ALE Spring 2004 No. 313 : Next section

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The Drip Tray

100 years ago

The Cambridge Evening News 'Looking Back' column on 17-Feb-2004 featured an item from the news of February 1904. It's an interesting peek at the concerns of the pubs industry then.

The newly-formed Cambridgeshire Public House Trust Association had taken over the Tharp Arms Inn at Chippenham and the Duncombe Arms at Waresley, with the George Inn at Babraham soon to follow. The movement was a commercial undertaking with a philanthropic end, to raise the tone of the public house and promote temperance.

Their pub managers obtained no benefit from the sale of alcohol but made a profit on other items, for instance hot soup was supplied. Hopefully more pubs would become willing to supply non-alcoholic refreshments.

Fast pints

According to an item in the Sunday Telegraph 14-Dec-2003, Anheuser-Busch and Coors are developing a means of serving cold fizzy beers in just 2 seconds.

After real ale: real ketchup

Heinz claims to have set up its own police force to visit pubs across the country to ensure Heinz bottles are filled with Heinz ketchup. Apparently the ketchup cops will even be accompanied by a bloodhound - called Heinz 57 Varieties.

In the US Heinz produces a new type of un-refillable bottle for use in bars, restaurants and cafes.

The dark side of the black stuff

This was the title of an excellent article in The Times in March, pointing out what Guinness really stands for.

St Patrick's Day now seems to be about foam-rubber Guinness hats (handy for vomit) and the chance of free drinks for pretending to be Irish - provided it's Guinness, of course.

So Guinness Day is now a major fixture on the calendar, especially for its producers (can one really call them 'brewers'?) A phenomenal result for a beverage that's (a) the most over-rated drink on earth, (b) brewed in Brent (until 2005).

As the article says, it's heavily marketed "as if it should taste like some manner of Black Magic Baileys, but turns out, on first disappointing sip, to be a kind of alcoholic Marmite".

Mobile computer technology and beer quality

Brulines, Box Telematics and Orange are developing a system which "uses mobile technology to improve the quality of beer".

'The Intelligent Pub' automatically monitors a range of things such as the cleanliness of beer lines, the temperature of drinks served, the size of measures, the number of customers and the cash in fruit machines.

Interestingly, the claim is that "Punters don't change the brand of beer they drink, they just change pubs when they encounter bad quality". If only this was more widely realised in the industry!

ALE Spring 2004 No. 313 : Next section
Cambridge & District CAMRA