Brewdog – If a dog barks in a forest and no-one is around…

…do only foolish sycophants easily parted from their money hear it?

 

So the obvious nature of this blog is “pointless, small-time beer blogger tries to make name for himself by having a go at THE ‘craft’ brewer in the UK.”

I’ve been loathed to write articles about said brewery in the past due to the fact that their Modus Operandi is to create controversy and any kind of mention, good or bad, is extra advertising and recognition for their brand.

I have nothing against the beer that they make.  I’ve had a lot of it in the past, I’ve got glassware and even a t-shirt.  I’ve got quite a few emails from a lovely woman called Angela who apologised every time I placed an order because it was always delivered incorrectly.  They were professional and went above and beyond in correcting the order and even providing additional beer by way of an apology.

I stopped buying their beer around the time they started shoving bottles up the backsides of taxidermal animals.

It wasn’t because of that, it was because around that time Brewdog apparently fell foul of the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) for using naughty swear words.

Which enable them to generate more “punk” advertising.

Only the ASA had receive one complaint and that was from Brewdog themselves.

There are few things I like more than beer but one that stands clearly above the booze is freedom of speech.

So by all means do market you product however you feel and use whatever language you want I’ll support you in that quest, I just won’t necessarily contribute financially.

The problem I have is it freedom of speech (and more worryingly, freedom of thought) is under attack from all quarters.

The crusade for morality that I grew up with in the 1980s led by Mary Whitehouse and her merry band of religious and conservative (politically & morally) nut-jobs that lead to the banning of films and stickers on albums has now been flipped on its head that now it is generally the politically liberal who seek to curb any speech or thought that anyone may get offended at.

One term is called micro-aggression.  Look it up, to have a mind-set like that is not only closed to ideas is not only unevolved but is also just plain dangerous.

What does this have to do with Brewdog you might ask?

Well to me complaining about your own language to generate more hype and then to use this to play the victim is not only just typical of spoilt bullies who are used to getting their own way but slowly chips away at free speech, a speech that the marketing department at Brewdog rely on heavily.

This was brought into stark reality a few weeks ago when the article below appeared in the Guardian.

UK craft beer: taking over the world one pint at a time

It featured a quote from the well-respected blogger Melissa Cole who said of Brewdog:

“A lot of their stuff is disingenuous, dull or mildly offensive…”

Which it is.  They are indeed disingenuous and dull but offence is up to each individual, I personally don’t find anything they do offensive other than chipping away at free speech…

…so on cue, James Watt plays his victim card with the bullying tone…

He then witters on about something completely unrelated…

Good use of advertising a new beer launch…

If you read the full conversation you can clearly see Miss/Ms/Mrs Cole defends (not that she has to) her position very well, in clear and simplistic terms that even the most dull and disingenuous fuckwit could understand, addressing both Watt and some of the more insalubrious adherents to the Brewdog cult fanclub crowdfunding shareholding.

What is actually most gratifying is that most of the comments of Watt’s tweets about this incident do point out that the emperor does indeed have no clothes but squeaky wheels do get the grease and boy are they greased well.

The problem with Brewdog and their marketing MO is that their prime audience is composed of the easily offended (as well as the easily pleased) and they are the exact people who chip, chip, chip away at the foundations of free speech and I’m less bothered about them not buying Brewdog products or starting up po-faced petitions as am I about the impact it has on everyone else’s ability to think and speak how they so wish.

Long may they continue to brew the good beers they generally produce and long may they be called out on their bullshit which, like the boy who cried wolf is every time they open their pie-holes.  This may seem like bit of an over reaction and it may well give Brewdog too much credit, but like water dripping on concrete, every little whine about things that offend someone erodes these freedoms I and many others hold dear.

 

Please whine below if you need to, I’ll field all (or most likely only the 2 I’ll receive) of your comments.

 

Thanks for reading.

Thank the Beer for Friends, Thank Friends for the Beer.

The Guardian article below cropped up in my twitter time-line a few weeks ago…

Is it just me… or does everyone lose friends in their 30s?

Of course typically the title is misleading as it then proceeds to bemoan how it is men that lose friends and then does its liberal hand-wringing over such matters but I’ll leave the role of “men” in a modern society till another time.

You can debate till the cows come home about what makes a friend and how (and if) there is a place to differentiate between what is a “mate” or who is just an “acquaintance” and all the other synonyms given to people who fulfil similar roles in our lives.

I personally don’t deny that over the past few years I’ve not had much contact with my university friends but these things are two-way streets and you can only make contact a certain number of times with little reply before you think that if they don’t make they effort then neither will I.

Not that there is any malicious motive behind such acts, there was a time when people knew about social interactions and that people come and go throughout the course of our lives, now we just have to over analyse everything in some wrong-headed way to make it appear that be considering everything we as people are considerate.  The truth is, all that is merely stuff to pass the time, or just click-bait articles for mass digestion of a species with very little time to do much of anything.

Why am I writing this piece?

Well I’ve had numerous pieces in my drafts in various states of flux but I can’t seem to finish them off.  There is a passion and driven (even an anger and hate) in some of them when started that just ebbed away (oh how my feelings are like Guardian readers friends).

Then I read the article and a fair few of the pieces I’ve written recently made me realise they all had a common theme.

No, not just beer.

But beer is the catalyst to the friendships I have formed over the years that I’ve had this blog, my twitter account and joined various different beery cliques that have arisen from the two social media interactions.

So I’ve met commercial brewers, home brewers, bloggers, drinkers, bar staff and landlords/landladies and whereas these people are never, ever likely to have to entertain my deepest feelings; they are people I can happily spend whole evenings in the company of.

And if you appreciate that the drunk is the real and honest version of the sober one everyone else encounters then I’ve been quite lucky to meet some jolly nice real and honest people.

So, in essence, because of beer and pubs my social circle has actually grown; these are people I would actually bug to see if they were free to go for a few jars (and that isn’t because I know they can’t say no).

Really this piece should be a lament to beer, pubs and the people who still use these things.  Real, tangible people.  But like my draft posts there doesn’t seem to be a main focus, however unlike my drafts I’m publishing this because I just needed to say it.

 

 

 

 

 

I did warn people this would be soppy.

And no, this doesn’t have some darker undertone to it.  I will be drinking for a long time to come.

Thanks for reading.

Beer(d) People are Good People

A review of the Independent Salford Beer Festival will come in the fullness of time, but some of you may remember a while back I pledged to buy anyone with a beard (or those that knew someone with a beard) that they could have a drink on me – that bold statement was clarified, with caveats in a blog post here but I can assure you it isn’t worth reading.

I thought I’d do it for a bit of a laugh and to appear less misanthropic but while doing the count I got a warm sensation in the chest cavity that houses the swinging lump of black coal that keeps my cold blood pumping round my icy veins.

WP_20151101_003

 

So over a quiet Sunday beer and some food (not the Karkli, they are saved for later) I set about totting up what damage I’d done to my life savings.

Here are the stats:

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60 tickets were used – I don’t know how many were handed out.

The most expensive drink bought was for £3.60.

2 people bought a pint of cider.

3 very kind souls got themselves the cheapest serving possible of 1/3rd of Track Brewing Co Sonoma (Simcoe dry-hopped) for £1.

The most popular price for a drink was £1.70.

Someone allegedly paid £1.10 for a Carling – but I’m blaming Otto for this.

All – I say again, all the drinks available had been bought at least once.

There was a 5 way tie for the most popular drink claimed:

Track Brew Co (as above)

Allgates – Rule of 72

Brass Castle – Mosaic

Atom Beers – Pavlov’s Dog, Peach Iced Tea Blonde (No. 2)

Mallinsons – Bench Pale

All of which were fairly low %ABV pales.

The final total was £110.10, meaning the average price redeemed was £1.84

Call it £120 and as it is charity double it, so the final total is £240.

Kind of wished I hadn’t said that fake beards weren’t allowed, it could have been quite a sight (even if it would have put a bigger dent in my bank account).

So there  you have it, while I don’t begrudge people getting the most expensive drink they could possibly get if it was gratis the average (mode) price was half of the most expensive.

Maybe it is a British thing, to not take the piss out of someone’s, for want of a better word, kindness; but I instead see it, through the fog of tiredness and 60+ hours of nothing but good beer as the old adage:

Beer people are good people.