We're only here for the beard
Published:  07 September, 2007

Surely the UK's brewers and beer retailers were missing a trick when they didn't get involved in the World Beard & Moustache Championships, which took place in Brighton last week. After all, no two things go together better than the foamy head of a pint of real ale and some really frothy face furniture - beer and beard even sound the same. The next instalment of the sell-out event doesn't take place until 2009 - in Alaska - but we say the beer world should start preparing now. How about the Camra real ale award for best full beard, the Timothy Taylor toothbrush moustache, or the Hoegaarden handlebar?

Young pretender

Eagle-eyed reader Diane Hughes, of Hampton Wines in Solihull, has e-mailed through an ad from Imperial Tobacco. "The tobacco companies are trying to prove they are being 'responsible' regarding the age change for tobacco products this October by distributing No ID No Sale and Drinkaware posters - but

check the date of birth on the 18+ ID card for Jennie Armstrong (top left ). I think they may have missed the boat on this one," she says.

Bible lashers

The Philistines, reviled in the Bible for their wanton destruction, enmity to the Israelites in general and failure to appreciate art, are hardly people you'd expect to have a fine wine culture - but new historical research paints a rather different picture. An Israeli historian has been investigating the Philistines' cookery - and found they had a well-developed wine culture as far back as Biblical times.

They were even into food and wine matching - their fine wine was drunk mainly with pork, with the occasional dog thrown in for good measure.

Oktober in September

Yes, it's September - and with what is September synonymous? Well, that would be the Oktoberfest, of course - one of the bi ggest events in the beer calendar, which kicks off on Sept 22 in Munich, Germany. And for those of you who can't wait for the event itself, official souvenir merchandise is already available online at wiesn.com. You can choose from the obligatory stein mug with a lid, a Bavarian felt hat, a talking bottle opener, gaudy yellow T-shirts and bags. Or, best of all, a gingerbread heart with "spatzl" - or "little sparrow" - written on it. Or you could pass the time by virtually milking some cartoon cows. The Germans have thought of it all. And they practically swept the board at the World Beard & Moustache Championships (see above).

A singular appointment

The OLN team is sorry to see Roger ­Whiteside leave the Thresher Group - but would like to welcome his replacement Yvonne Rankin to the off-trade. Rankin may find she's presiding over more of a thriving business than she feared - in the press release announcing her appointment, she said she's planning to make life better for the chain's

solitary customer. "I look forward to improving our customer's overall experience," she said. And of course, as we all know, if the apostrophe comes before the "s" it means it's singular. All right, we're terrible pedants, but at least we've got our reader's grammatical interests at heart. Oh, and yours as well.

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