Pub bitch: Public relations

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Related tags: Fair pint, England cricket team, Pilsner urquell

Public relations We've all done it, haven't we? Forwarded an email but forgotten to remove previous correspondence from the bottom of the missive...

Public relations

We've all done it, haven't we? Forwarded an email but forgotten to remove previous correspondence from the bottom of the missive which could prove a tad… embarrassing, if made public. When PR/lobbyist firm Connect sent out Fair Pint's response to Marston's 'Advance' lease proposals last week it comprised a not impolite rebuttal of the Midland brewer's plans. But scroll further down and a more robust approach from one of Fair Pint's leading lights was there for all to see. "This is more rubbish from Darby," he thundered in an earlier email to Connect, aiming fire at Marston's Pub Company boss Alistair Darby. The Fair Pinter went on: "Darby seems to be a bit of a hot head as he is desperately trying to portray fairness within his company." When these less-than-flattering comments — errantly appended to an official press release remember — were pointed out to Connect it hastily recalled its original email. Sadly the sound of the stable door banging in the wind could not be so easily masked…

Bitter rivals

Interest in the Ashes gained momentum following England's brilliant victory over the Aussies last week and Marston's brewing bods could be forgiven for thinking they were similarly onto a winner, given that their Pedigree ale is the beer of English cricket. But wait a minute, wot's this galloping over the horizon? Tarnation, it's those pesky critters from Greene King, come to spoil the party with their new beer called LBW, "created especially to support the England cricket team". Greene King head brewer John Bexon said: "The battle between England and Australia is the fiercest rivalry in cricket, and this series is shaping up to be a classic already."

OK, now, replace the words 'cricket' with 'brewing', 'England' with 'Greene King' and 'Australia' with 'Marston's' and I reckon Bexon is onto something…

What's cooking?

The pig farmers of Parma take their ham very seriously, with only ham produced in their region being allowed to use the name. So when it comes to producing recipes featuring the delicacy, which dates back to Roman times, you'd expect trade body Prosciutto di Parma to take the same care and attention. Not so. The lavishly illustrated recipe book, which thumped onto my desk last week, doesn't credit our plucky pub chefs with much kitchen flair. Among the suggestions are 'Parma ham wrapped cod' (a bit of fish wrapped in ham); 'Parma ham breakfast'' (a full English, but with ham instead of bacon), and my personal favourite, 'Parma ham platter' (a plate with ham on it). OK boys, we get the message, you don't think much of British cooking. But there's no need to take the piss.

Putting with Pilsner

Congrats to SABMiller after a successful debut sponsoring the British Open last week. More than 55,000 pints of Pilsner Urquell were sold over the four days as players battled round Turnberry. Rumours that Miller Brands UK managing director Nick Miller and SA Brains' Philip Lay necked a fair few after losing in a pre-tournament 'friendly' golf match to Young & Co's Patrick Dardis and Ian Payne of the Bay Restaurant and Town & City groups, were apparently wide of the mark. But as the beer flowed in the Pilsner Urquell hospitality tent it remained eerily quiet next door.

Looks like RBS had decided against making a fuss of its own sponsorship deal this year. Can't think why…

Beyond Frappuccino

Great news for Starbucks fans. The coffee shop behemoth is experimenting with the selling of beer in one of its new Stateside concepts. USA Today reported last week that Starbucks was going to try out wine and beer sales in a new type of outlet in Washington State, to attract customers in the evenings. Liquor could not be sold 'to go', thanks to local state laws, but the group would be "equally proud of our beer and wine as we are of our coffee", waxed Major Cohen, Starbucks' senior project manager. But the paper reported one consultancy expert arguing the move could "twist" the chain's image: "The reason Starbucks became the number one place to go for a blind date is because women are comfortable there — and the men aren't drunk." Nice…

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