The Drip Tray
Wisconsin University researchers reckon the old advertising slogan "Guinness is Good for You" may be true after all:
a pint of stout at mealtimes may be as good as aspirin in helping to prevent heart clots.
The antioxidant compounds in the Guinness, similar to those in some fruits and vegetables, are
believed to slow down the deposit of cholesterol on the artery walls.
Researchers at University College London
reckon that socialising in pubs improves verbal and numerical ability.
(It's the socialising which is important, not any alcohol.)
They found the following regular mental activities improve the mind:
Gardening and painting had no benefit to the mind at all.
- visits to theatres, art galleries and stately homes
- reading and listening to music
- involvement in clubs and voluntary organisations
- courses and evening classes
- social activities such as going to the pub
The Publican published an alternative and personal viewpoint on the
Great British Beer Festival
from marketing expert Jeremy Baker, who believes it's a disaster for the pub trade.
He reckons the "laziness of mainstream brewing" is allowing CAMRA to take the beer industry in
the wrong direction.
For a start, the bare floor of Olympia is at odds with "modern consumer values".
He goes on to cite the example of a 26-year-old career woman in a
Covent Garden wine bar, with a wide choice of cocktails, wines, vodkas, rums, gins but
only five beers - presumably the usual keg & bottled suspects though he doesn't say.
(He never mentions "real ale" as a distinct product, lumping all beer together.)
In his view:
His key theme is that the consumer has moved from products to lifestyle,
as shown by changes at Marks & Spencer and MFI.
- CAMRA qualities: beards, sandals and beer belly;
- Values of modern consumer: Zara clothes,
metrosexuals (straight men who want to look lovely),
Robbie Williams and Bluewater shopping mall.
In his terms only one major brand was offering lifestyle at GBBF: Adnams and its own beach -
the "East Anglia beach lifestyle".
What have we been missing?
He concluded that big brewers are too lazy to create a lifestyle-oriented
version of a beer festival.
Does that mean paper umbrellas in your pint of Charles Wells Banana Bread
on your sub-tropical replica of Clacton beach?
Or perhaps placing the likes of Wychwood's Dog's Bollocks and Potton's Village Bike
in some post-moderninst reality TV setting?
Can you think of any other lifestyle choices for beer festivals?
The Editor wishes to know...
ALE Winter 2003/04 No. 312
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