Franconian Beer Message Board

Posted by Barry on 2011-03-21 07:41:26
Generally agree with these comments. However, I believe also that the pub environment has a lot to do with things. It's not just old fogeys like me who are attracted to dusty old pubs. A lot of young people like pubs with a bit of character, which is why breweries and pub owners spend a fortune trying to make their pubs look old and interesting. 25 years ago, my student clientele were also in to rubbishy 'lagers' but, as I improved and widened the choice of real ales, sales began to soar. At the beginning of the academic year, I used to run a 'Drink the Pub Dry' night for charity. They never actually achieved the target but we did sell as much in one night of real ale as in a normal month. That got a lot of the new intake into real ales, which interest they kept up. I also made sure that the price of the ale was very competitve. It's true that you have to have a population to drink beer - in the trade, we used to call it 'counting chimneys'. However, it doesn't take a lot of people to run a successful pub. My village in the west of Ireland - population 250? - supports three pubs, plus another one, a mile away, and dozens of others within a 10 mile radius. Admittedly, they are all struggling with the drink driving restrictions, smoking ban, economic depression, etc., and one or two will probably close within a few years. But they survive not because of the quality of the drink or food but because they are the focal point of the community (along with the local church).