Pubpaper 816 – Beer around the World Tonight

Posted: 18th July 2015 by santobugtio in Pub Paper, Writing

I’ll start with a story from down under this week about an Aussie drinker who has been caught dumping empty beer cans every day on the same street.  You may think so what, but when I say he had deposited an estimated 11,700 cans onto the pavement in 18 months or an average of 21 cans per day, it puts a different complexion on the story.  He was eventually caught dropping bags of the cans out of his car window as he passed through the area, indicating that he had something else to do in his life.  At least he wasn’t drinking Fosters, with Carlton Draft being his beverage of choice.  21 cans a day, every day, is an unhealthy beer habit (this from a confirmed member of the beer club) even if spread through the day, the equivalent of about 11 pints.  I’d hate to see the state of his liver right now if they were not shared and even then his taste buds must be numb to the taste of the beer by now.  For me the variety of beer is the reason I drink it and enjoy it so much.  Being stuck with 18 months on the same beer, even an excellent one. would be pure hell, but some peoples hell is another’s heaven.

Keeping on the topic of our Aussie friends, it appears their love of a beer doesn’t extend to Cricket Test Matches which they lose heavily.  After the 1st Ashes Test in Cardiff, Alastair Cook invited his opposite captain Michael Clarke for a post match beer, an offer which was rebuffed by the visiting skipper.  The two teams sharing a beer after the match has finished is ingrained in most sports, especially in amateur ranks, the social aspect being as much of a reason for taking part as the sporting aspect, just look at the number of social or members clubs attached to sports grounds.  The New Zealand test captain was happy have a jar after matches regardless of the result, but the Aussies always want to get one over on us (and at the time of writing they were 566-8 declared and we were 85/4 with good chance of a follow on in the third day of the second test match at Lords, so it appears to be working).

At least we have a good supply of beer, back in the middle of July, the Polar Empresas brewery which produces 80% of Venezuela’s beer was suffering a strike by its workers who were demanding higher wages.  Workers at number of sites at the country’s biggest distributor also joined the strike with the same demands.  The lack of supply routes out to some parts of the country meant that a national beer shortage was on the horizon.  Luckily a government official was on hand to help mediate the labour issue.  Not the trade, commerce or industry minister as you would expect, but its Human Rights ombudsman called Tarek Willian Saab who gained an agreement which ensured beer shelves would not run dry.   Other sources say that the Labour department of the government ordered them to go back to work, but that’d ruin the idea of “Beer as a human right?”. An interesting question, and as long Greene King beer is not protected and in fact is tried for crimes against humanity, I’d be happy to go along with this

What all these stories show is how ingrained beer is into our lives, you are sitting in a pub reading this aren’t you!   It gets into every pore of our society, from the people at the top of the pile down in Westminster and our complaints we are paying for their subsidised beer.  Right down to the homeless alcoholics and the arguments about the sale of high strength turbo lager like Tennants Super, Skol Special Brew and Kestrel Super.   Every social strata in between will have a beer related agenda, whether it is the argument between cask and craft, the post pub / club trouble in our town centres or the country village risking losing its last pub.    The stories above go from the people at the top of their sporting game, to low paid workers in second world countries, to a fairly average aussie.  It knows few boundaries and not many products can say that