The cool guys down at Camra, AKA the Campaign for Real Ale AKA the Alliance of Men Who Refuse to Pick the Food Out of their Yellowing Beards, have conducted a survey in which they suggest that the rising price of the pint is to blame for the epidemic of closing pubs in the UK. Twenty-one pubs are closing a week, which is down from the 27 it was in February when they last checked, but still not great if you like getting pissed in boozers.
Camra claims that drinking in pubs has become an "unaffordable luxury", and that since the average price of a pint of bitter has risen by £1.21, people have been put off drinking. People are also opting to buy their alcohol at supermarkets instead, and drink in the privacy of their own homes like the shameful pissheads that they are. The rise of microbreweries isn't helping either. Not only are Brewdog making you want to stab yourself repeatedly in the jugular with a handful of bunched-up used needles, but they're also making our beloved pubs die a premature death. For shame! And how could we forget the permanently looming spectre of regeneration foisting their grubby mitts on the prime property location that pubs cover with their sticky carpets and sneering landladies?
I feel a bit like another reason so many pubs are closing could be because they're too cliquey. Ever been to a pub and every bastard in there looks at you like you've worn a coat made out of women's skin? I went into a pub about three months ago, totally silent it was, four or five barflies perched on the counter, not saying a word to each other. There was a football match on that no one was watching. The only sounds were the pulling of pints and fat old blokes greeting and bidding farewell to each other in between coughing and spluttering and snorting and hawking phlegm up. Who the fuck wants to go into a pub like that? I mean, I don't want it to close down or anything, but I certainly don't want to drink in a place where I feel like I'm about to die of sadness at any given moment.
Colin Valentine, the chairman of Camra, said that the expensive pints are "driving people away from the safe and social environment of the pub and encouraging them instead to drink cheap alcohol in their homes. We'd urge the government to continue to work to address what people see as the key issues threatening pubs." Not sure if it's the government's job to ensure we all get pissed in the places Mr. Valentine would like us to, but to see a pub-less British landscape would be a crying shame.
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