Pat Nolan Blog

Fool’s Balloon Bar

The drinks industry had its fair share of April Fools Day ruses this year.

For example in the UK the Pimms brand announced that it had struck a sponsorship deal with London landmark Big Ben to have its logo and livery appear on Big Ben’s clockface for the duration of the Summer as reported by the UK trade paper the Publican’s Morning Advertiser.

The PMA itself also got in on the act with its own smoking lead suggesting that the Government was set to repeal the smoking ban for one day only in UK pubs in honour of the Queen’s 90th birthday.

London bar operator of Mr Fogg’s Tavern and Mr Fogg’s Residence the Inception Group floated the idea of opening their latest incarnation of MrFogg’s, a hot-air balloon bar.

“Inspired by Jules Verne’s famed novel, Around the World in 80 Days, the third instalment in the Mr Fogg’s brand will levitate high in the sky and circumnavigate London in 80 minutes, taking guests on a grand tour of the city’s most beloved landmarks,” cooed the Inception Group press release, “The experience will get off to a flying start, as all guests will be gifted a custom-made parachute upon arrival and given a crash course in the art of landing stylishly in the rare event of an emergency,” continued the release.

Here at Closing Time, we remain unconvinced of the rarity of such an emergency event given that the sky-bound spectacle, powered on nothing but hot air from the burners, would feature an onboard bar, “… stocked with the finest spirits and rare products from around the world, providing an elegant drinking experience on each occasion”.

As if these were not weighty enough matters to consider, the Inception Group continued to take the rise.

“Fresh water will be fetched whilst traversing through rainclouds and served from Thistle Gold crystal pitchers. Hungry ballooners can look forward to specifically-prepared delicacies including scrumptious chicken satay and roast marshmallows cooked in the crown of the balloon, served in style on embossed fine bone china for guests to enjoy from miniature set tables.”

Enjoyment at its height indeed!

Another pub operator, Snug Bars, kept its feet on the ground but offered patrons a ‘Nearly No calorie Health Sandwich’ comprising fresh iceberg lettuce with two slices of beef tomato, “… a side of grated carrot and season-free peas”.

Accompanying it, Snug’s new cocktail of the month, iced H2O, comprised “.. a glass filled with freshly cut ice and topped with our finest non-mineral water.

“Grab all this for only £14.95,” enthused the Snug.

Not to be outdone, JD Wetherspoon claimed to have brokered an exclusive deal with the BBC where this Autumn would see the pub company take up residence in Albert Square having purchased the Queen Vic in a controversial storyline.

“The BBC has not yet revealed the storyline details but Wetherspoon will have some say on the drinks behind the bar,” it teased, somewhat tongue-in-spirited-cheek, advising, “Stay tuned to the BBC this Autumn to see the storyline unfold.”

And finally, for its part, online international drinks news company just-drinks ran a story to the effect that the term ‘craft’ had been globally trademarked by the Kansas-based Bearded Hogwash Brewing Co.

As a result, stated just-drinks, “Companies across the beer, soft drinks and spirits categories will subsequently no longer be able to use the term in any of their marketing or advertising activities, nor be able to refer to any brand as being ‘craft’,” as the company intends expanding all over the world.

In response to the threat to world ‘craft’ products, a spokesperson for the Bearded Hogwash Brewing Co remarked, “It’s safe to say we’re not in Kansas any more”.

ClT2  April Foolow


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