Categories
bristol pubs

Pub & Club News – optimism and energy

Our local Pub & Club News, printed on folded and stapled sheets of A4 in black-and-white, is a reminder of a world where beer isn’t everything. From roast dinners to rock music, pubs are about so much more.

We like to pick up a copy of PNCN, as it’s sometimes abbreviated, whenever we come across it. It’s usually stacked on a table or shelf near the door, shouting out “FREE ISSUE – PLEASE TAKE ONE!” from the cover.

It might be alongside the local CAMRA magazine, Pints West, or perhaps with a pile of flyers advertising a local hair salon.

We found the most recent edition, for May 2022, volume 32, issue 361, at The Horseshoe in Downend, and flipped through it as we drank Greene King IPA and ate deep-fried snacks.

It’s almost entirely made up of advertisements with just the bare minimum amount of editorial material. That includes a report on the performance of Yate Town FC and notes on the Chipping Sodbury and Yate Ladies’ Darts League:

Congratulations to everybody who took part this year. This was our first time back since 2020 and we were all a little out of practice but I think we all enjoyed getting back on the oche and seeing friends again.

The ads are where the real interest lies, though, giving publicans space to set out what they believe makes their pub special.

What that isn’t, generally, is real ale. In the whole publication there are only a couple of mentions of CAMRA and – remember this? – Cask Marque.

Instead, the emphasis tends to be on the ethos…

Gilly and Dave’s motto is
‘Come in as a Stranger, leave as a Friend’

Lynne and Steve welcome customers old and new

Brendan, Becky & team offer a warm welcome to all

Ang, Ian & staff offer a warm welcome to all

Jemma, James & staff offer a warm welcome to all

…or the food…

SUNDAY ROAST DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR
Small £7 Medium £9.50 X/Large £13.50

Friday 6th – BURGER BUS in the car park 4-8pm

Seniors Menu, Monday-Friday, 2 course £6.99, 3 course £7.99

Small sausage (plain) £1.00

…or an unusual drinks menu…

BEST PLACE TO GET YOUR THATCHERS SLUSH AND FROZEN DAIQUIRI

THATCHERS INFUSED CIDERS NOW ON-SALE HERE!!
Dark Berry, Bloody Orange and Cloudy Lemon

Why not book a PROSECCO BRUNCH!
Unlimited Prosecco for 2 hours and a beautifully fresh Ploughman’s lunch

Full selection of flavoured Gins and Sambucas

…or price…

Serving ‘Probably the cheapest beer in the village’

Penny puddings! 1p for dessert!

Refreshing offers – all day, everyday, *new* Heineken Silver – 2 for £5 in May

Serving Tribute @ £2 a pint!!!

…or facilities and events…

Large family beer garden, heated patio area, bird aviary, meerkats and rabbits for the children to enjoy!

EVERY TUESDAY EVENING
AMERICAN TRUCKS CAR SHOW
GATES OPEN 6PM – FREE ENTRY
BBQ & MUSIC FROM ALEX
Large garden for displaying vehicles
Everyone and bikes welcome

JOIN US FOR THE QUEEN’S PLATINUM JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS

…or music:

KARAOKE with DJ GRAVY

LIVE MUSIC with WHISKEY CHASERS and music with SIZZLING DAVE

ROCKABILLY NIGHT with THE RHYTHM SLICKS and DJs Slugs and Alex

KLEZMER SESSION (8pm)
(Balkan/Gypsy)

DJ DAMPY (3pm)

What comes across is the sheer amount of effort people are putting in to keep their pubs and communities buzzing and alive.

There’s evidence of diversification into takeaway and home delivery, for example, while others have side hustles – “Why not visit the Plant Barn adjacent to the pub?” – and niches: “Four dart oches… Dart teams required.”

And these ads, in their chaotic, Victorian circus poster style, are alluring.

They make us want to visit – to hear the ska bands, eat the cream teas, see the meerkats; to come as strangers and leave as friends.

You can also find Pub & Club News online at pncnews.co.uk

Categories
marketing

Marketing beer: a process

Click for the full size version.

The above chart is inspired by various conversations with and emails from public relations and marketing people in the last few months, many of whom seem to be struggling manfully to sell shite beer. Future version will no doubt be bigger and more complex… suggestions welcome.

Categories
marketing

Weasely Carling Ads

carlingbarley

Phase one of the new Carling campaign was bad enough. But in phase two, the ad men have reached a new low. Get a load of this from the voiceover:

“Carling know it’s important to check their barley themselves.”

A few questions spring to mind:

  1. What is “checking” barley?
  2. Is “checked” barley better than any other? As in, “Yeah, I checked the barley — it’s absolutely awful, but we got it cheap.”
  3. They know it’s important, but does that even mean they do it? Whatever it is.

So, here’s our proposed slogan for phase three:

“Carling know that beer is supposed to taste nice.”

Categories
Uncategorized

Something to worry about?

Meantime seem to have convinced pubs all over London to take what we’re assuming is a kegged London Pale Ale. Its green badge has been appearing on big tacky chrome fonts all over the city in the last few weeks, following a successful launch as a bottled beer in some supermarkets earlier this year.

We’ve always been fans of Meantime’s range and haven’t even minded that they don’t, on the whole, bother with cask conditioning at their pub in Greenwich, because their beer simply tastes so nice. But this keg product breaking out into the wild could be a problem: people who run trendy bars and gastropubs are likely to give up on cask ale altogether if they’ve got a decent-tasting, nicely marketed keg alternative.

Then again, have we perhaps moved to a point where the method of dispense, all though a good rule of thumb when it comes to quality, isn’t the be all and end all? There are some very boring cask conditioned ales that, although ideologically sound, taste much worse than some of Meantime’s kegged products.

Is it kegged as we’re assuming? Has anyone tried it? Is it the same beer that’s sold at the Union as Pale Ale, latterly known as “Late Hopped Blonde’? If you have any information, the Kilroy production team would like to hear from you.

Categories
marketing News

Sales of (mostly terrible) beer down

According to advertising trade mag Marketing Week, sales of the top beer brands are down 5 per cent up to April 2008.

The biggest drops are in sales of Kronenbourg 1664, Stella Artois, Carlsberg Export and Grolsch. Sales of John Smith’s Extra Smooth and Carlsberg (ordinary) are up.

Their say that the current ‘drink-aware climate’ and England’s absence from the European Championship are the main reasons.

The first certainly sounds plausible to us. People we know seem to be much happier ordering a shandy or a ‘weak beer’ than they were a couple of years ago.

And, of course, there’s been a huge defection to cider from beer, as witnessed by booming sales of Strongbow.