Monday, 18 August 2008

If there's no Magners, Bulmers will do

It was a moment of triumph. The last bottle of Magner's was sold, and the Thatcher's Gold came up from the cellar to fill the empty fridge space. No longer would the foul, apple-pulp concoction be seen in our little pub.

Since then, however, I've found my new bottled cider policy has a major drawback. I'm just so tired of hearing staff explain to dumbstruck punters that, no, we don't sell Magner's, and no, we don't sell Bulmers either. They then have to launch into a pre-prepared monologue about how we do sell a nice English cider, and yes, you can have it poured over ice. It's wearing me down. Kill me.

21 comments:

  1. If someone orders Magners just pour fizzy water with a bit of yellow food colouring over ice. They'll never tell the difference! ;-)

    Why "Irish Cider" should ever be sold in England is beyond me.

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  2. Magners is an alcopop and should be treated as such. See Brothers Pear Cider for another example.

    I can't comment on Thatcher's Gold since I haven't tried it but if its a 'real cider' are you really comparing apples with apples (see what I did)?

    There has to be at least a couple of times a summer where I have a Magners and really enjoy the cold alcoholic blandness of the thing. I don't want to taste anything for something thats there to pretty much inhale.

    Same thing with a cheeky Smirnoff ice when the only alternative is Carling or Fosters....

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  3. Ah Magnerites and Bulmerians - the most disillusioned of all of the nation's brainwashed piss-swillers.

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  4. Dreadful stuff - along with that perry thing from St Helier's, the sickly syrup smell of which is enough to make me retch.

    Empty, awaiting refilling with beer is the only way these bottles make it into mine...

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  5. Oh the irony. About a hundred years ago we used to drink draught Thatchers at the Fighting Cock in Bradford. Their version was so vile we used to put ice in it to kill the taste. Got you hammered though.

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  6. Sam Tana - Why "Irish Cider" should ever be sold in England is beyond me.

    Is it the Irish origin or just the shiteness of the particular product that you object to? If it's the former - why?

    If it was any good, I wouldn't have a problem with someone selling Irish cider in the UK.

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  7. My mate works in a real ale pub and won't sell that bloody pear cider to anyone unless they call it perry (or, you know, pear drops dissolved in fizzy water with a dash of alcohol).

    Ice in cider. Wrong, just wrong.

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  8. MicMac - England makes some of the best cider in the world. Why import an inferior (or even equal) product from abroad? If the Irish were producing something exciting, fair enough.

    And, so I hear, the commercial success of Magners has meant that they've had to import a lot of apples/juice from other countries. Therefore it may not even Irish in origin - hence the inverted commas.

    I've nothing against the Irish ... although the way they've ruined Guinness and inflicted first the Irish theme pub and now Magners on the UK means that Ireland has a lot of questions to answer about its impact on the British pub scene - starting with "what the hell do you think you're doing?!?"

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  9. MicMac - England makes some of the best cider in the world. Why import an inferior (or even equal) product from abroad? If the Irish were producing something exciting, fair enough.

    And, so I hear, the commercial success of Magners has meant that they've had to import a lot of apples/juice from other countries. Therefore it may not even Irish in origin - hence the inverted commas.

    I've nothing against the Irish ... although the way they've ruined Guinness and inflicted first the Irish theme pub and now Magners on the UK means that Ireland has a lot of questions to answer about its impact on the British pub scene - starting with "what the hell do you think you're doing?!?"

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  10. Sounds like you could have shot youself in the the foot with this one Stonch. If the fizzy swill is shifting faster than Paul Gadd leaving the orient, pehaps a re-think is needed?.

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  11. Guinness has been a British company since the 1930s, so you can't pin that one on us :)

    And I abrogate all responsibility for the Oirish theme pub -- I'm fairly sure that wasn't us. In fact, over the last twenty years or so the Irish kit pub has become so popular abroad that they're now commonplace here. It's horrible. But at least we don't have chains of them. Yet.

    Magner's is unfortunately 100% ours, regardless of where the apple juice comes from. I hear there are a couple of so-called "English" beers that use hops grown in other countries...

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  12. Beer Nut: "I hear there are a couple of so-called "English" beers that use hops grown in other countries..."

    It's arguable that cider production is more "tied to the land" than beer brewing. Brewing has long been an urban activity, whereas cider has remained rural. There's a perception that proper cider is produced in or near to the orchards in which the apples originate, whereas people just don't expect the hops and barley used for beer to come from the vicinity of the brewery.

    Likewise, people don't expect breweries to do their own malting - and most don't - but it's always sad to hear a cidery uses processed pulp as opposed to starting with the apples themselves. That's why I thik Magners using imported Polish apple pulp offends the sensibilities.

    Or perhaps I'm just talking shit.

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  13. In the context of Magner's, that's unavoidable.

    I've never encountered the perception that cider is somehow automatically more "craft" than beer. I suppose that's because the orange swill has been popular for longer here and there's almost no craft cider industry to speak of (partly because of shit like this) -- if you make it close to the land it's nigh-on impossible to sell.

    So where do the Strongbow apples come from? Hand-picked by Herefordian virgins?

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  14. Unlike beer, cider is a seasonal product, and is made as the fruits are ripe.

    Cider from Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire made from traditional recipes forms a European Union Protected Geographical Indication.

    Strongbow is a mass-produced "keg cider" and contains apple concentrate, sugar (and other sweeteners) and is fermented with a controlled yeast strain -
    it does not fit the definition of 'real cider' set by Camra.

    It's just as much an alcopop as Magners.

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  15. Ugh. Glad you've got rid of it.

    I don't suppose you've anything russian in stock at your place have you Stonch? I'm taking a few russian visitors on a short crawl round Clerkenwell this Friday and we will be calling in.

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  16. it does not fit the definition of 'real cider' set by Camra.
    That would explain the difference in perceptions, then. CAMRA's definitions tend not to hold sway outside Britain.

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  17. To be honest, they hold as much sway outside Britain as they do in Britain.

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  18. Have you still got Addlestones on tap? If so, what are your views on it?

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  19. I'd look at it as a challenge - now you've joyfully got rid of the apple flavoured-fizzpiss ('Maaaarketing... dedicated too youze...'), try educating your clientele for fun & profit!

    You should make a big sign up, with something like 'Life beyond M*gners - try our superior English craft cider and you'll never look back.'

    You never know - it might just work ;)

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  20. Good policy. Now for the crap lagers! Or have you already disposed of them?

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  21. Thatcher's Gold is a much better than magners, but I find it hard to find it? I have found one site but do you know what shop stock it
    Thatcher's gold cider

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