27 December 2008


I had Christmas dinner at home, with a mulled merlot, an Ardmore single malt, and Weston's organic cider. It is not often that I drink beer at home. Therefore, I have managed to spend a few hours in my favourite pubs over the past few days. My list of favourites rarely changes. I believe that is because so few these establishments have little to offer in terms of service.

Also, we might notice ghostly goings on over at Ghost Pubs. They have released a ghost story that references one of my favourite haunts: Ghost Pubs Blog: The Drunken Prole

20 December 2008

Merry Christmas from Your Office Licence

An office licence cannot legally sell alcohol before 8am. One place even refused to take payment for a bottle of single malt, with the suggestion that she tilled it after 8am. Is there any reason for such draconian and inflexible attitudes? It can be a little annoying if you want to buy a present for a colleague before travelling into work.

Who Drank All the Real Ale?

Why is it that whenever I pick-up an odd copy of Opening Times (a Camra magazine) that a fair few of the pubs mentioned in there do not serve any real ale when I visit?

14 December 2008

Binge Drinking

This seems to be a topic that is not going to disappear at any time soon. The bottom line is that certain organisations use this phenomenon to line their own pockets. There is always an ulterior motive! For example, Camra use it as part of their misguided strategy to lambast brewing giants who supposedly offer volume discounts to supermarkets. Volume discounts on brewing giant brands seemingly crowd out the demand for real ale, as well as the demand for such beers in real ale public houses. So it is not deemed to be in the interests of Camra, at least not to their investment club shareprices. Of course, these chaps usually ignore discounts on real ale by the same supermarket; or that brewing giants may even provide real ale products. Instead, Camra present an unrealistic and fragile image of the microbrewery and the pub for that matter. This is an aside, your stereotypical binge drinker only drinks beverages from the brewing giant - how convenient? I guess there is no such thing as a disorderly real ale drinker.

Let us hark back, the answer to binge drinking is simple; there is nothing wrong with drinking per se. Anyone stupid enough to risk their physical health is entitled to binge drink. The UK still enjoys a little freedom. Again, UK citizens are entitled to healthcare (free on the point of entry). I do not like the idea of funding people who have become alcoholically intoxicated but that choice is not mine to make. I can imagine that these same people may object to certain of my behaviours. However, I cannot assess the economic (or social) cost of these to people I do not know.

On the subject of social cost, binge drinking is putatively immoral. UK is pretty much a puritanical state. Many behaviours are deemed to be immoral here. However, the war in Iraq is on the average supposedly acceptable. It is difficult to discern the comedy of the Anglo-Saxon from his reason at times.

Where does the issue really lie? If someone becomes intoxicated then it is a matter of those who enforce law and order to do their job. Fines to disorderly people can be a sufficient deterant. The idea of setting minimum prices for alcohol sales in supermarkets is silly. Disorderly behaviour is a matter for the police and law courts, not successful retailers.

6 December 2008



We are underway in our development of GhostPubs.com - It is scheduled for release in early 2009. Ghost Pubs is a website that is dedicated to haunted, closed, abandoned, and demonlished public houses, hotels, etc. I had better not give too much away.