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WRITER, CONSULTANT AND BROADCASTER SPECIALISING IN BEER, PUBS AND CIDER. BEER WRITER OF THE YEAR 2009 AND 2012

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Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Meet the UK's newest champion of cask ale

Alright, so I'm generally quite liberal in my views towards beer appreciation and resistant of beer snobbery, but this has given me pause. In fact I think I might have to run a little poll, because it's got me flummoxed.

The country's biggest tabloid is going into the beer business. Market research organisation Mintel reported last week that the plan is to launch a lager under the page three 'brand' -interesting to see what the Portman Group and every other alcohol regulatory body will have to say about that one, given that it is strictly forbidden to link beer and sex these days - and a cask ale under The Sun brand.

On the one hand, I despise Rupert Murdoch and all his works. I never pay any money to anything to do with News International if I can at all help it. On the other, you can't help but think this will benefit the market as a whole.

Why is The Sun launching a cask ale as well as a lager? It can only be because they think it's worth their while doing so. It ties in with the fact that premium cask ale is now consistently outperforming the rest of a dire beer market.

And The Sun has phenomenal power to change people's opinions. At the very least, it puts beer on the media agenda more firmly than it has been for ages. We currently have the worst decline in beer volumes for nearly thirty years. Surely this can only help. It is bound to upset purists who drink ale partly in order to show how different they are from the stereotypical Sun-reading, white van-driving lager lout, but how much of that is really about the age-old pastime of pouring scorn on working class men?

Will it be shit beer because most things The Sun does tend to be lowest common denominator? Or given that what they do, they do well (Sun journalism is actually very skilful), will they produce something that's accessible, but decent quality?

Good or bad, it's going to be interesting.

10 comments:

Paul Garrard said...

Mmm!
I also share your views on News International. I think we have to wait and see on this one. Not sure I'd want to try it as I my well choke on it.

BLTP said...

I think this guy might be sun reader he has got his priorities right though.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/may/13/australia

Sid Boggle said...

If Stonch is right, it'll be because they're buying into the 'real-ale-CAMRA-Nazi-Little-Englander-Bloody-Foreigner' market so astutely identified in some little Barbie's blog. We've missed so much over the years...

- Adolf Boggle

impymalting said...

I may be the "Little Barbie" you refer to, Sid. This is a complete distortion of anything I have ever said. I'm amazed at the animosity here.

Sid Boggle said...

You clearly also don't understand sarcasm, Allyson. The coincidence and opportunity were too good to pass up. Still, give it another 20 years, and you might get it...

-- Boggle

Ron Pattinson said...

Could it be because the journalists drink cask theselves?

Boak said...

Bizarre. I'm flummoxed too.

Mind you, some astute media commentators suggest that the Sun doesn't so much drive opinion as reflect it (hence switching to Labour and now switching back against it) - so perhaps we can take this as a healthy sign that beer is part of the mainstream.

Boak said...

sorry, for "beer" read "cask ale"

Boak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BLTP said...

I think I know how bitter got it's name , it's named after the people who drink it! God beer types are a unfriendly bunch it probably accounts for all the fights after closing time.
Pete I'd swap to blogging about old records the people who pop by are much nicer some them are even worth having a drink with!