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Archive for October, 2007

Planning for Christmas?

I assume all of you already have bought The Longest Crawl by Ian Marchant and Three Sheets to the Wind by Pete Brown. If not, they are on sale at play.com for £ 5 each.

Great stocking fillers for Christmas, too, and they are easier to mail and can even be brought in your hand luggage on a plane.

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Others like the dog, too!

Gavin D. Smith at the Beer Pages has tried the BrewDog beers, too, and he is also to be counted among the fans of the Scottish brewery. Read his review.

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There is a very good article at the FoodQualityNews.com, written by Neil Merrett.

I quote:

Over the past few months, a growing number of brewers, dairy groups and processors have suggested that unfavorable weather is adversely affecting their operations, particularly in Europe.Management seems to be suggesting that business is not booming because of “unfavourable”, or “adverse” weather conditions — often without giving any reasons for why this may be so.Management at Danone, Britvic and Cott have all been keen to point out that weather has affected sales, and don’t seem to have any answer to this weather conundrum.The claims regarding the weather are even more confusing when some of the peers of the same company making the excuse, say that they are benefiting from the very same climate in the region. Coca-Cola Hellenic, a major European bottler of soft drinks, Heineken,and the Czech Brewery Association all said the weather helped boost sales.This excuse may work fine when explaining the reason for a disappointing holiday, but surely not when accounting for declining sales by some of the most significant international food and beverage manufacturers and experienced management. 

When apparently the income of leading multinational companies is dependent on glorious summers or white Christmases, are companies just looking for a scapegoat in Mother Nature for not hitting profit targets?

Read the whole article here.

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Son of Sam

Do you know when a micro brewery has become a macro in all senses of the word? When it is big enough to hire an Intellectual Property Manager. That’s when the joys of bringing great beer to the masses is replaced by the men and women in suits. The accountants and the lawyers. And the marketing department. It seems like this is what has happened to the Boston Brewing Company.

But even if you are up there in the big league, there are some pieces of advice you should listen to. If you have an intellectual property manager, I assume you have a communications manager, too. He can tell you that if there is a public outrage at something that is, everything considered, of marginal importance to you, you should back down. Completely. You should send a few crates of beer and some Sam Adams t-shirts to Oregon – both to Sam Adams and to the radio station. With your sincere apologies.

You should even sponsor their programme.

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S & N will not be sold on the cheap

Scottish & Newcastle have declined the offer from the Danish and Dutch lager lads to buy them and split their assets.

Sir Brian Stewart, chairman of S&N, said: “This unsolicited and derisory proposal is an effort to get S&N’s unique portfolio of businesses on the cheap. We will continue to take all actions to maximise shareholder value. I strongly urge shareholders to take no action.”

I had to look up derisory. And I’m not sure it’s the last word in this takeover bid. Maybe calling a brewing company Scottish and Newcastle when you brew everywhere else than those places is derisory?

Adj. 1. derisory – incongruous;inviting ridicule; “the absurd excuse that the dog ate his homework”; “that’s a cockeyed idea”; “ask a nonsensical question and get a nonsensical answer”; “a contribution so small as to be laughable”; “it is ludicrous to call a cottage a mansion”; “a preposterous attempt to turn back the pages of history”; “her conceited assumption of universal interest in her rather dull children was ridiculous”

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It seems that the managers of the retail operation in most airports are of the impression that if the travellers want to buy beer in theirs shops, they want overpriced Carlsberg in cans. Not so in Flughafen Franz-Josef Strauss. You can get a ten litre Fass of Lövenbrau, sure, but they also offer you this lovely package. For about 8 Euros. Grüss Gott!

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For those of us who follow the online beer community, it comes as no surprise that there is an interesting beer scene in Japan. Lars Marius has blogged about this, and there have been several travel reports on ratebeer recently as well.

Time has come for the mainstream media to cover this as well, and naturally it is the New York Times that covers Japanese speciality beers in an illustrated article.

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