Monday, October 11, 2010

Bar End Mutterings

I am in one of those moods today. I am sure you know the type, all the thoughts in your head are converging and splitting off like Spaghetti Junction. As such, it would be so easy to go on a random waffle and/or rant about something and end up in Manchester when I wanted to be in Somerset (thinking about it, the South West of England wouldn't be such a bad place to be right now - see what I mean, one throwaway line and I am thinking about River Cottage and maybe going for a spot of fishing by the sea).

Anyway, beer, this is after all a beer blog. A couple of things that caught my attention recently, firstly why were most of the beers I had over the weekend murky? Not slightly hazy, not a touch cloudy, but downright murky? Only one of said beers was from a hand pump, and that right at the end of the cask, so I kind of turned a blind eye to that, but I can't remember ever having had a murky beer from a keg before - just unfiltered beer or a systemic problem in the bar? I fear I may have to sell my soul and buy a smart phone at some point so I can take decent pictures when in the pub (yes I am one of those people who thinks of phones as a communications device rather than a life defining gadget).

Secondly, bloody hell beer can be expensive over here, especially if you drink "craft" (cynical note perhaps, do you ever get the feeling that the "craft" tag is being used as a synonym for "premium" and to jack up prices?). Now, before anyone gets all righteous and tells me that I don't have to drink "craft" beer, I know I am my own worst enemy in this because I like going to the pub for a beer or three when I could buy a six pack and sit at home, but sometimes I wonder if Virginia's licensing authorities should get its head out of its arse and let people sell beer without having the restriction of having to serve food as well? I also accept the fact that drinking imperial pints rather than American pints whenever I have the option (that's 20oz instead of 16, or 568ml instead of 448ml) is possibly not fiscally sound. Just as a example, for the same price of a single imperial pint of something or other at the place I frequented on Friday night, I could drink 13 half litres of exceptional lager in Prague - as I say, just an example.

Thirdly, and completely unrelated to beer, is it really necessary to turn the entirety of October over to Halloween? It's bad enough that Christmas gets earlier and earlier every year, but going nuts over Halloween? Has nobody told the marketing cretins of this world than saturation just ruins holidays and events? Random thought for the day, consumerism leads to a loss of perspective in life. Discuss.

As I said, my mind is not in the most coherent of moods today.


  1. I feel you. Being a beer adventurer is expensive. In my opinion, the three-tier distribution system here in Virginia and other states is hugely to blame for the cost of good beer. The breweries sell their beer to the distributors who can then do whatever they want to with the price at which its sold to retailers. We, the consumers, have to pay for the middle man. States like North Carolina allow breweries to self-distribute, cutting out the middle man which I would think, has to allow for lower pricing by the retailers or more profitability on the part of the breweries (maybe an explanation for the booming beer town of Asheville). But at this point, now that everyone involved has seen how much consumers are willing to pay for better beer, pricing won't come down much regardless of changes in the distribution paradigm.

  2. I am sure I read somewhere that beer isn't expensive enough.

  3. What is the price of a (nominal) pint there? Here, unless you are Rogue or Pelican, it is around 25 cents/ounce on average.

  4. BUL 180 - is that wholesale or retail?

  5. I assume you mean at your place, then in a place similar to yours it is about the same - no wonder then that my favourite places to drink are brewpubs.



I worked out the other day that each day I was in Prague I walked about 7-8km, which is about 4.5-5 miles in old money. The longest walk tho...