London Velvet, an investment opportunity?

london-velvetLondon Velvet, a blend of porter and cider, is raising money through the crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. Should you invest?

London Velvet is made with a porter from the Burtonwood brewery of Thomas Hardy Brewing and Packaging and a cider from Bevisol, both on a contract basis. Not well known names to the general drinking public but both respected contract brewers/cidermakers.

The London Velvet company is involved in the management, distribution, sales and marketing. It is raising a relatively small amount of money and operating on relatively low margins.

It is aiming to tap into the craft beer market yet is made by contract brewers and sold by supermarkets. I can’t see it appealing to the craft beer market without better provenance. Porter and cider are made on a ‘craft’ scale in London – why not use these? I can see it filling a niche gap on the supermarket shelves very successfully though.

I haven’t tried London Velvet. But over 35 years ago I was enjoying pints of cider and Guinness, it’s a damn fine drink, so I am sure that London Velvet is also good. But herein lies the rub, cider and Guinness is, in effect, already available in almost every pub in the country. Surely if London Velvet takes off then Diageo Guinness have the nous and marketing muscle to say ‘thank you very much’ and grab the lion’s share of the market?

So I wish them the best of luck but, regrettably, I’m out.

Disclosure: Intoxicated Rich has invested through Crowdcube and is currently an investor in Hop Stuff Brewery, Little Beer Corporation and CMIC (CAMRA Members Investment Club).

Picklebacks: Weird but they work


PicklebackHow stupid were we? We ate the pickles then threw away the jar, juice and all. Then those poor impoverished street food vendors came along, they can’t afford their own restaurant or even a bit of software for table reservations. They weren’t going to throw anything away!

And so the Pickleback was born, a shot of whisky (or whiskey or rye or you get the drift) followed by a shot of pickle juice or mixed in a cocktail. I tried a couple at the excellent ImbibeLive recently,

Pickleback – A shot of Jameson’s followed by their own pickle juice. The relatively sweet Irish whiskey is cut nicely by the relatively straightforward briny vinegar. Give me a pulled pork slider, now!

The Pickle House – Again Jameson’s followed by their own pickle juice. This juice was both sweeter and spicier than the first. Maybe a more complex juice but I preferred the first.

Pickle Buck – I tried this cocktail at the excellent Foxlow in Smithfield. Drinking in a restaurant or a cocktail bar this is the sophisticated way to go undoubtedly.

They are weird but they work. For me, this is a bit of fun in a street food setting. Pickleback gets the vote from me.