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Since when has expensive beer led to binge-drinking?

We are quite partial to including a drop or two of drink-related stories on The Retail Bulletin and this week we have come across yet another example of how alcohol stupefies the brain cells of supposedly sensible people. By Glynn Davis, City editor

CITY & CORPORATE

Since when has expensive beer led to binge-drinking?

We are quite partial to including a drop or two of drink-related stories on The Retail Bulletin and this week we have come across yet another example of how alcohol stupefies the brain cells of supposedly sensible people. By Glynn Davis, City editor

In Scotland, independent brewer BrewDog (which produces some superb beers) faced the wrath of Alcohol Focus Scotland, the government and bandwagon-jumping elements of the media over its latest creation, Tokyo, at a whoppin
g 18.2 per cent ABV.

This makes it the strongest beer in the UK and as such a potentially destructive tool as it could apparently be an attractive option to binge-drinking types. If it was priced at the same level as the supermarkets' cheapo booze then maybe it would attract the Tennents Extra and Carlsberg Special Brew drinkers. But it isn't.

It retails at 9.99 for only a 33cl bottle and my knowledge of beer tells me that this is a small bottle at a high price and even the beer drinking connoisseur would not exactly rush into buying such a product at this hefty price point.

So the likelihood of a problem drinker knocking back Tokyo on a street corner is about as likely as the supermarkets suddenly seeing sense over their continued flogging of alcohol at below-cost. But still various groups have got a bee in their bonnet over BrewDog's activities.

Continuing with the issue of beer (in this week of the Great British Beer Festival at London's Earl's Court) it is great to see off licence chain Rhythm & Booze introducing an own label range of draught cask ale that will be sold in re-usable take-home jugs. This taps into the trend for rising sales of cask ale and recycling.

My only niggle is that the 10 beers, which will be produced by Wentworth Brewery in Yorkshire, have names such as 'Shut Thi Gob' and 'Bee by Gum'. I thought we had gone beyond the use of such names on cask ale. It's enough to make you down a bottle of Tokyo, even if it is nearly a tenner a pop.

glynnd@theretailbulletin.com

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