Beer and Pub News (September 2019)

Man Mistakenly Charged £55,000 for a Single Beer

We’ve written a lot about expensive and rare beers on these pages before, but this one takes the crown as the most ridiculous – and it wasn’t even a craft beer. When Australian cricket journalist Peter Lalor ordered a bottle of Deuchars IPA from the Malmaison hotel in Manchester, the resulting bill was a lot more than he bargained for.

Single Beer

Brewed by the Caledonian Brewing Company of Scotland, now owned by Heineken, Deuchars IPA is described as having ‘light malt and fresh floral flavours’ – but nowhere in the press release does it mention the £55,312 price tag that Malmaison would accidentally hand Mr. Lalor.

Although the money did in fact leave his account, along with some hefty overdraft charges one would imagine, Mr. Lalor’s bank did in the end return him the cash. ‘I think I just drank the most expensive beer in history,’ he said in a remarkably upbeat press interview.

Campaign for Real Ale Bans Sexist Beer Names from The UK Beer Festival

Would you drink a beer called Leg-Spreader, Dizzy Blonde or Village Bike? Or, would you gift a bottle to the loved ones in your life? Probably not, especially if you’re a member of the Campaign for Real Ale (or CAMRA) – who recently banned a long list of sexist beer names (including those three) from their annual beer festival.

After conducting their own market research CAMRA found that 68% of women wouldn’t buy a beer with such a name. With females now making up a good percentage of the beer market, a CAMRA spokesperson said: “beer is not a man’s drinks or a woman’s drink, it is a drink for everyone. There is a huge amount of work that needs to be done to overcome outdated stereotypes.”

Controversial Wetherspoon’s Owner Tim Martin Slashes Beer Prices Even Further

Wetherspoon’s pub chain owner and prominent Brexit campaigner Tim Martin has this week announced that, due to ‘the transfer of democratic power to a technocratic elite’ (whatever that means in this context) his pubs will be slashing their already low prices even further. 36 ‘Spoons across the UK will cut the price of a pint of Greene King’s Ruddles to £1.39 – which is almost as cheap as the cost of a pint in notoriously inexpensive boozy holiday destinations such as Prague.

150-plus other pubs will also cut the price of many beers in a trial run, although those will only be by 10p. Also getting a price cut will all the food across every ‘Spoons branch, by some 7.5%. Great news for cash-strapped drinkers maybe, but independent breweries are worried. “Many in the brewing community feel that selling a pint of beer for as low as £1.39 and creating the impression beer will remain that cheap is dangerous,” said a spokesman for the Independent Brewers Association.

Also sceptical of the move are some politicians, who fear that this may be another example of Tim using the popularity of his pub chain to push his own political views – such as when he printed 200,000 beer mats in favour of a hard no-deal Brexit earlier this year.