Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Shape Of Things To Come?

British sailors bawling like babies after spending a week in Iranian captivity.

British troops now bugging out of Basra after begging out of battle by remaining bunkered down on base for the last year or so.

And now, in an article in Friday's WSJ on the attempts by brewers in the UK to market beer to women, we learn of the latest blow to British manhood (sub req):

And overall, beer sales fell about 4.5% in the second quarter to 7.85 million barrels from 8.22 million barrels in the second quarter a year earlier, according to the British Beer & Pub Association. That's the least beer consumed on a daily basis since the Great Depression, the association said.

The Brits not drinking beer does not bode well for the future of their land. Britain is just not Britain without pints and pubs.

Beer sales are suffering because of a decline in the popularity of pubs, analysts say. Factors making this year particularly bad include a ban on smoking in pubs, the weakening economy and a cold start to the summer.

Well, at least they can't blame it on global warming.

The decline is also big compared with consumption elsewhere. In the U.S., sales of beer rose 1.9% in the first half compared with a year ago, according to the Beer Institute, a trade group in Washington.

Even with the decline in consumption, the British government is concerned about alcohol-related illness and binge drinking -- and brewers don't want to run afoul of the government's health emphasis in any new marketing campaigns. The Department of Health recently said it is considering tough new restrictions on the drinks industry. One option under consideration is requiring pubs to offer drinks in small glasses.

Let's hope this latest imposition of the Nanny State doesn't make it across the pond.