Saturday, October 13, 2007

Saving Kiwis overseas from experiance

One of the more concerning pieces of news recently has been the much hyped export of a Speights Ale House to London by Lion Breweries which docked at Canary Warf this week. While English bloggers such as Stonch have shown some excitement and interest over the move, myself and many of my beer interested country men feel just a little sick about it.

For generations New Zealand has had the tradition of the big OE, or overseas experience where the young have travelled to the Motherland, usually London to work and gain experiences that they would not get in New Zealand. One of the positive consequences of this tradition has been that when these people return to New Zealand they return with tastes that have been shaped by what they eat and drank in Europe. Many of New Zealand’s pioneering craft brewers discovered that there was more to beer than sweet amber lager while on their OE and came home on a mission to increase the range of beers available within NZ. The back story to the promotion has been that some Kiwis living in London have missed Speights Gold Medal Ale so much that they asked the brewery to send some over and the brewery in response sent a whole pub. Leaving aside the fact that this is all far to convenient to be real , it beggars the question is the beer in London now so bad that a boring mass produced lager had to be exported to fill the void? Of course not.

This is like if a high profile ‘English Pub’ opened in Time Square New York selling Carling through fake handpumps and claiming it was there so people didn’t have to drink that crappy American beer anymore, it just makes me cringe.

It also appears that it will just be Speights Gold Medal Ale on sale, all publicity so far has shown a full bank of taps all with matching Speights Gold labels.


Barry Hannah said...

I simply can't believe how much press this got. The whole concept and the fact that it actually happened makes me feel as sick as I did 10 minutes to full time in _that_ World Cup quarter final loss to the ref.

Mister M said...

It is depressing, isn't it. The very least they could do is shove some Old Distinction on as well, but I doubt they will.


Stonch said...

Actually I'd forgotten all about it, and this is the first coverage of the boat's arrival I've seen!

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

Well its got alot of coverage here. I suspect the market will mainly be expat Kiwis so perhaps thats not surprising.