Archive for October 18th, 2007

Another reason to drink beer

It’s funny. Back in the Middle Ages, one of the reasons people drank beers in vast quantities was that it was the only liquid available that was reasonably safe to drink. 

Meet a new aquaintance, the cheeky little fellow in the picture is called Giardia, and is a parasite that is currently inhabiting the water supply of Oslo. (He was probably there in the Middle Ages, too!)

To quote the English web pages of Aftenposten, the major daily around here:

Uncertainty about the gravity of Oslo’s contaminated water supply persists, but authorities insist that residents keep boiling tap water until the source of the apparently minor parasite outbreak is found.

Truls Krogh, head of water hygiene at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) said that water should be boiled until the source of Giardia and cryptosporidium parasites are found, and that this could take weeks.This applies to about 457,000 Oslo residents served by the Oset water treatment plant.“It will probably take a few weeks to determine if the situation is serious or not, then it will take another few weeks to clear up, if the situation is serious,” Krogh said.That’s about four weeks of boiling all the water you want (or need) to drink. Luckily there are other beverages available. And at last we have a use for the ice beers from which they have removed the flavour – they are ideal for brushing your teeth!

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European beer giants Heineken and Carlsberg are discussing to join forces to take over Scottish & Newcastle. This does not mean a merger between the Danes and the Dutch, however, they intend to split the spoils:

A statement from Carlsberg said: “An offer, if made, is likely to be in cash. It is currently intended that Carlsberg will ultimately acquire Scottish & Newcastle’s interest in Baltic Beverage Holdings, France and Greece and that Heineken will ultimately assume control of Scottish & Newcastle’s business in the UK and other European markets.”

This will give Carlsberg full control over BBH, which has a forty per cent market share in the rapidly expanding Russian market. Carlsberg has much better profits in Russia than in Western Europe for the time being.

Sources: Morning Advertiser, Politiken

Update: Scottish & Newcastle follows the British principle of keeping a stiff upper lip in times of attack:

The proposed break-up bid from Heineken and Carlsberg, the company’s joint
venture partner in BBH, is unsolicited and unwelcome.

S&N is confident in its future as an independent group with a combination of
strong growth in emerging markets and cash generation in developed markets.

S&N strongly urges shareholders to take no action at this time. A further
announcement will be made if appropriate.

Seeing the beer range they choose to promote on their web site, I would not want to buy their beers, let alone their breweries. Kronenbourg 1664, Fosters, Baltika, Grimbergen (OK, maybe a bottle..) and Newcastle Brown Ale. Nothing very Scottish about that list!

But I love their wording.  A further announcement will be made if appropriate.

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