

Finally, I totally lost my rag over the news – sorry, very strong rumours – that A-B Inbev is about to sell Bass.  I love that they’re getting rid of it – or rather, I did until I discovered the breathtakingly cynical terms of the deal.  A-B Inbev have still refrained from commenting on the story, but sources inside the company say the deal is ‘common knowledge’.  I’ve never been angrier about anything in the beer industry.  I’ve taken the piss out of them before, but this move is beyond piss-taking: if and when it is confirmed, report back here for the official start of my ‘Boycott A-B Inbev’ campaign.

(That last sentence may be a joke.  But I’m not entirely sure.)




IIRC (and I may be mistaken), I'm sure that about a year ago, someone told me they were trying to buy a certain beer brand, but part of the deal was that they would also have to buy the UK-only rights to Bass, and specifically excluding the USA.


Great peice in the Publican on the World Cup Pete, very perseptive. There is no place like a bustling pub with the patrons singing and chanting to watch the games and I agree that atmosphere is better than in the stadia.


Martyn Cornell

I can see why AB-Inbev think they will still be able to leverage the Bass brand in the US without the UK side, but who do they think would be stupid enough to buy the UK side on its own?


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