Itchy Feet & A Thirst

Just as a pretty girl makes one’s loins stir, and a lovely gun makes the trigger finger twitch, this article by Tom Parker-Bowles makes me want to sell everything I own and take a trip to Britishland, just to visit the pubs he talks about.  I mean:

The 50 cosiest pubs in Britain. From roaring fires in winter to breathtaking riverside views and — of course — a fine selection of local ales on tap, the watering holes you’ll want to linger in

To my absolute chagrin, I haven’t been to any of them;  although I would put some of my favorite pubs — e.g. The King’s Arms in All Cannings, Wilts. — against all of them.

And leaving The George Inn in Norton St. Philip off the list of West Country pubs is nothing short of a travesty.

Of the Haunch of Venison in Salisbury, or rather its omission, we shall not speak.

Frankly, I don’t care about the view in a pub — unless it’s that of a pretty barmaid — because I go to a pub to drink and make merry with friends and not to look out over a valley, a canal or the sea.  Atmosphere is the thing, only in that it makes the merrymaking easier and me less likely to leave after only a cursory pint (it’s happened).

Also less important is the food;  I look with alarm at some of Parker-Bowles’s choices (caramelized shallot and thyme tarte tatin — WTF is that?), when all I’m looking for is a decent fish & chips, a sausage roll or even just a toastie or cheese sarnie.  (Fortunately, I see that Mr. Parker-Bowles dined mostly on good pub fare like toasties, stews and ox-tongue sandwiches.  Attaboy.) Whatever.  I don’t go to a pub to eat, FFS, I go there to carouse.  Eating is best done in restaurants or at street stalls, where booze is the accompaniment rather than the raison d’être.  Of “gastropubs” we shall not speak, either.  (Okay, just one:  I remember going to one such excrescence in London somewhere, and upon reading the menu that featured overpriced crap like “Sea salt & cracked black pepper squid, £28.75”, asked for a bag of potato crisps — to be met with a supercilious sneer and a “We don’t serve that kind of thing here” response.  I left after drinking only half my pint of — mediocre — ale.)

Anyway, as I said at the start, I need to get over there and try some (all?  ye gods) of these places out for myself.

(I know, I know:  a half-pint?  It was my “taster”, followed soon by a full pint, or maybe two.  My memory is somewhat fuzzy, as often happens.  That was at The Haunch.)

Also, I need to revisit some of my old haunts:

Let’s just hope they all survived Teh Covid.

But I sure as hell won’t be going to this foul place, and that’s for sure:

For nearly 200 years, the Stag Inn has been the beating heart of a tiny village. But a recent revamp has split opinion, with some welcoming the modernisation and others claiming its ‘spit and sawdust charm’ has been ruined by being turned into a trendy gastropub.
Critics say unacceptably avant garde measures at the drinking hole in West Acre, Norfolk, including graffiti in the toilets, an upmarket menu with options such as venison burgers, and garishly-coloured furniture have driven them away.

Me, too.  No pics because ugh, as you will see if you dare to click on the link.

Too Much (Hot) Air

Apparently, we’ve been drinking champagne All Wrong:

A wine expert has revealed why you shouldn’t drink Champagne out of a flute [glass, not musical instrument — K]. Master Sommelier Olivier Krug, from Krug Champagne, was a guest on the ‘Got Somme’ podcast hosted by Angus O’Loughlin and Carlos Santos, and suggested using ‘proper’ glassware — such as a pinot noir or chardonnay glass — to taste all the elements of the champagne.


I’ve never cared for champagne:  too gassy, mostly crap-tasting inferior wine, it’s a triumph of marketing over quality.

“Ah but Kim, you’ve just never tried the really good stuff!”

LOL.  I remember once going to a brand promotion party at some mansion in Newport RI and being given a glass (or two) of their “premium” plonk — from memory, it retailed for $420 a bottle, in the 1980s — and thinking that it tasted like inferior fizzy apple juice.  I’ve forgotten the brand;  Dom Perignon?  Moët et Chandon?  Taittinger?  Bollinger?  But it wasn’t Veuve Clicquot, which really does taste like inferior fizzy apple juice.

Frankly, I find that champagne / sparkling wine works best as a component of the brunch staple, Mimosa (or Buck’s Fizz, as the Brits call it), as long as the drink contains much more orange juice than champers.
[Side note:  don’t bother using freshly-squeezed OJ in a Mimosa:  ordinary pasteurized crap works just fine, in fact Tropicana may be even better fit for purpose than the pricier-than-gold squeezed.]
And if you’re going to mix champagne with anything, you may as well save your money and use Korbel or the like, rather than the aforementioned overpriced Frog Appellation Controlée* stuff.

Okay, I’m just a Bloody Peasant and you’ve bought into the whole Champagne thing:  here are a couple of places to get a “best of” list:  18 Best Sparkling Wines to Drink in 2023 and 12 Best Sparkling Wines From All Over the World.

All that said, one of my favorite apéritifs is called a Golden Dream:  peach-flavored schnapps and (any) sparkling wine 50-50%, with a tiny drizzle of brandy (poured gently over an inverted teaspoon so as to lie on the surface of the drink).  Be warned:  drink this lovely stuff in moderation, or extreme shit-facery will soon follow.  Cheers.

*For the non-cognoscenti, only sparkling wine produced in France’s Champagne area may be called “champagne”;  all others must be labeled as “sparkling wine”, regardless of quality.  It’s all part of the marketing.



Well, this is interesting:

Anheuser-Busch heir Billy Busch said he would be the first to buy back Bud Light should the beer’s parent company AB InBev want to sell it.

“If they don’t want that brand any longer, sell it back to the Busch family,” Busch told Outkick host Tomi Lahren. “Sell it to me. I’ll be the first in line to buy that brand back from you, and we’ll make that brand great again.”

Busch explained how disheartening it has been to watch the beer brand, which was so much a part of his childhood, lose its legacy of valuing its customers and employees.

“That culture is completely gone now,” Busch said. “They knew who their drinkers were. … Even my dad at 89 years old, 90 years old, he was still going to the bars selling Budweiser back in those days.”

“We’ve always cared very, very much about the people in America. What made this company great was America, of course,” he continued.

Busch added that AB InBev has missed the mark in knowing its customer base.

“When you are a foreign company and you rely on these woke students that are coming out of these local colleges to do your advertising for you, you’re making a big mistake,” he noted.

Even if they got Bud Light back, I still wouldn’t buy it because it’s shit beer, but that’s not the point.

I don’t know if anyone knows this, but Auggie Busch (Augustus III) has been a lifelong supporter of concealed carry — mostly, it should be said, because of the need to protect his delivery drivers from hijacking.  The family has always been true-blue (red?) American (unusual for a wealthy family) and intensely patriotic, always with traditional values very much in evidence.  A cursory look at older Budweiser ads — the pre-woke ones, that is — will bear that out.

And was there any better or more American an institution than this?

Oh, and if Billy wants a new relaunch payoff line for his acquisition, here it is:

Same Beer, Different Attitude!

Yer welcome.

Not So Sure

Here’s an interesting take on the whole Bud Light debacle:

“When the company was bought over by InBev, a lot of things changed [from] when it was owned by Anheuser-Busch. You know, it’s an American brand,” the whistleblower remarked.

He explained that the company previously offered many benefits prior to its purchase by InBev. Through the fall in sales for the Bud Light brand, the former employee stated, the corporation could restructure both employee benefits and its company standards through layoffs and renegotiating contracts.

“Bud Light has been failing for many years. We’ve talked about that for many years. The numbers of just, you know, little by little deteriorated. And it feels like they said, ‘Let’s put this nail in the coffin,’” he said. “Now we have a lot of layoffs, a lot of loss in production. It would be easy for them to restructure, let’s say, pay or contracts.”

“It’s too obvious that they wouldn’t just mistakenly do this and not expect these repercussions. Anybody could tell you what was going to happen,” he commented.

Um, maybe.  Okay, I’m not so sure about that.  In the first place, when it comes to giant corporations, never ascribe to malice what can also be ascribed to stupidity.  Sometimes it happens, but that ain’t the way to bet.

The most telling rebuttal to this assertion is quite simple.  Regardless of whether Bud Light was in decline, or not, it was still the best-selling beer brand in the United States.  And yes, while A-B might have stood to gain from restructuring salary scales or employment contracts, I hardly think that those savings would equate to anything like the amount of money that’s been lost (and will continue to be lost) from their plummeting sales and the equally-dismal drop in their share price.  If some toad in Finance suggested this, he needs to be castrated, in the corporate sense, because if even someone like me can see this, then he’s truly stupid.

Regardless of everything else, you just don’t willfully destroy your #1 brand, especially when it’s as large a brand as Bud Light.  The sums of money are just too vast, the possible repercussions too dreadful because they’re unknown — the ramifications could see A-B split up as a company into separate operating companies (Michelob, Busch, etc.) and the loss of economies which stem from shared brands would cripple all of them.  They’d become no different from a bunch of craft brands — and regardless of what anyone thinks, A-B brands are about as far from craft beers, in both quality and consumer regard, as one could get.

No, the whole thing is just way too Machiavellian and too complex — and trust me, it’s not like InBev is staffed with people of the strategic vision of, say, the German General Staff of WWII, even.  They’re a bunch of Belgian and American bureaucrats, a breed not known for their perspicacity.  And let’s be honest, the Belgies are among the wokest people on the planet, so I’m more likely to ascribe all this bullshit to simple corporate vanity.

Of course, if I’m wrong and this really was just part of some diabolical Master Plan, I hope it all falls apart and the whole A-B/InBev house comes crashing down.  The world will survive and who knows, we might just end up with a few decent beers out of the wreckage.

Lite, Shmite, Ultra-Shite – You All Suck

In the wake of Bud Light performing the impossible task of stepping on its own transgender wokedick comes this silliness:

Miller Lite is facing criticism for a weeks-old ad that pushed a feminist message.

“So here’s to women,” comedian Ilana Glazer says in the ad, which Miller Lite published in March for Women’s History Month. “Because without us there would be no beer.”

Without women, there pretty much wouldn’t be any need for beer, but let’s continue:

Glazer explains that women have made beer throughout history and the beer industry has not paid them enough credit. The ad criticizes beer advertisements that feature women in bikinis.

Errr nobody gives a rat’s ass about who actually makes beer — it could be made by Brazilian macaque monkeys, for that matter, and I suspect some actually might be — but showing women in bikinis is just the beer industry’s equivalent of a cosmetic company using some actress as their “face”, i.e. getting the attention of its core buyers.

But that just leads to my main point.

Regardless of who makes it and who drinks it, “light” or “lite” (i.e. diluted) beer is a totally shit product. 

We shouldn’t be boycotting Bud Light or Miller Lite or any of their cohort brands;  we should be boycotting diluted beer in toto.

When I say “we” I mean all existing male drinkers of this foul swill — I had one sip of Miller Lite back in 1985, and have never touched the shit (of any brand) since, so I can’t very well boycott something I never drink.

Still, I can’t deny that there’s a need for people to drink lots of hardly-alcoholic booze, so I have to reluctantly concede that there is a market for it.  Going back to my first experiences with light beer, I recall that anyone throwing a party always had to get some Lite in so that the girls could drink with the boys.

So while men have always bought light beer, it’s generally been for their womenfolk and not themselves:  men can consume and handle alcohol in quantity more easily than women — fact! — so why not?  Light beer, then, has always been aimed at women, but subtly:  showing bikini-clad women in those ads simply reminds the buyers — mostly men — not to forget the ladies when they plan their party.

Clearly, though, that’s just Not Appropriate anymore, and Men Are Pigs and Women Are Downtrodden and and and and, ad nauseam.

Is it time for a breakfast martini yet?  Oh, why the fuck not?  If there was any 6X anywhere around, I’d go for one of those, but there isn’t so I’ll just substitute.

Not a lite bone in its considerable body.

Judging from the Comments, I seem to have pissed in a few people’s light beer.  LOL

Disgusting Practice

Here’s something guaranteed to stick in my craw, so to speak:

WHISKY is one of the world’s most popular spirits – but you might be making a big mistake when you drink it.

A boozy investigation into the beloved spirit revealed how to unlock the best flavor.

It’s all linked to the addition of water to whiskey, which is thought to “open up” its flavor – but don’t go past the 20% mark, because that can make whiskies taste the same.

Yeah, duh.  As any liquid approaches 99% water, it’s going to taste more like water.

I’m more upset with the concept of adding water to whisky.  It’s a disgusting habit, and best left to amateur drinkers.  (I know, I know, “unlocking the flavor”, like the taste in your mouth is somehow inadequate for the process.)

As any fule kno, the proper way to drink whisky (or even “whiskey”) is to drink it neat, with a glass of cold water on the side.

My only concession is — very occasionally — to add ice to the whisky (never to single malt, though) if I don’t want to get too quickly shitfaced.

Yeah, yeah, it’s all A Question Of Taste, and We’re All Different.

Allowing the addition of water to whisky is the thin end of the wedge, and leads eventually to filth like whisky & tonic and transgender acceptance.  You heard it here first.