A wry view of life for the world-weary

Conundrum Of The Week

Glass Beer Bottles

Glass Beer Bottles

The world can be a perplexing place and trying to make sense of it is enough to drive you to drink. That is, of course, if you can find a pub open these days. No longer is the epitome of the English country village a green, preferably with a game of cricket in progress, and a pub serving foaming real ale. Nowadays the green will have been built on and the pub, like as not, closed down and converted into a des res for townies who come down from London for the weekend. According to the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) 29 pubs closed every week in the UK in the past year.

So bad has the problem become that CAMRA is targeting 3,000 English pubs to be listed as Assets of Community Value, a status which gives the pub some protection against closure but one not necessarily popular with landlords who see it as reducing the options for them if trade goes down the tube. Currently around 800 pubs have the ACV listing.

At the same time as I hear this I learn that three breweries a week are opening up in the UK. This is perplexing news to a simple brain such as mine. Either they are run by super-optimists, perhaps intoxicated by their brews, or the neophyte brewers are targeting a completely different market. And it seems the latter is the case. The burgeoning trade in bottled beers from obscure breweries in our supermarkets, sold at knock down prices, a trend which is killing the real pub trade, and the thirst amongst our continental brethren for English beers is what is causing this brewing boom.

Strange old world.

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