Hacks and pundits may no longer indulge in the long drinking sessions that prompted Private Eye magazine to create the fictional journo Lunchtime O’Booze, but they are still partial to the odd scoop at lunch or after work. And for the Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun, that usually means local pubs and bars around the Borough Market area - which brings us to a little bar called the Rake.
The Rake is tucked away at the back of Borough Market, and is busiest in the early evening. The inmates of the Baby Shard bunker are among that clientele. But this little craft beer outlet, which offers a dazzling array of speciality beers, all of them decent, and boasts the prominent wording NO CRAP ON TAP above the bar, found itself in the news after the press discovered that one exotic craft keg offering was selling at £6.70 a half.
Our free and fearless press did not stop to ask why that might be, or to stop and think that your average pint at the Rake might cost rather less. “The Rake pub at London Bridge charges £13.40 for a pint of Cloudwater Double IPA beer - leaving drinkers in disbelief” screamed the idiotic Sun headline. The rest of the article wasn’t any better.
“A PUB is selling pints at a staggering £13.40 … The Rake charges that for its 8.2 per cent strength Cloudwater North West Double IPA beer … It has left drinkers spluttering in disbelief. Some Twitter users called it ‘ridiculously marked up’ and ‘hideously expensive’”. Yeah, right. Did the Sun hacks stop to think what made that beer so expensive, or indeed why, as they admitted, it sold out so quickly they were too late to sample it?
Cloudwater is one of the country’s highest regarded microbreweries. The beer the Sun is ranting about is heavily hopped and then dry hopped - and it takes longer to brew. Moreover, you would not buy a pint of it. As the Manchester Evening News discovered, a bar in that city which sells the same beer - when they can get hold of it - charges £6 a half - not much less than the Rake - and won’t sell you a pint.
A comparison of monumental idiocy
That doesn’t matter to the Sun, which has indulged in a crass “5 BARGAIN BEERS” comparison. This involves comparing the kinds of beers the Rake’s clientele - like their own hacks - would not go near, and which are served in a pub hundreds of miles from London, with speciality craft beers. We are not talking like with like here.
The average cost of a pint in London nowadays, sadly, is around £4.50. The Rake will sell you an average strength pint of cask beer - and it’ll be bloody good cask beer - for no more than £4. Think about that. Then go to Time Out or TripAdvisor and look at the long lines of glowing five star reviews. This is a deservedly very popular bar.
As for the Sun - all that rant will do is to show anyone who knows their beer that it’s not worth wasting their money on propping up a cheap and nasty red-top rag. Paradoxically, its hacks won’t stop heading over to the Rake after work, which shows what a total and absolute shower the paper’s senior editors and managers are.
You want to be knowledgeable about a subject, any subject? The Murdoch goons want you to know that you won’t get that knowledge from them. Don’t Buy The Sun.