Smutty Beer Labels

Posted on January 30th, 2012 by Robin Goldsmith in Beer, Drink

A letter based on this article was published in CAMRA’s What’s Brewing magazine, May 2012, p.13.

There has been much discussion over the past 12 months, concerning British beer labels and pump clips and whether they are often too "smutty".

Cornish Knocker

The arguments raised include whether this trend represents a puerile sense of humour which detracts from the seriousness of the product and deters new or old drinkers from trying out different real ales. Another argument is that wine producers, in contrast, do not market their "crafted, artisanal products" with smuttiness, in order that they can be taken seriously (‘Bailey’ in CAMRA’s BEER magazine, Winter 2011, p.54). However, this is not strictly true. The wine world is awash with smuttiness, puns and downright corny names – "Pisse-Dru", Domaine Wal-mart "Merde du Pays", "Chat-en-Oeuf", "Cat’s Phee on a Gooseberry Bush" etc.. Kröver ‘Nacktarsch’ from Germany, even has a famous label featuring a young boy having his bare bottom spanked! Yet, this "smuttiness" does not appear to have had an adverse effect on sales of the wine, nor can it be seen as undesirably self-deprecating.

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English Rosé

Posted on January 30th, 2012 by Robin Goldsmith in Drink, Wine

With English wine coming first in many international competitions, is now the time to stock up on our victorious vino? I explore the rise of home-grown rosé.


Although English wines have been produced since Roman times, there are only around 400 vineyards in England and Wales, compared to France, which has about 27,000 wineries. Previously, English and Welsh wine suffered from a reputation for low quality, which would have been partly due to the lack of choice, in addition to climatic effects, inferior grapes and an underdeveloped industry. However, as someone famous once said, "The times they are a-changin" and retailers and customers are starting to discover the true potential of our domestic wineries.

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