Monday, 27 July 2009
Tokyo calling (and there’s no one listening)
BrewDog in the news again (click here), this time with Tokyo* being condemned because it’s 18.2% alcohol content and therefore an incentive to all those binge drinkers who are only too ready to eschew the usual case of Stella whatever and pay nearly a tenner for a 330ml bottle of beer that contains jasmine, cranberries and US hops, plus champagne yeast. Of course they are.
As the beer is supposed to contain six units (is that British, American or someone else’s idea of units?), a spokeswoman from the British Liver Trust has said: ‘The notion of binge-drinking is to get drunk quick, so surely this beer will help people on their way?’ Of course, I can just see it, they start off with this, have a Worldwide Stout and finish off with a couple of Utopias before throwing up all over the taxi driver. Meanwhile Alcohol Focus Scotland chief executive Jack Law says: ‘It is utterly irresponsible to bring out a beer which is so strong at a time when Scotland is facing unprecedented levels of alcohol-related health and social harm.’
I do not doubt that there is a binge drinking problem, but given that the British notoriously drink by price (especially with wine), I cannot see many bottles of Tokyo* being handed around by teenagers, while the quiet drunks who spend the day on the slosh silently and sadly at home would want to get more bang for the their bucks. The flavour profile of this beer will also be challenging — so why the fuss?
There are a lot of people out there on health watchdogs, quangos and other publicly funded bodies whose mind set is: all alcohol, whether beer, wine or whisky, is bad (they have to justify their public money somehow). Is this a long hangover from our Protestant/Puritan past — when Christmas and the Maypole was banned? On the other hand, I suspect BrewDog love the publicity as they Malcolm McLaren themselves some more headlines and wind up the New Puritans.
A warning: when listening to Radio 5 today a woman from some cancer charity came on and warned listeners about the health dangers of iced coffees. So if the Taliban don’t come in the night, or swine flu doesn’t carry away your neighbourhood, or the local death-eaters don’t go barmy on thimbles of Tokyo*, then it will be a cup of frappo-mocha-fremlino-cappo-nappo-creamoid cappos from Starbucks that will do for you.