Black (and white)
The prize for bizarre marketing stunt of the week goes to Stella brewer AB InBev which is giving competition winners the chance to star in a Sixties-style film noir. Around 1,000 people will get to take a taxi ride with femme fatales and gangsters regaling them with their life stories as they sit, presumably quite uncomfortably, in the back of a black cab. The promotion is designed to promote the latest offering in the Stella stable - Stella Black. But as the lager itself is not actually black but a more standard, golden-lagery colour we wondered if competition winners will actually get to experience film l'or?
Make that the Civil Servant's Arms
Some people moan about their local pub closing even though they never visit, others pop in for the occasional pint, while the true pub-lover shows their support by having a drink most days of the week. Then there are the likes of Simon 'Woody' Woodcock, whose dedication to the cause could never be bought into question. The 42-year-old civil servant is such a committed (which may seem like an apt word) fan of Batemans pub the Carpenters Arms in Boston, Lincolnshire, that he has had the pub sign - complete with slogan - tattooed onto his upper arm. Just as well he doesn't spend his days drinking at the Old Thirteenth Cheshire Astley Volunteer Rifleman Corps Inn.
Punter pitches up
Every pub up and down the land has customers who, despite the best bellowing of staff, they just can't shift at the end of the night. The Gas House Tavern in Leeds knows that only too well, with a punter having pitched a tent in the garden for the last three years. Sadly, the pub has now closed but the mystery camper remains. Owners are now struggling to sell the site with the resident still pitched up by the swings. Not that we'd encourage squatting, but if you were worried about your pub being sold from under your nose…
No point in keeping a dog and barking yourself...
In fact if you are having trouble shifting stragglers at the end of the night you could always follow the lead (sorry, Ed) of licensee Ned Clarke and his pet pooch Daisy. To let customers know when it is time at the Three Tuns in Bristol, Daisy leaps out of the basket, jumps on the bar, balances on her hind legs and rings the bell. Ned puts this down to the two-year-old's obsession with the fact that it "gives her a little bit of power and makes her feel famous". Sounds like Daisy could be well on the way to running her own estate of pubs.
Where do we go?
The folk behind the much-heralded craft beer bar the Sheffield Tap have spread the love south and opened a London version - the Euston Tap. Hooray! Intrigued by the hype, the Bitch went for a sniff round on opening night. The place is tiny, but makes up for it with a staggeringly fantastic selection of draught beers, ranging from Thornbridge Bracia to Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, served through American beer bar-style taps. Fridges bursting with around 100 bottled beers from around the world added to the wow factor - as did friendly, knowledgeable staff. Our only gripe was just the one toilet… for men and women. A queue was soon forming of anxious punters doing their best not to think about their bursting bladders. For the canines among us, the nearest tree is obviously a saving grace, but for humans this could be an issue!? Watch this space.