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Archive for October 15th, 2007

Perceptions of Norwegians, vol 1

His mother, who never got beyond third grade, came from a clannish, depressive, hard-drinking Norwegian farm family and was one of those people who feel inadequate and superior at the same time.

Charles McGrath reviews the biography Schulz and Peanuts by David Michaelis in the New York Times.

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A mixed blessing

Don’t be surprised if your national lager breweries launch a new range of flavoured beers next year. A French company, Aromatech, is now offering a wide range of flavours,  including tequila, whisky, coconut, green tea, apple, and raspberry. Some of these flavours are meant for lagers, others for wheat beers. (The press release says white beer, and I presume that they mean wheat beer. Which show how much they really know about beer. Sure, there are Wit and Weisse beers, but you don’t use white beer as a category in English.)

This wonderful range of flavours is suppose to turn the tide of shrinking lager consumption. I seriously doubt this. There have been novelty beers with various flavours on the market for years. In Belgium, they put anything in their beers. And don’t mention the German Radler, ready mixed beer and lemonade…. 

I don’t think any of these have been very successful, if you are lucky, they will be small niche products. And even if one of these freak beers becomes moderately successful, you cannot dream of volumes that could compensate for the declining volume that for example Carlsberg is experiencing at the moment. It is completely unrealistic to expect green tea beer to save the lager boys.

An alternative is to brew good beer instead of mixing boring beer with artificial flavours. But that would be asking too much, wouldn’t it?

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