There were a couple of interesting stories in the brewing trade paper The Morning Advertiser yesterday that I think are related. The first is about research that shows Britons are ignorant about cask beer:
Londoners know the least about cask beer — 20% think it is a type of lager and 7% think it is a canned or bottled lager. While Yorkshire folk are the most knowledgeable with 60% aware that it is only available in pubs.
The other story, from the Sir Shannon Alberry Blog, asks Where did it all go wrong for pubs? and describes the way young adult drinkers have been shunned by publicans afraid of being caught out serving underage customers:
[Big Phil] told me that his younger son, 19 and about to go to university and a bit of a social lad and who actually works a few shifts for me here, is in a real party phase as he waits to go off on a round the world pre-university tour.
So he is catching up with his other mates — all are good lads and are either at university or on their way. Big Phil said: “you’ve lost them”. He said for whatever reason pubs really mean nothing to them. He pointed out that one evening when he got home his son and his mates (there were 6 of them) were about to go out clubbing — it was about 9.30pm. They had met at his house and Big Phil noticed that they left behind two (empty) bottles of vodka — both the cheapest varieties from Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s. Big Phil, always keen to reinforce his view, continued: “not only have you lost them now but you’ve probably lost them, and their generation, for ever”.
If this is an accurate picture of the way things are–and it has a ring of general truth about it–then that same generation of drinkers is going to continue to be ignorant of how good quality ales can be.
And talking of quality, the revival of Cains brewery after the debacle of last summer seems to be coming on with the news today that their export lager has been awarded the red tractor mark, for food quality. From the Cains website:
Cains Export has become the first lager to be awarded the Assured Food Standards ‘Red Tractor’ logo.
The prize-winning lager is made from some of the country’s finest malt and hops and will now be able to carry the Red Tractor symbol to reassure consumers of its qualities.
Cains Export is made only from UK ingredients that have to undergo rigorous independent inspection to ensure they meet the highest standards of hygiene, food safety and quality. [Link]
I’m not really a lager drinker, but Cains lager is one of the few I would go out of my way to find on a hot summer’s day.