Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Whinging about Guinness mid-strength

Good grief. Marketing men are irritating. Are they not? I’m sure I’m not the only person to get all angry about the release of Guinness’s new “mid-strength” line. I have no enormous objections to the concept itself. We all must …

Tue, May 29, 2012, 22:11

   

Good grief. Marketing men are irritating. Are they not? I’m sure I’m not the only person to get all angry about the release of Guinness’s new “mid-strength” line. I have no enormous objections to the concept itself. We all must be grown-up about the dangers of alcohol consumption. So, should you chose the new less potent version of our national drink, I will not be calling you a big, sissy lightweight who can’t handle your booze. Let me be clear. I will not be doing that. What’s riles me is the name. “Mid-strength” implies that the new product — 2.8 percent alcohol as opposed to the traditional 4.1 percent version — occupies a point between two extremes. If you don’t want the weak stout or the striong stout, you can try the happy medium. But there isn’t a weaker version. Is there?

We have got used to the horrible convention whereby, when buying a soft drink in a foul fast-food joint, we must ask for “regular” when we mean “small”. Now, we are asked to accept “mid-strength” as a euphemism for “weak” or “light”. There’s history here, of course. Older boozers will remember  the firm’s disastrous attempt to launch something called Guinness Light a few decades ago. A popular myth arose that the product resulted from the accidental mixing of Harp Lager with the company’s stout. This was, surely, nonsense. But the brew couldn’t have tasted less appealing if it had been manufactured in that manner. So, we can understand why they skipped the word “light”. But “mid-strength” remains a bloody lie does it not. Lord forbid, drinkers should admit to drinking something “low-strength” or “mild”. If that happened people might call them big, sissy lightweights who can’t handle their booze.

Oh, it’s enough to drive you to drink.

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