I was extremely distressed to read about the latest machinations of the Portman Group ( Oct 3). Suddenly the hammer of judgement looms over this country's independent brewers and retailers, it seems.
Do the brutes at
take the British public for a bunch of half-mad, drunken hoodlums?
Their motivation and twisted desire for control is maddening, illogical and has the stench of pettiness lingering in our upturned nostrils.
Let us put aside the great crimes of censorship and the foolish quest to homogenise an already beleaguered culture, and concentrate on the independent brewers and retailers that will be crushed under the jackboot of this new "audit".
With the supermarket wolf clawing at the back door, stealing sales with
irresponsible decadence , it is a bleak time for specialist retailers who not only offer a range to be applauded , but service, quality and humanity. When
these places are boarded up and branches of Bargain Booze
what will have been gained?
We have a fine selection of real ale,
an unending list of continental and world beers, as well as a wine range that Oz Clarke himself would revel in.
But what the shop also has is a
strict policy on the production of
ID. We know our customers and, like most independent specialist retailers, are keen to prevent under-age drinking and bad drunken behaviour in the local community . Would
staff at a
Bargain Booze or
Tesco Express be
this labelling fiasco is an undeserved burden on
people who are making an honest living and catering for responsible
ale as a good example of this bureaucratic insanity. The name
is certainly quirky
but does it really imply that in drinking it you will mutate into an axe-wielding barbarian
The Orkney Brewery does not deserve to be clenched in the fist of madness in this way and that
is fighting the lunacy is admirable .
It concentrates on producing unique, quality ales for the connoisseur beer drinker -
its Dark Island Reserve
is a very high quality beer designed for savouring and sharing.
report s that
Skull Splitter is "hand crafted in small batches" and "5,000 years in the making" - hardly fuel for a gang of young party crashers intent on mischief and wild urination.
should overlook this lapse in judgement on
its part and concentrate on where the real problems lie: in extreme discounting
To think that small breweries
- where taste and quality are considered as important as how many units are shifted
- and independent retailers, who strive to
sell interesting and varied drinks of
quality, are somehow tearing apart
the fabric of law and order is misguided and dangerous.
My hope is that the good folk at
Orkney Brewery will follow their erstwhile countryman Thorfinn "Skull Splitter" Einarsson and continue the
The Bottle Stop, Stockport
Lost for words
The shop is empty , so I put the kettle on
and t ake a break to do the OLN crossword. Stuck at the first clue,
I carr y on with the rest, but there's no clue for four across.
I'm still determined to finish.
I come to the conclusion that
it can't be completed as number one across - firearm, five letters - belongs to four across, so one across has the wrong clue, meaning there are 13 words with six letters that could complete the crossword.
While on the subject ,
33 had no date for closing entries printed on the entry form , so there,
another missed chance of winning.
Looking forward to your comments or even a free case of the Italian Job!
Deane Video Off-licence, Bolton
Apologies to all those who struggled
with the crossword, a winner was
picked regardless of the missing answer
to one across - Ed