Beer Bust

Monday, October 27th, 2008

I thought there were some products whose sales were supposed to be “recession-proof” – like beer. Isn’t that supposed to be the poor man’s cheap solace for hard times?

It seems not, at least when it comes to one of Europe’s prime beer-drinking lands, namely Britain. We get word on that from the German newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau (Britons lose their taste for beer; article sourced from the dpa press agency). Beer-revenues there have fallen 7.2% over the last three months compared to the previous year, down to the level of ten years ago. And it seems all beer-outlets are being affected more-or-less equally: pubs, restaurants, and supermarkets. In fact, the article quotes the head of the British Beer- and Pub-Association that five of those delightful traditional British pubs are now closing their doors permanently each day.

A quick troll through the on-line English papers found no word about this – could this merely be another diabolical German scheme to discredit their European rivals in beer-guzzling? If so, you’d think they would come up with some calumny against the Czechs instead, who year after year consume more of the stuff even than their Teutonic neighbors.

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Stags and Hens in Prague

Friday, December 31st, 2004

I’ve little more to say about the ongoing tidal wave tragedy around the eastern Indian Ocean basin. Is it poor taste to move on now to other subjects? Now, I certainly agree with the proposition that the fancy parties scheduled around the upcoming Bush II inauguration (specifically, the money budgeted for them) should yield to the Asian tragedy. But closer to home, tomorrow’s the start of a brand New Year, and some celebration of that fact should still be in order.

Prague is a good place to celebrate that fact. (So is, for that matter, Amsterdam, although it’s a bit more expensive.) And right on time, in its last-edition-of-the-year, the main Czech business newspaper Hospodárské noviny features a trio of articles on its homepage about the foreigners flocking to visit the Czech capital – whether for New Year’s celebrations or more generally – under the collective headline “Do Tourists Come to Us Mainly for the Cheap Beer?” (more…)

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Bison Beer Best

Saturday, September 27th, 2003

Today we’re again a bit on the parochial side. But not in the Dutch sense – rather, in the Czech sense, since I need to head to Prague again this evening for a few days. So naturally I’ve been heavily into the Czech press lately. What has been going on? On the one hand, the Czech socialist coalition government just (barely) survived a vote of confidence in Parliament, and the main governing party looks like it’s about to throw out a maverick within its ranks whose non-cooperation made the confidence vote so close. On the other hand, the results of the Czech Beer Competition for 2003 have just been announced. Which story would you rather hear more about?

I’m guessing the latter. Both Hospodarske noviny and Právo (registration required – in Czech!) have write-ups on the just-completed Czech Beer Competition, Právo being slightly more-informative. (more…)

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