Tag: Publican’s Morning Advertiser

| Uncategorised

The Pub Trade in 2013

Just before Christmas I was asked by leading pub trade mag The Publican’s Morning Advertiser to give some predictions for what will happen in the UK pub trade in 2013.  They had to edit for space, and killed one or two jokes in the process, so here is the full thing.
Apologies if it’s a bit cliquey for those not working in the UK pub trade – I didn’t have time to do proper predictions here.  Normal blogging will resume just as soon as I’ve finished writing my next book, World’s Best Cider, in about a month’s time.
January 
A beer blogger from Wrexham works out a definition of ‘craft beer’ that nobody has a problem with. She is subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
February 
The rate of pub closures rises.  Everyone in the industry panics.
March 
A saboteur switches George Osborne’s weak Ovaltine for Timothy Taylor Landlord, and the chancellor unexpectedly tastes beer for the very first time.  He uses his budget statement to issue a heartfelt apology to the nation’s brewers and immediately freezes beer duty.
April 
The negativity on the Publican’s Morning Advertiser’s online forums reaches such an intensity that it creates a black hole just outside Crawley.  Professor Brian Cox is called.
May 
Brew Dog releases a 4.1% ABV premium bitter brewed with moderate amounts of Fuggles and Goldings hops. Beer bloggers declare this to be a stroke of subversive genius. The Portman Group slams it as stupid and irresponsible.
June
The royal baby is born.  Various brewers create commemorative ales. The Daily Mail accuses brewing industry of trying to give booze to babies.
July 
The Crawley Black Hole disappears. The nation celebrates. Brian Cox reveals he did it by showing cute pictures of puppies to PMA forum contributors until they cheered up a bit. And points out that this took THREE. FUCKING. MONTHS.
August
Brew Dog’s 4.1% bitter wins Champion Beer of Britain.  Beer bloggers declare this to be a stroke of subversive genius. The Portman Group slams it as stupid and irresponsible.
September
The rate of pub closures falls.  No one says anything about it.
October 
The editor of Observer Food Monthly commissions the first article about beer in the magazine’s thirteen-year history.

Just kidding.

November 
Shortly after releasing his blockbusting autobiography in time for the Christmas rush, Greg Mulholland MP flies to the jungle to appear on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.  And obviously wins it.  Because he’s AMAZING.
December
Wells & Young’s revives Young’s Christmas Pudding Ale (come on, guys, take a hint).
See you soon.

| Uncategorised

China, crap ads, good pubs and Depeche Mode – my recent trade press rants

I’m very chuffed to have secured two regular trade press columns this year: a fortnightly one in the newly merged Publican’s Morning Advertiser, now the only magazine for the UK pub trade, and a monthly one for www.Just-Drinks.com , the website for the global drinks industry.

Both these columns appear online and each time they do, I put a link to them on Twitter.  But not everyone reads Twitter, so here’s a brief summary of what I’ve been writing about recently, which you can read if you like.  They’re quite industry focused, but then, you might be too.  You don’t have to read them if you’re not.  You don’t have to read them at all.

[Update: It seems Just Drinks might require a subscription to read.  PMA definitely doesn’t].

I kicked off in Just Drinks by talking about what’s gone wrong with beer advertising, and why brewers want to make bogus claims for their products.

Next month, I wrote about the beer scene in China, and how Western brewers need to be careful setting up shop there.

After that, prompted by a Carlsberg relaunch, I wrote about why beer is different from other products if you’re trying to build global brands.

And last month, I railed against the dodgy practice by some brewers (well, one in particular) whereby if you’re an employee of the company, drinking someone else’s beer – even if you’re off the clock and on your own time – can be “a career-ending move”.

My latest rant – familiar to any long-term readers of this blog – will be about the factual fallacies of the neo-prohibitionists, and how the drinks industry is failing to combat them.  It should be up any day now.

Over at the PMA, concerns are a bit more UK-focused, and there’s room to occasionally be a touch more irreverent.  Not all my columns are available online but they’ve started putting them up over the last couple of months.  In the first one that’s up there, written just before the first UK beer bloggers conference, I tried to explain to the British pub industry why they need social media.

Following that, I wrote about the basic quality of pubs, and what hardcore beer drinkers really mean when they describe a pub as ‘the kind of place you could bring the wife’.

Next, I had a go at PubCo M&B for their ludicrous decision to boot out the tenants of the wildly successful Engineer in Primrose Hill, and also used it to say something about the way many of us approach issues in beer and pubs.

And then, I wrote a piece I really hope no one takes seriously – you never know – about the glory that is Tallinn’s Depeche Mode bar.

Finally, the PMA also asked me to compile my 50 favourite UK beers – that was the brief, so I was unable to include foreign beers.  I attempted to go as wide as possible, and include selections that would upset – sorry, delight – as many people as possible.

Hope there’s something you enjoy. If there’s anything, global or local, you think I should be covering in these columns, please drop me a line.