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Thread: Real Ale's Image Problem?

  1. #1
    Just Missed the Round Evil Gazebo's Avatar
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    Default Real Ale's Image Problem?

    According to The Guardian’s Word of Mouth Blog, it’s dodgy looking pumpclips and crap puns.

    Are people really so put off by some cheesy artwork and a mangled Spoonerism? I just assumed many breweries, usually smaller ones without large advertising budgets, aim for something eye-catching to grab customers’ attention in an often crowded marketplace. I think it's massively stretching a point to claim that this is somehow affecting the industry as a whole; what percentage of beers really use these sort of names and images as promotion? The very fact that they've stuck in the writer's mind suggests these brewers may be doing something right, rather than getting it wrong, and the market will surely tell them quickly enough anyway.
    And you can really taste the hops!

  2. #2
    Waterborne Beer Inspector Bucking Fastard's Avatar
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    This sort of article could only ever appear in The Guardian.

    I feel I must now apologise to everyone at Pubsgalore for lowering the tone.I must improve my presentation.

  3. #3
    I'll stay on me own Gann's Avatar
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    This is a very good example of why I don't bother with blogs. The majority are filled with nonsense just to fill up space.

    So real ale has an image problem caused by inuendo and sexism on pump clips ?.. Are all Gaurdian editorial writers knobs ?

    I would suggest a main regional brewer using a big fat bearded bloke shouting cheesy jokes loudly (No offence Mr Blessed), is doing a lot more damage to the image than the odd dodgily designed pump clip.
    Work is the curse of the drinking Class - Oscar Wilde

  4. #4
    Please give generously Quinno's Avatar
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    This was being bounced around on some blogs a week or two back (may have been Boak & Bailey).

    Anyways, I can see their point to an extent - the pump clip is the immediate point of sale and it can make a difference in a pub where the staff are not prepared to give friendly advice. But why they really care is another matter. I have no problem with mangled spoonerisms and the like - a good pint is a good pint regardless...some bloke brewing in his shed probably has better things to worry about than some middle class nob's views on his pump clips.

  5. #5
    Old & Bitter oldboots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinno View Post
    This was being bounced around on some blogs a week or two back (may have been Boak & Bailey).

    Anyways, I can see their point to an extent - the pump clip is the immediate point of sale and it can make a difference in a pub where the staff are not prepared to give friendly advice. But why they really care is another matter. I have no problem with mangled spoonerisms and the like - a good pint is a good pint regardless...some bloke brewing in his shed probably has better things to worry about than some middle class nob's views on his pump clips.
    Pencil & Spoon and Boak & Bailey have both been riding this particular hobby horse of late, being an old git I just put it down to the prissy, feeble and precious lack of humour among the drearily PC young , although I do agree with Dredge about punctuation and spelling (more old gittery).

    However more seriously I do think ribald pump clips/daft or suggestive names to get your beer noticed are probably no longer needed the market having moved on sufficiently. I wish the bloggeratti, with the honourable exceptions of Pete Brown and today's piece by Melissa Cole, would get as worked up about neo-Pro's or anti-pub politicians and broadcasters who are the real enemy.

    The real image problem is of course the beer belly/beards/sandals one; aka lazy journalism.

    Oh and I see Pump Clip Parade (who wrote the Guardian piece) managed to slip in the obligatory CAMRA bashing. how trendy is that?

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  6. #6
    Official PG MILD tester Soup Dragon's Avatar
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    There are some clips/beer names that I do find a bit cheesy and some a little on the offensive side - so they have a point, but as usual, it is a little over-inflated - perhaps because he knows me so well (as a forum user) as to know i use 'innit' in everyday speech - how well this chap knows me. I would like, in all honesty, to raise a Bishop's finger to him, in celebration of his patronising comment.

    The media have helped create this celebrity obsessed smut ridden world we live in - it is a bit rich that they publish this, especially when (and I assume it is) the Ma Pardoe's 'Bumble Hole' they claim is such filth, is in fact a local nature reserve. Have these guys blogged against The Sun - or does it seem a pair of Cornish knockers are OK for page 3, but not for a pump clip.
    MILD:

  7. #7
    This Space For Hire gillhalfpint's Avatar
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    Dread to think what they would have made of the Coach and Horses of Weatheroak's Valentine beer festival we went to a few years back when they brought together a load of such beers as Ma Pardoe's Bumble Hole, Hart Second Coming, Archers Wet Dreams, and Church End What The Fox's Hat to name a few. They woiuld have had a field day.

  8. #8
    I'll stay on me own
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    Inconsistent quality is the main problem.

    Real ale needs a "gateway" beer to get someone interested (just like someone never goes from listening to pop to listening to hardcore punk, they go through all the pop-punk, punk, metal stages).

    However the places non-real ale drinkers tend to drink have appalling real ale quality so there is a barrier.

    The best solution is to get the halfway house of good keg beers from the likes of Brewdog and Summer Wine in places where people wouldn't normally drink real ale and where quality is more likely, and then people will seek out ale more often from then on.

    Most people I've know getting into real ale recently have either gone through those craft beers, or via pale ales (which again tend to limited to "real ale places").

  9. #9

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    What a load of nonsense.

    When we can walk into any pub in the country which serves real ale and guarantee at least one decent pint then we can perhaps start to think about pump clip design, beer names and tasteful marketing in general.

    I can't think of one product sector whose offer, marketing and advertising is wholly tasteful and inoffensive and it definitely doesn't exist in the drinks sector.

    Harumph. Rant over.

  10. #10
    Inndigestion Strongers's Avatar
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    I’d like to add my thoughts to this thread as I think that I was an example of a typical lager boy and I wouldn’t have started drinking ale if I had not started having an interest in pubs and pub websites - it’s all your fault!!!

    To start off I usually drink Guinness when on a crawl as the quality of ale is so variable that many a bad pint has been knocked back and I’ve not known about it for a couple of hours! Most people don’t know when they get a bad pint – They just think that it tastes shite and will not try it again. Also, the first pint of ale that a lager boy has is usually in a pub that is not renowned for its ale so the chances of receiving a dodgy pint are quite high. There are ales that even you lot on here don’t know whether they have been off or you just don’t like the taste, what chance do the rest of us have?

    Also, the inebriation caused by ale is completely different to lager and many people prefer to talk bollox all night and not remember in the morning rather than remembering losing the ability to remember anything whilst talking bollox – if that makes sense.

    I think that the sandal wearing beardy stereotype is on its way out, but there is some real snobbery from some quarters. I have had people send me a PM saying that I know nothing about pubs because I was drinking Strongbow so obviously my review of their pub means nothing! When I started on the Pride in my local I got slated by my mates who threatened to go out and buy me a pipe and some slippers.

    So does the advertisement have anything to do with it? I think not!

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