Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Beer Wars

Catholic Version

From the August 20, 2009 number of The Wanderer:

Archbishop Laments Decline In Pubs: Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster said there are social ramifications to the ongoing, and massive, closings of hte "traditional English pub" where nearly everyone used to head after work.

The London Telegraph's John Hinton reported August 7: "Local pubs facing closure have found an improbably ally in Archbishop Vincent Nichols, who has said he regards them as a microcosm of society at its best.. . . .

"'There are pubs where people have their corner and they're a bit eccentric, but they're welcomed. If they don't turn up, someone will go and see what's happened'," the archbishop told Hinton.

"The archbishop added that it was no coincidence that the pub has declined as an institution at a time when individualism and greed have risen. He feared that this was undermining communities and eroding the 'common good'.

"A spokesman for the British Beer and Pub Association said: 'It's great that the archbishop enjoys spending time in pubs and recognizes the role that pubs ply in local community life. Like local shops, post offices, and, of course, churches, pubs provide the vital ties that bind communities together, bringing together people from all walks of life.' . . . .

Islamic Version

From The Wall Street Journal:

An Islamic court in Malaysia suspended indefinitely the caning of a Muslim woman for drinking beer and put the sentence under review, government officials said Tuesday, potentially marking the beginning of the end of a saga that has transfixed this mostly Muslim nation. . . .

The sentence handed down on Ms. Kartika last week for drinking beer at a hotel bar in 2007 stunned the country. Muslim Malays, who make up about 60% of Malaysia's 27 million people, are subject to Shariah, or Islamic laws, which make it illegal to drink alcohol. Non-Muslims are free to drink as they please. But sentencing a woman to caning, for the first time here, shocked even many liberal Muslims, even though caning under Shariah law is reputedly much milder than corporal punishments administered under Malaysia's civil criminal code. Typically, Muslims caught drinking alcohol are fined or given brief prison terms. . . . .

Capitalist Version

From The Wall Street Journal (again):

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV plans to raise beer prices in the majority of the U.S. this fall, despite declining sales volume for some of its largest brands, the president of the brewer's U.S. division said Tuesday.

"We do plan on taking prices up in the fall on the majority of our volume in the majority of the U.S.," Dave Peacock said in an interview. "The environment is very favorable, we think."

In talks with retailers, "we have seen general acceptance and agreement with our plan," Mr. Peacock said. . . . .