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Tuesday, 9 December 2008

A quandary for CAMRA

Every time I start paying attention to this blog, something comes along to annihilate it.  

Since my last post MFI went bust, at a time when I'd paid them £6500 for a new kitchen that hadn't yet been delivered, and now never will be.  I had to buy a new kitchen from somewhere else, fight to get my money back from MFI via my credit card company, deal with the fact that said credit card company, after reassuring me they would follow up and resolve it, then took the £6500 from my bank account, thereby reducing me to penury just before Christmas, and cope with builders taking advantage of the situation to up their fees and reduce their service, all while having had to take a five day a week contract back in the greasy world of advertising to keep my head above water while all this was happening.

I've got a list of blog entries as long as my arm that I've been meaning to write, but don't have time.  But every now and then, one comes along that jumps to the head of the queue, and even though I'm up and at my desk after midnight writing a PowerPoint TM presentation on the future of an online media player for a meeting in nine hours' time, with a good night's sleep and a 75 minute commute between me and said presentation, I can't resist commenting.

From the press release:

Newly formed brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev may look to sell off its Budweiser Stag Brewery as part of a restructuring progamme in the UK, analysts believe.

The brewery, based in Mortlake, London, could face an uncertain future following confirmation by Anheuser-Busch (A-B) InBev that it is reviewing its UK operations.

One analyst told just-drinks today (8 December) that InBev's US$52bn buyout of A-B has left it with "significant over-capacity" in the UK.

The only genuinely funny thing CAMRA's Roger Protz has ever written (to my knowledge) is when he pointed out the Stag brewery - formerly the home of the reviled Red Barrel, subsequently colonised by Bud - was in Mortlake, AKA 'dead water'.  I laughed out loud and was jealous he'd said it and not me.  Personally, I'd rather drink my own piss than Budweiser, and I think most CAMRA members would share my views.  But CAMRA also oppose British brewery closures on principle, and the Stag brewery has a long and honourable history...

Rub your hands with glee and get ready for one of those moments usually only seen in sci-fi movies where the intelligent robot has two core directives: protect human life at all costs, and obey the human master, and the human master orders the robot to kill him... 


Jeff Pickthall said...

My money's on a deafening silence. Or maybe another call for state funding for a national brewing museum.

The Beer Justice said...

Keep up everyone. Here is my posting on 31 August ....

Fatman said...

CAMRA's stance to oppose all British brewery closures is admirable, if stupid. Great to have someone attempting to protect jobs in the brewing industry, naive to imagine that national over capacity can result in anything other than closures.

Bud never sponsored the GBBF beer glasses so I guess deafening silence is odds on favourite.

BLTP said...

A pedant writes:
Mortlake is thought to derive from "Mortelage which is thought to mean a small stream containing young salmon" so budweiser is really fish piss.

Fatman said...

CAMRAs national executive discussed this over the w/e and a source close to the ivory towered ones tells me they said 'well, whatever we say it won't make any difference so best keep schtum'.

I could point out that they've missed many an opportunity in the past to keep to schtum......

zythophile said...

As BLTP said, Mortlake doesn't mean "dead water", so the joke doesn't work. However, to be fair to Protzie, there's a cracking joke in one of the chapter heads in one of his books, concerning the waters of the Burton upon Trent area - "It's Just the Gypsum in my Soil". I wish I'd said that ... (you will, Martyn, you will ...)

There's a considerable handful of large but "invisible to Camra" breweries still around, including the Royal brewery in Manchester, the Tower brewery in Tadcaster and the big brewery in Alton, Hants, where Aleisteir Crowley's family once brewed.

Pete said...

Steve - Uncanny! I bow before the master.

And Zythophile, I think I was unfair to Roger - when he rechristened S&N 'the ampersand brewery' after they no longer brewed in either Scotland or Newcastle, that raised a smile too. And I, too, have passed it on in polite conversation.

You wait a long time for Roger to crack a joke but we must grudgingly admit they're good when they finally come along.

Exmoorjane said...

OK, love the robot analogy and sort of follow the beer connection but mainly (and naturally) concerned about your kitchen. You poor chuck, come and huddle round our could even raid A's beer cellar! Janex