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Archive for November 5th, 2010

So. I read about some new brews from a brewery in Scotland  a few beers weeks ago. Some barrel aged stuff again, obviously. With screen printed labels. Strictly limited editions. Pushing all the buttons to get the tickers, the bloggers and the collectors interested.

So I sent off an enquiry, asking if I could possibly get some samples to blog about. The beers were speedily dispatched, but then there was silence.

Last week I received a letter from the customs office of the Norwegian postal service, informing me that I had received a package from Fraserburgh, Scotland, with a sticker saying that there were four bottles of beer inside. The letter was dated ten days earlier, and in strict terms informed me that I had just a few days left to send them an invoice for the contents.

I e-mailed them, politely explaining that this was a gift from the brewery. The reply was that Norwegian customs authorities have rules stating that a private individual may not receive  gifts containing alcohol from companies abroad.

Well. I e-mailed the brewery again, asking for a pro forma invoice, which they quickly sent me, and which I sent on to the postal people.

Then, silence. No acknowledgment that they had received the invoice, no telling me that the package was returned across the cold waters of the North Sea.

Yesterday, I was at my local post office to pick up a package. The queue was quite long, so I had ample opportunities to admire the furnishings and stacks of boxes along the walls. I got my small parcel, and then politely pointed to a larger box on the top shelf.

Does that package possibly have my name on it?

Sure it did.

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Sometimes you read press releases, reprinted by trade publications, that show you

a) why the macro brewers still haven’t got a clue about what to do about declining sales

and

b) that the professional paid for media often are there for unintended amusement rather than for critical journalism.

It is a short piece, so I’m happy to reprint it in full:

Molson Coors is set to launch a new range of beers in the middle of 2011 aimed at the female market.

 Molson Coors is hoping to bring more female drinkers into the beer category
In a briefing today Molson Coors chief executive Mark Hunter said the new range would be available in both the on and off trade from mid 2011. The UK business is “trailblazing” the range for the company as a whole.

He will be unveiling details of the range early in 2011 and admitted “we are talking to a number of major on-trade players”.

The company has been researching the female market for 18 months though its BitterSweet Partnership initative.

The new range of beers will be made from a recipe which fights the concerns women have around drinking beer such as bloating, weight gain and taste.

Wow. We are talking about true revolutionaries here.

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