Greene King are obviously trying to win some brownie points in the face of a lot of vitriol from ale fans – they’ve launched a website to help pub landlords diagnose and cure problems with their cellars which are leading to dodgy pints.
It’s a clever idea, and could really be useful, especially for novice landlords. Many are saddled with poor quality cellars, or are dealing with equipment that their predecessors just didn’t look after, so this could make a real difference.
But it’s also standard practice for companies with poor reputations – and Greene King are going that way – to try to associate themselves with the very people who oppose them. BP are now branded much like Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth, for example. Is this Greene King’s attempt to start a “Campaign for Decent Pints”?
And, of course, a good beer tasting course might be just as usefu. The landlord of one of my local pubs – which often serves bad pints – told me once that he didn’t drink ale, and had no idea what it was meant to taste like… worrying.