Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Oooo! Grrr!

And general gnashing of teeth... Blogger is playing up and whilst I can post an entry, I can't reply to people's comments. I have reported the error and I'm not ignoring people's very valid points, I just can't reply.

Correction, I can reply but only as a Name/URL posting. Grrr.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Nowhere To Hide

A lot has been said on the smoking ban and how it has affected pubs, and now we are having a similar situation with the economic downturn affecting them. One thing though I have found after two local pub closures is that these things have reduced the hiding place for crap pubs.

One of them had a brilliant sitting area with large windows to capture the light and warmth but the staff were always rude and the beer and wine were often 'off'so more often you would be drinking bottled products the staff couldn't wreak. For some reason you could overlook the crap bits for the nice place to sit and chat to your mates but when you couldn't enjoy that area because your mates smoked so you were more often than not in the awful garden complete with household waste the owners couldn't be bothered to chuck in the bins then all of a sudden those higher prices and crap service began to annoy.

The other one was always rough but with the ill behaviour spreading to the street instead of being contained indoors with a fug that would make a pea-souper look like a bit of mist, the pub really let it's true nature to be known. After the landlords tried to establish a 11am 'Happy Hour' for their regulars, people actually noticed and got together to get the pub closed. Before the smoking ban people would say it was awful and something should be done but as it didn't directly affect them nothing was done. As soon as the regulars of that pub were now lolling on the public benchs outside, fag and drink in hand and swearing loudly in the high street, it was shut quickly. For this reason I think the ban has done drinkers a favor in that the hiding places for these types of places is disappearing.

I know that there have been good pubs that have been forced to shut and there are bad pubs still going but hopefully one good side to some of the problems we have had is that the weak and poorly run ones may finally disappear. Whilst I don't agree on the ban and would have preferred pubs to have smoking and non-smoking bars again, it isn't going to be changed so this is one way of looking on the bright side.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

It's All in the Name!

Think you can do better than some of the breweries in naming a beer? Well here is your chance, McMullen’s are running a competition to name their August seasonal. All you have to do is buy a pint of their beer and fill in the entry form, this offer seems to be pretty much everywhere in their pubs. I spotted the posters for it in my local on Sunday.

There are tasting notes on the form so you know what the beer will be like for your naming process and this makes for a fun game with a group of friends. Easy enough to come up with a name you may think but we sat there for a long time thinking and then checking the names we came up with weren’t already being used by another brewery. Guess that is the problem with being a beer drinker, still we came up with a couple of ideas. So whilst any reader who does do this I wish them all the best but I’m sure my name is the winner. ;)

The winner gets a cash prize and other goodies but the competition ends on the 24th of June so not long to go. Get your skates on and you may very well have a beer out there with your choice of name on the pumpclip!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Power of Blogging

I have been reading some (not all) of the whole CAMRA vs the bloggers thing, which just seems slightly bizarre although I can see where both sides are coming from.

However what I'm thinking is that some folks don't realise just how important blogging or bloggers opinions are worth. I'm going to say that the beauty industry also is only just now figuring out that women actually take more notice of another women's opinion from her blog about an product than what an article in a magazine. I read both perfume and beauty blogs, I know that blogger's general likes and dislikes and so if they review a product I'm interested in, their opinion can (and usually does) influence whether I buy something or not. For years beauty bloggers were sidelined until a few newer companies suddenly realised the reason for their growth was the bloggers yelling about brillant products they have found. Now companies do launch to independent bloggers knowing this is a good way of getting word out there.

Same with beer bloggers, if I see a blog I know and enjoy reading mentioning an event or beer as really good then I will be influenced by that. The point is I know from reading that blog that we roughly like similar things so the chances are I will also enjoy the event/beer. So confident I will be that I have regularly brought six bottles of beer I haven't tried before thanks to someone's post, so far this tactic works well. I have had interesting beer I may not have tried and been to pubs/events that I have thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Blogging is a powerful and free tool, yes some do get freebies but good bloggers will say that they got it free in their review. No hidden agenda as if you read something regularly you spot those quickly and can judge your reaction to their posts accordingly. Blogs by companies and their links are good to follow for news and offers but an individual's view freely given is a godsend to many new companies or services.

What are you thoughts on the power of blogs? Do you see them as powerful or not?