Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Gloria Monday

Gloria Monday's van isn't well. That's what I've heard. Is the writing on the wall for Pils? Will it plummet into obscurity in the next decade? The pint beside the old bloke sat in a corner with his dog - is this the future of Pils?

Everything I've learned about beer evolution and the fickle nature of public taste screams the answer "Yes!!!". I've been scouring the statistics for years, searching for the slightest sign of a slip. In Pils sales, I mean. I might have spotted the very beginning. Is it real, hope or expectation? A few more years should tell us for sure.

Of course, in many countries Pils has nowhere to go but down. Places like Holland where it hit a peak of a 98% market share. Last time I looked, it had slumped to just 95%. In Germany, too, sales of Pils have fallen. But what will replace it as the world's favourite beer?

Here are some of my suggestions. Not particularly rational or probable, as you'll see. But when have minor considerations like that stopped me?

- Dark Mild
- Broyhan
- Porter
- Berliner Weisse
- Keut
- session-strength IPA
- Oud Bruin (the Dutch lager version)
- Dunkles Export
- English-style wheat beer
- amber Lagerbier

Do you have any better ideas?


Elektrolurch said...

i think in germany, the realistic thing that might be the new leading beer style in the distant future are either those gold beers that dont taste like beer or those trendy mixed beers like beck's ice, which is beer with mint and with a totally clear water like color......
its sad but i think those things will be very very popular in the distant future.

i just hope small franconian breweries can survive......

off course, i WOULD love if "franconian" dunkel or gose became the next big thing ..

The Beer Nut said...

Funny, I always took Gloria to be the mechanic's receptionist, to whom he was explaining why the next piece of work won't be done until the beginning of next week.

Unknown said...

Sadly I agree it is likely to be alcopops of some sort.

Anonymous said...

What is Keut?

Ron Pattinson said...

God, you're a pessimistic bunch. And I don't count mixed drinks as beers.

Anomymous, Keut, Koyt or several other spellings was originally a gruit beer, though some later versions contained a small amount of hops. It used to be pretty common across northern Germany and the Low Countries.

Anonymous said...

amber colored ales will overtake pils just look at budweiser. They are releasing an amber colored ale under the budweiser name this fall.

John Clarke said...


Don't forget robust porter and, ooh, imperial double mild.

Seriously though, I'm intrigued by the label for Fremlins "AK Stout" - you will know there has been much debate about the meaning and origins of "AK" - never seen it used in the context of a stout before.

Anonymous said...

John, have you read Zythophile's excellent theory on the origins of AK? Good stuff!

As for Fremlin's AK Stout, I'd guess that it was the lowest-strength stout brewed by Fremlins - anyone know if they also brewed a double (or maybe KK) stout? Or the OG for that matter - don't suppose it's in your mega-table, Ron?

Anonymous said...

Back to the original question - marketing-driven fads like alcopops, flavoured fizzy lagers and ciders with ice in them tend to be (a) short-lived and (b) overwhelmingly concentrated in a particular market sector (e.g. under-25s), so I'm going for session-strength pale ale - with or without the word 'India' tacked on the front, with or without cask conditioning.

Ron Pattinson said...


I included the image of the AK Stout because it's confusing. I'm still none the wiser as to the origin of AK. All I would say is that K in beer designations usually stands for "Keeping". Reid's Keeping Porter was designated KP. Truman's two Porters were called "Runner" and "Keeper".

Zyhophile's Ankel Keut theory is an interesting story, but it doesn't convince me. For a start, the proper Dutch is Enkel Keut. And there's a gap of several hundred years. I've not seen any of the letter designantions - XX, KKK, SS - used before 1800. And AK not until later than most of the others.

Zythophile said...

... the proper Dutch is Enkel Keut...

That's modern Dutch. In Middle Dutch, ie the language spoken around the time Low Countries beer brewers were emigrating to England, it was ankel.

While "K for keeping" ought to make sense, alas, as a complete explanation for beer names such as AK and XK it stumbles and trips over the fact that those two were weak (for the period) brews, one shilling a gallon, implying OGs of 1045-1055, which is the kind of gravity indicated for AK in contemporary literature.

My guess on AK Stout is that, as Fremlin's was a "family" brewer, that is, it brewed for the private trade (not buying any tied houses until, I believe, the 1920s), and "AK" beers were often described as "family beers", it was using "AK" to indicate this was a "family-friendly strength" stout. But that's just a guess.

Oh, and I always thought it was "my girlfriend threw up in the van earlier this week".

And if I could predict which way public taste was going to go, I'd be very rich indeed.