Wednesday 20 October 2010

Big brewery with a good idea

It's not often that I find myself agreeing with the boss of Molson Coors but here he is quoted in the Morning Advertiser calling for pubs to provide beer menus.
Addressing fellow brewery bosses at the 2010 International Brewing Convention, Mark Hunter, UK
gave an impassioned plea for “beer champions” to breathe new life into a sector that has declined by 18% between 2005 and 2010. He also said that Britain’s love affair with beer is in “serious jeopardy”.

“Today I call on all of those in leadership positions within the beer industry to step up to their obligation to lead for the growth of our category.
“I put it to you that we are at a watershed, a real tipping point for our industry and the need to champion our industry with one voice has never been clearer.”
Hunter called for the whole industry to “unite and educate by celebrating the diversity of beers available”.

Crucial to this is beer menus, he said, citing the impact that these have had in Spain.

“Today I invite the Beer Academy to lay down a clear and consistent set of beer descriptors with universal appeal and which talk to drinkers in an engaging, motivating way. At Molson Coors we will adopt these and I would challenge everyone here today to commit to the use of consistent language and the introduction of beer menus into every on premise outlet across the UK.”
He added: “How many restaurants ask their customers to guess what’s available when they are seated?”

Okay, beer menus may be a bit too much work for pubs such as the Rake where I seem to spend ages just looking at the selection, lost in a dreamy beery haze and spoilt for choice but for other pubs why not?
Last year, a landlord of a local pub I drink regularly in, asked me what he could do to get more people drrinking real ale in the pub. I suggested using the chalkboards to advertise the beers on and those waiting to come on. The pub has plenty of chalkboards about the place, most of them advertising drinks that have not been on sale for over 5 years! Landlord thought this was a good idea but well over a year later nothing has changed. One of the problems with the trade at the moment is their lack of willingness to get anything done. In countless pubs I hear the landlord moan about the lack of customers yet small things like this and basic cleanliness will get the customers drinking more and telling others what a great boozer it is. Little things can make a difference so why not give them a go?

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