|Pity The Pub
|The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) says total beer sales
for 2007 are down 22% - some seven million pints a day fewer than
their peak in 1979. The BBPA said one reason for this was that the
tax on beer had increased by 27% since 1997 - compared to 16% for
wine, 3% for spirits and 11% for cider. BBPA chief executive Rob
Hayward told MPs: "We believe the benefits that have been enjoyed
by other drinks from a tax freeze should be extended to Britain's
national drink - beer.
Britain has the highest level of excise duty in the EU and sales in the
on-trade are falling, and yet binge-drinking is on the increase as
supermarkets cynically exploit the consumer by offering cut-price
booze to drink at home. "A pub is the proper place to enjoy a drink in
a responsible and regulated atmosphere."
Part of the long-term trend has been the move towards drinking at
home. In the late 70s, 90% of beer was drunk in pubs, but the figure
now stands at 58%. While the biggest casualties of Britain's
increasing preference for wine and spirits have been the pubs, they
are, however, not alone: overall beer sales have plunged by 22%
from the peak 1979 level. . Since 1997, beer duty has risen by 27%
while consumption has fallen by 11%. Wine duty, meanwhile, has
increased by just 16%, while wine-drinking has gone up by 46%. It's
a similar story with spirits: although consumption has risen by 20%
over the last decade, duty has increased by only 3%. Major British
brewers saw their profits tumble by 78% between 2004 and 2006.
The BBPA says they are being further hobbled by the Treasury's
insatiable coffers. It estimates that beer companies make only 0.7
pence profit per pint while paying the chancellor 33p a pint.
|The earliest chocolate drinks were
invented at least 3,100 years ago and
were probably a beer-like beverage
instead of the sweet treat people now
crave, according to researchers led by
John Henderson of Cornell University
who studied the remains of pottery
vessels dating from about 1100 BC in
Puerto Escondido, Honduras.
They discovered that the residues in the
pottery vessels contained a chemical
compound that comes exclusively from
the cacao plant -- the source of
chocolate. According to the scientists,
the early chocolate drinks were probably
alcoholic brews, or beers, made from
the fermented pulp of the cacao fruit.
"The earliest cacao beverages were
likely produced by fermenting the sweet
pulp surrounding the seeds," the
scientists wrote. Henderson added that
it was likely that the distinctive taste of
chocolate was stumbled upon by ancient
brewers in brewing up this primitive beer.
"In the course of beer brewing, you
discover that if you ferment the seeds of
the plant you get this chocolate taste," he
said. "It may be that the roots of the
modern chocolate industry can be traced
back to this primitive fermented drink."
|Beer For Vegetarians
Moderate consumption of beer and wine has been included in the
Traditional Healthy Vegetarian Diet Pyramid as an option. Recently,
in Austin, Texas, that the "Conference on Vegetarian Diets"
recognized the healthy effects of moderate daily alcohol
consumption for individuals not at risk.
The magazine 'Vegetarian Times' also reported about this new
policy. Vegetarianism is clearly on the rise in the USA, and it was time
that the guru's of the movement recognized the healthy effects of a
pint of good beer enjoyed with a meal. Estimates believe that about
14 millions Americans consider themselves vegetarians, and many
more avoid the consumption of meat on a 'part-time' basis.
Today you can find in any city vegetarian restaurants offering an
exclusive and delicious menu, together with an extensive list of wine
and beer, including real ales and so called 'living' Belgian beers.
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