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As the dream of home ownership becomes further out of reach for many younger Britons, Generation Rent is facing an entirely new challenge.

For young professionals living in cities such as London, the economics of owning a car no longer make sense.

“It is getting harder and harder to own a car and it is becoming harder and harder to run,” says Andrew Smith, managing director of Sixt, the vehicle rental company.

So it’s PR blather, obviously. But more than that it’s blather anyway. Students and young professionals in London didn’t run a car there 4 decades back either. Why would you?

Sure, folk who do a real job with a toolbox, but office work? Pah, and fie.

Anyway, would interfere with the drinking too much.


British women are ‘worst binge drinkers in the developed world’
Research finds men and women in the UK report ‘heavy episodic drinking’ with a regularity above most other countries


Heavy episodic drinking was classed as at least eight units of alcohol, the equivalent of six drinks or more, on a single occasion in the previous month.

Yes, they mean “lunch”

Gallons, eh? Gallons!

French wine growers destroy gallons of Spanish cava in ‘economic war’

Gallons of cava? But that’s almost a whole press conference worth.

Thousands of gallons of rosé were emptied into the street and 10,000 bottles of sparkling Spanish wine were smashed.

Ah, no, that’s more serious. That’s a whole newspapers’ worth.

This is bollocks

Rishi Sunak urged to ban disposable vapes amid fears his plans won’t go far enough
Calls for Government to go further and outright ban disposable vapes to protect children

This is the fanatics wanting to ban vapes and using any excuse they can grab hold of to do so.

#Ignore their reasons, it’s their desire that is dangerous. Because, of course, they won’t stop there.


North Korea has honoured a brewery it imported brick by brick from Trowbridge as one of the top 10 businesses in the secretive state.

The Taedonggang Beer Factory was praised for its contribution to “the five-year plan for national economic development” alongside other firms, including one that supplies feed to zoos and a pharmaceutical factory, state media reported.

Opened in the North Korean capital 21 years ago, the brewery had formerly been located in Wiltshire under the ownership of Ushers, a specialist in regional bitters.

It was purchased in 2000 for £1.5 million by North Korea’s government, which then dismantled the 175-year-old property and shipped it piece-by-piece to Pyongyang to be rebuilt, along with 20,000 kegs.

Ushers boys drinking was a perfectly acceptable West Country session beer. The rest of it, well not so much. Not exactly the brewery I would have bought myself….

The SNP is mad

Scots are to be forced to pay at least £6 for a bottle of wine after SNP ministers unveiled plans to dramatically increase their minimum alcohol price despite the cost-of-living crisis.

Elena Whitham, the SNP drugs and alcohol policy minister, published a consultation on increasing the minimum unit price (MUP) by 30 per cent, from 50p per unit to 65p.

This would mean a bottle of wine with 12.5 per cent alcohol content could not be sold for less than £6.09, a four-pack of beer in 440ml cans would cost at least £5.72 and a bottle of Scotch whisky a minimum of £18.20.

Ms Whitham said a recent rise in alcohol deaths showed the price needed to increase to 65p. But the consultation admitted that a lower level of 60p per unit would “uprate” the price in line with “the most commonly used measure of inflation”.

Their own policy of minimum unit pricing is killing people. So they’re going to do more of it and harder.

I recall one opponent of devolution insisting it would just mean rule by hte Glasgow Labour Party. I get that point now.

Little bit of fun

China Tontine Wines Group Limited

It’s a wine grower/distributor in China. No, don’t worry about the company. Just wondering whether they know the implications of the word tontine in English? “Last man standing” and all of that?


Drinking beer may be good for your gut health and boost the immune system, a review suggests.

A study looking at various animal and human experiments acknowledges that purported health benefits of alcohol “are controversial”, but says sensible consumption has a “positive effect on the regulation of human immune function”.

Researchers said drinking a pint boosts the body’s immune system because of a collection of healthy bacteria in your brew that benefits the gut.

The review claims three key ingredients in beer — polyphenols, fibre and ethanol — help control and supercharge the immune system.

So what’s the second course of breakfast going to be then?

These people are seriously insane

The cost of a bottle of wine in Scotland could surge to at least £8 under SNP proposals to hike the minimum unit price of alcohol from 50p to 80p.

A Scottish Government survey is consulting the alcohol industry on the level of the increase, asking them for their views on rises up to and above 80p per unit.

The minimum price hasn’t achieved any of the goals set for it. Indeed, seems to have made matters worse. It also means a roaring trade across the border. I’d love an offie in Berwick right about now.

But that’s just normal political stupidity. What makes it actually insane is that it’s a minimum price. Instead of a tax raise. All the extra money goes to the booze producers, not the taxman. Why, on Earth, are they doing something so gibberingly stupid?

There was a time when….

A Labour MP has said he was regularly drinking “a dozen pints” a day before being thrown out of his party for a drunken rant in a parliamentary bar.

Neil Coyle, who has now been sober for 500 days, was ejected from Labour after being accused of racism and says he asked to only be readmitted on the condition that he gave up drinking.

He said he was “hugely sorry” for his behaviour and “ashamed” at the “dependency I had at that point”.

There was a time when that was a warm up for some Labour MPs. Combine a session bitter with hard physical labour in a mine or steel mill, easily.

Hell, there was a time when nuns had an allowance of a gallon a day.

Yes, yes, small beer – but that’s also the point of a session beer.

Sounds like an excellent promotion

Pub Apologizes After Promo Offering Free Drinks To Women Based On Bra Size Sparks Outrage
The Woolshed on Hindley in Adelaide, Australia apologized for their promo, which offered women an increasing number of free drinks the bigger their bra cup size.

It’ll get the guys turning up.

There was a place in Moscow, The Hungry Duck. One night a week booze free to women for an hour or two. No men even allowed in during that time. The scrum of men trying to get in at 00.00 hours plus 10 seconds was truly impressive.

Bollocks, they’re lying

Alcohol pricing experiment saved 150 lives a year, Public Health Scotland study claims
Experts divided on conclusivity of figures, which showed 13.4 per cent fewer deaths from alcohol consumption

Lions with lasers for these people. Taking our money to then lie to us? Lions at least.

As ever, the place for the truth on this is Chris Snowdon.

TL:DR, it’s bollocks.

A fun little bit of serendipity

Don Boudreaux:

(I was indeed serious. I went to college to chase women and drink beer. I was wholly unsuccessful in the former endeavor and far too successful in the latter…..)

Some portion of that beer was drunk in a bar I used to work in. No, we didn’t overlap, missed by a couple of years. But still, a nice little piece of serendipity there, no?

We’re gonna get rich, we’re gonna get rich!

I guess that the Scotish returnable bottles will have their own barcode to prevent none-deposit bottles being returned.

Also hilariously, or predictably, the Scots Greens didn’t think of this either. So, if I’m a whole of UK producer, apply for my DRS bar code and just slap it in all of my products, obviously I will pay the deposit on the Scottish sold stuff but not for the rest of the UK. Those rUK empties could then be returned by individuals into the scheme, creating a thriving black market and bankrupting circularity Scotland. The whole shit show is one massively funny car crash.

From Harry Haddock’s Ghost.

So, we just load up the empties in Newcastle – make friends with a few bar owners etc – Carlisle or Berwick and drive across the border. Sure, we only get credit but 40 cases of beer bottles is £200 which is 10 bottles of gin at Aldi which is sold back to the bar owner who sells it at full mark up off the books. Nice little money spinner there.

Be plenty of Transits, um, transiting, no?

Actually, anyone want to hire a couple of us to make a TV show? The Boys From Bath Stuff? How To Rook The Scots? Summat like that?

The truth about orange wine

I must remember not to ask strange open-ended questions. Because someone will go and find out the answer.

I asked whether it was possible to make orange wine. Wine, direct from orange juice:

Our host was, and not this type of orange wine.
He wanted to know whether it was possible to directly ferment orange juice.

Haven’t updated that one, but I did give it a shot, including Trickery.
The answer is No, Nope, Nyet. Not with yeast. And not with Aspergillus ( which would technically make it more of a sake, I guess. )
And yes.. two of the batches have seen the “Drain Cleaner” ( lab grade sodium hydroxide, but still…) treatment to get a citrate buffer at higher pH. Nope…
Other batches have seen more ….uncivilised… treatment, including two precipitation steps using Strontium salts.
( yes.. there’s an abundant natural stable non-radioactive element. Yes, they make pretty rocks. Yes, I have a couple of kilos of those. Pretty Rocks, d’uh.
It works *exactly* as a much heavier substitute for Calcium, which makes centrifuging precipitate a hella lot easier on home-brew equipment.)

You can get the yeast to grow ( -ish), and even ferment, BUT there simply isn’t enough glucose in the juice to get any appreciable amount of ethanol ( but plenty of other Nasties…).
Hitting raw juice with pectase gives a similar result: wrong kind of sugar for ethanol. ( plenty of acetone though..).

Which is basically as expected… If our medieval/renaissance forefathers couldn’t make alcohol out of the stuff, there’s little chance we can.
Even though we understand the underlying principles far better, and can point out the Why of it.

Thus Science has been Served in proving it still cannot be done, even with more advanced knowledge and understanding of the process.


So, you can make a (grape) brandy and stick some orangey bits in it (Cointreau, Triple Sec, Grand Marnier) but not an orange wine.

Not wholly obvious this is damage limiting

Canadians told to have two drinks a week, as crack is decriminalised
Justin Trudeau introduced some of the strictest guidelines on alcohol in the West ahead of the decriminalisation of certain Class A drugs

Actually, they’re entirely nuts:

No amount of alcohol is safe, says Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addictions (CCSA) in a report published in January. The report concludes “drinking less is better”, and if you must drink, two drinks maximum each week is deemed low-risk.

Waking up in the morning isn’t entirely safe either. Relative risk is what it’s all about……

The final January report also details a variety of health risks associated with alcohol consumption. According to the CCSA, any more than two standard drinks per week brings an increase in negative outcomes, including several types of cancer, heart disease and stroke.

One for Mr. Snowdon. Not drinking has risks, drinking has risks. Drinking has fewer risks than non-drinking for the first few drinks per week. Called the J-Curve and yes it’s there. From memory – all too fallible – the drinkers’ curve crosses the teetotallers’ again somewhere around 30 to 40 units a week.

Umm, no, really, just no

Forget a pint and a friendly landlord, pubs of the future will be about the experience

The experience, sure, fine, go for it. The pub? Also, fine, go for it.

But the two are different things, in the same way that a caff and a restaurant are different things. Nowt wrong with either, but they are different. And yes, a pub is different from a bar, from a cafe and so on.