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WRITER, CONSULTANT AND BROADCASTER SPECIALISING IN BEER, PUBS AND CIDER. BEER WRITER OF THE YEAR 2009 AND 2012

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Friday, 11 January 2013

The Pub Trade in 2013


Just before Christmas I was asked by leading pub trade mag The Publican's Morning Advertiser to give some predictions for what will happen in the UK pub trade in 2013.  They had to edit for space, and killed one or two jokes in the process, so here is the full thing.

Apologies if it's a bit cliquey for those not working in the UK pub trade - I didn't have time to do proper predictions here.  Normal blogging will resume just as soon as I've finished writing my next book, World's Best Cider, in about a month's time.




January 
A beer blogger from Wrexham works out a definition of 'craft beer' that nobody has a problem with. She is subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

February 
The rate of pub closures rises.  Everyone in the industry panics.

March 
A saboteur switches George Osborne's weak Ovaltine for Timothy Taylor Landlord, and the chancellor unexpectedly tastes beer for the very first time.  He uses his budget statement to issue a heartfelt apology to the nation's brewers and immediately freezes beer duty.

April 
The negativity on the Publican's Morning Advertiser's online forums reaches such an intensity that it creates a black hole just outside Crawley.  Professor Brian Cox is called.

May 
Brew Dog releases a 4.1% ABV premium bitter brewed with moderate amounts of Fuggles and Goldings hops. Beer bloggers declare this to be a stroke of subversive genius. The Portman Group slams it as stupid and irresponsible.

June
The royal baby is born.  Various brewers create commemorative ales. The Daily Mail accuses brewing industry of trying to give booze to babies.

July 
The Crawley Black Hole disappears. The nation celebrates. Brian Cox reveals he did it by showing cute pictures of puppies to PMA forum contributors until they cheered up a bit. And points out that this took THREE. FUCKING. MONTHS.

August
Brew Dog's 4.1% bitter wins Champion Beer of Britain.  Beer bloggers declare this to be a stroke of subversive genius. The Portman Group slams it as stupid and irresponsible.

September
The rate of pub closures falls.  No one says anything about it.

October 
The editor of Observer Food Monthly commissions the first article about beer in the magazine's thirteen-year history.

Just kidding.

November 
Shortly after releasing his blockbusting autobiography in time for the Christmas rush, Greg Mulholland MP flies to the jungle to appear on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.  And obviously wins it.  Because he's AMAZING.

December
Wells & Young's revives Young's Christmas Pudding Ale (come on, guys, take a hint).


See you soon.

9 comments:

Glyn Roberts said...

Oh the cynicism! Proud of ya!

Narrowboats Freyja and Christina said...

I'm with you on the Young's Xmas Pud Ale ;o) Wonderful! As were your predictions.

Cooking Lager said...

As someone who gets all news & life information off beer blogs and sees the world only through the prism of them I think you have missed that 2013 is the year craft beer takes over and no one drinks anything else ever, the smoking ban is abolished, minimum pricing forcing a can of lager to be a quid fills up all the pubs of Britain & the whole beer industry becomes a cottage industry of one man band artisans.

Martyn Cornell said...

Each to their own, but the only good point I found about Young's Christmas Ale is that it made an excellent base for a beef curry.

Adrian Tierney-Jones said...

I think I’ll join Martyn on that one about the Pud’Ale, though I’d love to see Old Nick back again

Publican Sam said...

You'd be lucky if it only takes 3 months to cheer up the PMA forum ... despair of it ... nice piece tho Mr B

Jay said...

Hi Pete, I have been following the campaign for levying the minimum alcohol pricing and I noticed your blog. By my reckoning, everything will have to shift up in price. We won't see a branded bottle of spirits below maybe near £20.
Been writing a post for my blog at
ikidu0.com related to all this...Cheers Jay

kentlandzintoba said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J Mark Dodds said...

Nice predictions Pete Brown, many likely to come to pass too, particularly the pub closure rate. It's already happening, and pub freehold prices are plummeting even faster than they have been. Which is an opportunity for something or other radical.

As Publican Sam says, PMA forum isn't likely to change - since Rob Willock got in there he's adopted a policy of banning anyone who's got anything serious to say against pubco's. Hasn't improved the quality of debate at all by the sound of it.

Looking forward to the Royal Ales.

And loads of new pub openings later in the year!