Monday, 18 February 2019

Three Things - No - Four

I've been busy today editing our local CAMRA magazine, More Beer, but Twitter has caught my eye in between times.

Firstly a spat this morning about how CAMRA is supposedly supporting Brexit and a subsequent stream of CAMRA bashing and quite a number of age related hate posts.  Funny how we all know what sort of things are completely unacceptable to say openly and we are pounced on for the slightest transgression, but when it comes to CAMRA, it seems all rules are suspended and ageism is deemed by many to be unremarked and tolerable. On the substance of the matter, CAMRA centrally may have at best expressed something badly and at worst been incompetent, but surely a little show of moderation in responding to this would be better?  Yes us over sixties may well all be "c*nts", but I've news for the young - that's the direction you are headed in too and trust me, things will look a lot different when you get there - though getting some practice in for your future role might be beneficial I suppose.

This leads me on to my second thing. At the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival I had a long conversation with John Keeling (ex Fullers), not only about the sale to Asahi, but what might be done to protect cask beer in light of falling market share. I posted a small summary of it on Twitter:

 This makes a lot of sense as it isn't price per se that makes brewing cask beer unattractive -  it is brewer's margin. As John Keeling explained it to me, 100,000 barrels at (say) 20p a pint less duty is big bucks for a brewer. Brewing more of it in such a case would suddenly make commercial sense. I think he is on to something here and CAMRA should explore this further.

I liked too a tweet about a pub not a million miles form my London place. The East London Advertiser highlights the case of a pub which has live music and has successfully applied to have a deed of easement agreement to prevent future complaints about noise from live music when a new block of flats is built nearby.  This is a good thing. To my mind if you buy a flat next to a pub that has loud live music, then that's your lookout. Affecting the business of a venue by complaining about noise that was there before you showed up is pretty unfair in my view, so good for Tower Hamlets. Others will hopefully copy.

The last thing that caught my eye was the somewhat surprising news that after only a year in the job, CAMRA is losing its Chairman Jackie Parker.
Is there more to this than meets the eye? Dunno, but that may well come out, one way or another, in Dundee at the AGM and Conference.

Right. Having got that off my chest, back to More Beer editing.

Hopefully more posts next week when my magazine has gone to bed.

Meantime off to London tomorrow for a few days, with a visit to Canterbury on the side.


Curmudgeon said...

I missed that spat yesterday morning, presumably because all the people gobbing off were those who I don't follow or have blocked me ;-)

Isn't there a risk that a preferential duty rate for cask beer would tend to underline the perception of it as a cheap product?

Tandleman said...

No. It wouldn't filter through to the price in the pub under current thinking. Not putting words in John's mouth, but he considers the price of cask, especially in the South, can't really be pushed higher. My own view is that cask beer is under more pressure in London and the South, though I was horrified that a mainstream pub in Manchester sells beer at around a fiver for nothing particularly exciting.

Given its perishability excess price won't save cask. It will kill it. Cask needs volume.

John Lamb said...

I am pleased that a publican has succeeded in protecting her business via an easement,the use of such agreements can be extremely helpful in allowing the upper floors of pubs to be converted into residential use thereby allowing the business to continue and housing to be created. I wrote to London Drinker on this point in early 2016.

RedNev said...

I don't think that it's just for CAMRA that all rules are suspended: anything that's on-line can attract vitriolic comments. Ageism, for example: I'm sick of reading the ageist comments about people who voted Leave (I didn't, by the way), describing them in very stereotyped ways - so it's not just CAMRA.

I'm also tired of people who aren't in CAMRA saying, "CAMRA should be doing this", or "CAMRA should be doing that". Pay the subs if you want a say, otherwise the campaign is under no obligation to listen to you.

Anonymous said...

Special pleading for middle aged middle class beer.

What other middle class crap needs lower taxes?

Professor Pie-Tin said...

I've never been on social media but the more I hear about it the more it sounds like taking a bath in a sewer.
Although I suppose you could argue this post is a form of social media.
From what my kids tell me it allows people to be hugely abusive to strangers without getting the crap kicked out of them.
No thanks.

Tandleman said...

Anonymous. Yes it is special pleading for an endangered indigenous style. Why Not? Tell me that from beneath your cloak of invisibility.

Anonymous said...

Cask needs volume...never a truer word spoke. My local in Derbyshire had a former brewer as gaffer and beer was good but pretty empty owner in place for a year and boozer has massive turnover so bass and dancing duck et al are crisper fresher and much better ..even though current gaffer isn't a former brewer...and it's about 40p a pint cheaper too ��
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