Corporate Social Responsibility. Don’t you just love the sound of a phrase that is instantly abbreviated into meaninglessness as CSR. What does it mean? It means that those of us who run bars are socially responsible for making sure that the punters do not get pissed off their tits every night. So we push for shooters, premium strength lager and happy hours. Sorry: we don’t do those things. Not any more.
Three years ago I was told that there was no market for cooking lager any more. The session drinker is chasing stronger and stronger beer. The acceptable face of cooking lager is now Carling, an unpleasant lager that is still over 4% abv.
Now I have been told that actually cooking lager is making a resurgence. Why? CSR of course. It seems that venues want to be able to serve a session lager that the Friday night lads will knock back without causing trouble. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you to the daftest marketing idea since Chris bought something to Freakytrigger that we are not allowed to talk about. Can I introduce you to Carling 2 O.
Carling 2 O (the two probably being a subscript) is pretty much what its name suggests. Watered down Carling. The 2 O is a reference to its strength 2.0% abv. This is mooted as the solution to binge drink Britain. To which I riposte BOLLOCKS! This is the sop for CSR that pubs have been crying out for. Have a Carling 2 O pump and sell none. BUT you are offering an alternative which should stop alcohol abuse. The fact it tastes like lager flavoured water and has a stupid name won’t put off the wife-beater drinkers. CSR and Carling 2 O: a match made in cynical marketing heaven.