Thursday, 25 September 2014

'Exclusivity'

Now, as you're aware i'm not one to have a rant.....ok that's a lie, here's a rant.

I got a bit angry this morning when a brewer who is trying to break into the London market told me that he had a 'gentleman's agreement' with another wholesaler. Previously i had contacted him about putting the brewery on our wholesale list and he'd been quite open to it. Now this.

Personally, i never ask for exclusivity on a brewery; why? because i think it's unfair to the brewer to restrict their trade in a city the size of London. Also we don't supply every bar, pub, hotel or offie in London as we're not the biggest of companies and it would be unrealistic to try. I find that wholesalers and indeed bars who do want exclusivity are a bit small minded and not really looking after the customers best interests. Breweries that do so are cutting their nose off to spite their face by showing such a lack of foresight.

Also, don't tell me one thing, one week and something else literally two weeks later! It's bollocks, it's stupid and it's bad for your reputation!

Exclusivity is one of the reasons we don't stock one of Britain's best breweries very often and one we get asked for a lot at wholesale and retail and no i won't name them because despite their decision to go with one wholesaler they are still nice people.

Thankfully instances like this are few and far between but it does make me glad i'm getting out of the business, at least for a little while.

Rant over.


Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Good Guys

This week amongst getting filthy in the warehouse and doing my usual ordering nonsense i've been putting together a list of suppliers for whoever takes over the purchasing role for Utobeer when i leave in 5 weeks time.

I have also been putting together a list of suppliers that i would never use and should never, ever be contacted.

I'm glad to say that the list that IS used is almost 20 times longer than those who we will never use and that really brings it home that beer and the brewing industry is generally one of the friendliest businesses to work in.

It does restore a bit of my faith in humanity, at least in some small part of my cynical, blackened soul.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

The Drinkaware App

Well my notification of this app was through my daily morning update on the PMA website. As someone who's never going to get on with this sort of thing i thought i should give it a chance to at least prove me wrong.

It didn't.

First off you have to set your average levels of what you may drink daily. So if you have 2 pints of 4% beer on a Monday and 7 pints of lager on a Friday then you enter those figures into the app. At that point you can also enter 'No Drink Days' where you'll get a reminder on your phone that you are about to have a no drink day (on the appointed day) and it asks you the day after whether or not you were able to stick to that, in a totally non-judgemental way of course!
If you're like me and you like having a good time with your friends rather than try and drunkenly enter what you may have drunk into a phone that may or may not have signal, then this app is not for you. After all, you can catch up on Untappd the morning after and look like a total legend for drinking such hardcore beers that early!

The really annoying thing about this app is the lack of precision. When you are entering what beer you've had you can enter specific brands but it won't let you enter them manually so you may have to chose a beer that's nothing like the beer you've just drunk and may not even have the same abv! That's the main issue with this app, inaccuracy. not unlike the way Drinkaware tend to publish results, no?

When you're putting in your results you get given a risk (Lower risk, Increasing risk or Higher risk) rating by the app which obviously tells you what risk you are at of being an alcoholic (i think) although the correct terminology is like this 'If you drink no more than this amount there is (whatever) risk of alcohol affecting your health.

You can also set goals for yourself which could help you keep track of how awesome a drinker you are.....sorry, I meant 'help you cut down the amount of alcohol you drink'.
These goals are set out in three categories...

No drink day.
Drink one less.
Drink within guidelines.

Just like apps like Untappd you get awards for sticking to the goals that you set yourself.

I find the first award you get to be a major hippercritical one because it awards you for making your first entry. Basically what it's saying is if you're a non-drinker, you'll never win anything!

The app will also help you identify 'weak spots' or places where you may require a little extra support from your new best friend, the Drinkaware app. You can tell the app your weak spots and it'll make sure it's right there with you, or you could stop being so fucking unfaithful to your Untappd app, delete the Drinkaware app and get on with enjoying life one drink at a time.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Cape Town Bound

Anyone that knows me well enough (or stalks me on twitter) will know that between October 2013 and May this year Lucille had a TV job in Cape Town, this was a great opportunity for her and i fully supported her decision to do the job.

Anyone that actually knows me knows that i did not enjoy the experience in the slightest and I know that Lucille struggled with it at times too. Being apart from your spouse for that length of time puts a strain on your marriage and your sanity! I'm quite lucky in that i have very good friends that i know i can count on to help keep me sane and the dinner invites and couple of pints in the local (as crap as it is) really did help keep me going.

So Lucille is doing the job again this year and we decided because being away from your husband/wife/significant other/better half is utterly shit that i would go with her....to Cape Town....for seven months...So after 6 years working for Mike and Rich, my resignation as Operations Manager of Utobeer was accepted on Friday and I leave on October 10th.

*Lets that hang there for a bit*

It was a case of do I take a sabbatical or resign and my post will need to be filled for 7 months and if the replacement does well then it's only fair that they get given the opportunity to continue with it. I may be back at Utobeer in some other capacity when I get back and i may not be back at all, it really is exciting times!

My family, friends, colleagues have reacted positively although one brewer said on twitter 'Hang on, who's going to order beer off me? *panics*' Well, there are other people within Utobeer who can do this and so i doubt you'll even notice the difference IN FACT it'll probably be better for my absence, after all i was just making it up as i went along!

What will i be doing? Writing a book, I hope and exploring another exciting and burgeoning beer scene in another part of the world. Cape Town has some terrific breweries and bars and i'm looking forward to a bit of a change in pace too.

They say everyone has at least one book in them...let's see if they are right...










Sunday, 10 August 2014

Pop Star Brewers, You Say

Just read Boak & Baileys friday post about this and the response from an anonymous brewer. I have to say I agree with almost all of what both parties say. 

I am becoming very bored with the growing amount of back-slapping and brewer idolatry that's becoming so prevalent nowadays but at the same time i am very interested in a lot of the stories that the brewers have about their past and why they started out etc...

Twitter, Facebook, beer blogs, video blogs, etc...all play their part in my relapse into beery ambivalence as i struggle to give a shit about any of it.

I DO see the point though, small brewers need these events to get sales and interest in their beers indeed we do them at Tap East and The Rake. Tap takeovers and meet the brewer events are important for those reasons. Faceless corporations have their enormous marketing budgets to garner interest and lie about being craft, small brewers do not have that luxury and if they did they'd only be accused of selling out. Isn't that the end game for a lot of them though? selling out? Surely they want to create a massive brand that a regional or global drinks company will buy in 10-20 years time making them very rich happy people? By all means disagree with me but i can see it happening all over the place. 

What are the 'shareholders' going to say when the boys at Brewdog decide that they want to sell out to a bigger company? Who knows? there will probably be new, cooler breweries out there anyway that they can go and editorially masturbate over, there usually are and that's what makes me want to gouge my own eyes out. 

•Most brewers i know are remarkably generous and nice people, but as a point was made, they are people, they have responsibilities outside brewing, families to support and mortgages to pay etc... so of course if someone makes an offer too good to refuse they're going to take it and they'll probably end up after dinner speaking or writing for a living anyway.

For my part, i'm going to continue saying well done to people that make good beer by ordering it (for the time being) and also by looking outwards from within and being safe in the knowledge that it's only beer. People in certain parts of the world are being massacred by the hundred whilst other people  sit around circle jerking about what beers they want to drink and what brewers they must have sex with this week.

Also, until one fanboy wrote about John Kimmich, I didn't have the first foggiest fucking clue who he was, or care for that matter.

As you were.

I felt the need to qualify this as some brewers i've seen online are total superficial, cynical assholes.


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Greene King get National Distribution of Goose Island

This troubles me.

I can't fucking stand Greene King! Bunch of band wagon jumping numpties who needed a 'craft' brand to give them some credibility.

I doubt very much it will be left at that, I predict that it will be a matter of years before they are brewing it under license at Bury St Edmunds and making as much of an arse out of a craft brand that Sheps did with Sam Adams.

For the record, i don't care if you like the so-called craft brand from GK, i don't so spare the rest of us would you.

Rant over. As you were!




Saturday, 12 July 2014

Beery Question for the Day

Here's a question I don't believe has ever been asked...

What's your post-coital beer of choice? Do you plan the beer you're going to have? have you crafted beer into coitus? (sorry i'm watching a Big Bang Theory marathon!)

007 clearly has a thing for shitty lager, as seen below, you must have better choices than that!


Come on people, sharing is caring! ;-)