An artisanally crafted blog curated by Cooking Lager for discerning readers of beer bloggery

Friday, 13 November 2009

The shadows of our feelings

Sat on the sofa last night, can of cooking in one hand, scratching my balls with the other, I found myself having thoughts other than romancing the lady squeeze upstairs and under the duvet. It’s not often I think of things other than this. I am a simple soul and once calculated that out of the 16 hours awake time in any given day I spent approximatly10 of them thinking about rattling the missus, another 2 thinking about rattling other ladies (anyone from celebrities to work colleagues to the girl that works in the chippy near work) and the other 4 on general mundane matters of life like where am I and what am I doing here, I need a dump, I feel hungry, I have to piss around with a power point presentation for a work meeting, my shoe lace is undone.

What was this great thought that I had of significance to the human race? I was pondering why beer prices are as they are. Why, for instance when you enter a pub is the cask beer the cheapest grog and the Guinness the most expensive? Why are the cooking lagers more expensive than the ales (both cask and keg)?

Why when you enter a supermarket is this situation entirely reversed? The cooking lagers are the cheapest grog in the place. There is little difference, with the offers, between the 5% grog and the 4% grog. The ale is generally dearer and less frequent on the offers. The keg ale marginally dearer, and the obscure premium or “real” ale priced the highest along with the imports of beers you don’t see in pubs but might have encountered on your foreign travels. How does Guinness stay premium priced in the supermarket (it’s a rare one for the giveaway offer) whilst other brands are pretty much permanently on discount?

It wasn’t a question of why supermarkets are cheaper than pubs, that’s fairly obvious. Its customer service. Supermarkets are also cheaper than Restaurants. However in a restaurant the more expensive dishes tend to have the more expensive ingredients, as you’ll notice if you go to a supermarket and compare the price of mackerel to sea bass.

The question was more why the price structure is completely reversed, from pub to supermarket aisle? Is it nothing more than pile it high, sell it cheap? What is popular shifts stock, so a lower margin is acceptable? Is price a representation of value? If so who has it correct? Is the supermarket flogging Foster’s at 40p a can or the pub stinging people £2.80 a pint? How can a pub think a beer is a premium brand in a pub environment, when elsewhere it is cheap piss?

Luckily these thoughts were only fleeting. The lady squeeze got up off the sofa, and I caught a glimpse of both thigh and shapely arse. My thoughts returned to their more natural state and baser level without ever reaching anything by way of conclusion.

I would though be interested in the perspective of any of those daft enough to read this bollocks. Feel free to enlighten and educate me.

Oh and the title?

Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings - always darker, emptier and simpler.- Friedrich Nietzsche


Ken Davidson said...

I am daft enough to read this bollocks. Moreover, I'm clearly so short of judgment, taste, and mental composure that I actually find it entertaining.

Sir, we remain on tenterhooks - do these thoughts relating to your missus remain as thoughts, or are you able to enact them? If yes, what's your secret? Does it involve plying the object of your carnal desires with cheap shit lager? Can you help the rest of us?

Cooking Lager said...

It depends, Ken, on what is the tipple of your missus. Mine likes a glass of Merlot or even a Pinot Grigio. To me it's just red or white, but apparantly there are different types of red or white, and knowing the difference between these types is part of the entry exam into becomming middle class. She went through a stage of liking Aperol and Prosecco spritzer's at one point which is a bit like campari.

The grog isn't important, really. So long as it one she likes. A glass of it makes 'em more amenable to your romantic suggestion and more relaxed Chuck enough down her to relax her but not so much that she passes out.

All relationship issues dealt with by "Ask Uncle Cooking"

Tandleman said...

"I spent approximatly 10 of them thinking about rattling the missus, another 2 thinking about rattling other ladies (anyone from celebrities to work colleagues to the girl that works in the chippy near work)".

You are a young lad. Something to look out for as you get older, is seeing that ratio change.

As for beer. Supermarkets loss lead lager. The rest is detail and is a mix of tradition and margin.

Cooking Lager said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cooking Lager said...

An often used argument, Tandy as to why supermarket lout is cheap. Whilst disagreeing that loss leading is as prevalent as some suggest my question was more to do with price structure than price levels. I walk into a pub and the beer is priced cheap to dearer as so , mild if they have it, cask bitter, smooth bitter, cooking lager, premium cooking lager, Guinness. In a supermarket the price structure is priced cheap to dearer, cooking lager (standard or premium), keg ale (in cans), Guinness, Premium beers including the real ales. Don’t get it, that’s all. That the cheapest grog in the pub is the dearest grog in Tesco. That the cooking lager is premium priced in a pub, but the cheapest grog in the supermarket. At all back to front. There has to be a reason. There is a reason for everything. There is a reason, for instance, as to why the girl in the chippy across the road gives me more chips than my work colleagues. I know there is a reason without knowing what the reason is.

Tandleman said...

Why you no read? Too much thinking about the lass in the chippie? The percentages are moving more quickly than I predicted.

"The rest is detail and is a mix of tradition and margin." I am sure I covered my take on it in my blog, or someone else's, some time ago, but I don't know where. Or when.

Wurst/Whorst- Brewing Arts Instructor, CEO APRK said...

I think you should write erotic novels for male blogger scum. That bit "I caught a glimpse of both thigh and shapely arse" had me sproutin' wood, and I ain't talkin' American Medium Toast Oak Chips either! If I can do tasteful nudes in various co2 environments on Friday, surely you can write erotic stories that canter to blogger scum.

Woolpack Dave said...

Tandy is right, the ratios do seem to change as you get older....

Real ale should be more expensive than keg in pubs. The fact that it isn't is just daft.

Tyson said...


I disagree with Dave on the price of reaL ale, but back to the matter at hand. There is no mystery as to why supermarkets sell cooking grog cheaper than ale-it's now well documented and one of the first things I enquired of many years ago

The reasoning is partly of a historical nature which I was going to go into more detail of. However, inspired by your post and a pair of fine bristols opposite, I'm now officially too distracted to do so. Maybe later...