Booze: conventional vs organic

| 10th September 2007
Football's back. Could better quality brews inspire a better standard of play? Well, here's to trying!


InBev Black Isle Brewery

Club Stats: 

  • Headquarters in Belgium
  • Employs 77,000 people
  • Two hundred brands
  • 23,560,000,000 litres of beer sold in 2005

Club Stats:

  • Headquarters: Black Isle, Scotland 
  • Employs five full-time and two part-time staff 
  • Six varieties of locally brewed beer 
  • 300,000 litres of beer brewed in 2005
Team Tactics: Maximise output and shareholder return by minimising cost. Standardise production into industrial brewery complexes. Close original brewing sites and axe jobs. Bulk-buy ingredients. Hog the global market. Team tactics: Maximise authenticity, quality and taste. Experiment with organic ingredients grown locally. Keep it natural (bottle-conditioned beer needs no filtering, artificial carbonating or fining). Minimise waste. Leftover draught mealy mixture is fed to local cattle and sheep whose manure fertilises the barley fields. Glass bottles - 100 per cent recyclable.
Manager: Carlos Brito, CEO. Previously worked for Shell Oil Manager: David Gladwin. Previously worked for the family business, the Moniack Castle Winery
InBev Players Black Isle Players
Stella Artois: Belgium import aka 'wife beater'. Loves labels. Fashion victim. Typically fizzy. Over-hyped. Lacks substance Yellowhammer: Refreshing bitter. A golden contender brewed with Cascade hops. Flinty, grapefruit aroma. Natural talent.
Becks: German import. Bit of a bore. Plays it safe on taste: basic, light and bland. Over-promoted: sold in 120 countries. Red Kite Ale: Amber-coloured quenching ale. Creamy head, dream player. Balanced and multi-talented. Vivid, fruity and hoppy.
Budweiser: The US 'King of Beers' is a pale shadow of a beer. Lightweight. Feebly hopped. Sickly sweet. Fails to deliver. Drink cold to numb the palate to its offensive flavour Blonde: Continental-style white beer with bite. Fresh, grassy aroma. Attractive, exotic, idolised by women.
Boddingtons: Weak tasting. Thick and sweet. Lost its roots when InBev forced the Manchester Boddingtons brewery to close in 2005 - pouring 227 years of brewing history down the drain Wheat Beer: Thirst-quenching power. Brewed with orange and coriander. Fresh star in the making. Light and moreish.
Skol Super (9%): A very strong lager. Horrible tasting. Cuts corners. Smells bad. Added syrup and caramel. Beware. You'll regret it. Scotch Ale: Ruby-coloured full ale made with peat-smoked malt and bog myrtle. Fruity, herbal and adventurous. Experienced crowd-pleaser.
Hoegaarden: Lost its authenticity in December 2005 when InBev announced the closure of the Hoegaarden brewery. Cost-cutting in Belgium: 232 jobs axed. Organic Porter: Ruby-black beer. Dry, dark, rich roasted. Grown-up charm. Subtle, smooth and creamy.

Click here to visit the Black Isle Brewery website...

This article first appeared in the Ecologist September 2007

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