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.
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.
The rate of pub closures rises. Everyone in the industry panics.
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.
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.
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.
The royal baby is born. Various brewers create commemorative ales. The Daily Mail accuses brewing industry of trying to give booze to babies.
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.
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.
The rate of pub closures falls. No one says anything about it.
The editor of Observer Food Monthly commissions the first article about beer in the magazine's thirteen-year history.
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.
Wells & Young's revives Young's Christmas Pudding Ale (come on, guys, take a hint).
See you soon.