Weak…but not at the knees

Posted on August 5, 2009

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LukeThe BBC asks whether you would drink a weaker pint if it cost 60p less and, I think, yes, I would.

I don’t normally go in for the idea of buying something because it’s cheaper or because you get more for the same price (a ‘more than’ I find I rarely need – hence the heated debate last Christmas as to the merits or otherwise of traipsing round the shops with a second kilo of satsumas, just because they would be free – and ultimately uneaten in all likelihood.)

In fact, I would often go the other way and assume I’d be better off buying less of a more expensive item than go for bulk and basic.  But I think it would be different with alcohol.

Just last week I was in The Alma in Wandsworth with my Mum and my sister.  They both ordered shandies, yet were charged the same as if they had ordered beers.  Mum queried whether that should be the case; yet it has long been true of soft drinks that the price is as high as that of pints, a fact which has always struck me as absurd.

Of course, reaching my thirties has also led me to the firm belief that drinking something stronger precisely because it is stronger is equally absurd.  Nor is it just me.  I can no longer name a single friend who would drink Stella out of choice (though perhaps that’s simply the taste.)

The BBC article argues that lower-strength versions of Carling et al. have not fared too well on the market despite having been around for some time now, but then those kinds of lagers are so lacking in taste anyway, I fail to see how a lighter version could offer much by way of satisfaction.  Not so with a milder ale.

If offered at a reduced price, I can see a whole range of people turning to beers like this and perhaps as well as reducing the alcohol drunk by the Brits, beers such as Pride’n’Joy may actually enhance the nation’s tastebuds too.

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Posted in: Communications, Food