Friday, March 14, 2014

SIBA-SEX at IceSheffield

In it's attempt to make the world of real ale sexy, SIBA pulled out most of the stops in Sheffield this week with it's big venued, laser-guided, plasma-screened extravaganza on ice. Well not actually on ice, they'd laid a carpet over the ice, but you get the picture.

Turning the arena into a massive warehouse style nightclub complete with booming sound-system (to keep that yeast agitating I imagine), multi-coloured strobe-effect lighting (am I drinking mild or pale?) and loosh furnishings (in case you wanted to make out with your pint) might at a glance look impressive - to a teenager making their club debut perhaps. 

But of course the only youngsters in sight were those stood reluctantly manning the pumps (SIBA haven't figured out how to make those look sexy yet btw!), and once your eyes had grown accustomed to the dark - well you guessed it - just the same crowd of scruffy old buggers in dirty macs and holdalls you get at every beer fest. Incongruous isn't the word.

Don't get me wrong, SIBA do a great job, teens are the future (eventually) and beer tickers, the ones I know anyway, are lovely people - but let's not get carried away. Putting on some glitzy show isn't going to make the product more appealing to youngsters (if that is indeed the intention) and the people involved in production and those who enjoy  serious consumption aren't going to feel comfortable with this, they just aren't. 

I said SIBA pulled out most of the stops - well if I was them and was thinking about how to improve next years event, bearing in mind the 95% male turnout, I would certainly be considering naked dancing girls in cages suspended from the roof - that is surely the future of real ale festivals. In fact if they'd done that last night, I might have stopped for a second pint.


Tandleman said...

Wonderful. There's nothing like a complete assassination job disguised as faint praise.

And hand pumps not sexy? Well they are to me, unless of course you meant the youngsters weren't sexy, in which case I'll have to take your word for it.

Mind you, it does sound awful, but you could just have said that.

Ale Ambler said...

Cheers, Will.
I think you've saved me the £10 admission fee tomorrow & the train fare.
I'll spare myself from the indoor pyrotechnics at iceSheffield and save myself for The Star Inn's legendary pub beer festival (Wed March 19 - Sun March 23) Albert Street, Folly Hall, Huddersfield.
Hope to see you there.

Unknown said...

Oi! I resemeble those remarks!

Nice to see you there too, Will. And gosh, I'm in the photo!

Timbo said...

I am not happy about being described as 'a scruffy bugger in a dirty mac with a holdall'....i don't have a mac or a holdall !!!!

Ale Ambler said...

At least he didn't have a go at beards!

Festa said...

What about the delightful Brewster from Loch Lomand?

Will said...

Ah yes - bonnie Fiona. I guess it wasn't all bad!

Will said...

AA - you will see me there. Proper festival.
Tandleman - yes, the pumps. Thought they might at least light up or something!

Jibber said...

As long as they didn't do what Leeds Beer Festival did this year and last - ie only serve beer in third and two third measures. Oh yes they had the oh-so-funny 'no half measures!' quip, but a festival supported by CAMRA - an organisation that has spent so much time and effort in preserving the Pint - should quite simply NOT be serving beer in this way (and, to add insult, you're advised to ask for a 'large' or a 'small' - only a tad away for asking for a 'regular' and a 'super-size').