Chris Brook-Carter

Hot Hot Heat

By: Chris Brook-Carter - 18 August 2003 16:29

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The heat wave continues here in Europe. But while I might be heard to utter the odd curse on the tube as it grinds to a halt for the sixth time, slowly roasting its passengers, in general I am loath to complain now the UK finally has some weather other than rain during the summer. The drinks industry too, should be rubbing its hands in glee. Indeed, this weather may be just the fillip the industry has been waiting for after months suffering under its own dark clouds.

Last week I heard that Carlsberg-Tetley has been forced to import in extra lager to cover the soaring demand in the UK. Supermarket chain Tesco said beer sales were up 55% last weekend on the same point last year, while J Sainsbury said sales of lager this August were up 50% on last year. Water and soft drinks too are experiencing a bumper few months. And in extraordinary scenes in France, in what must be the earliest harvest in memory, the annual superlatives concerning the quality of the vintage may actually hold some weight this year.
"Harvesting is starting two to three weeks early everywhere and we're looking at this being a perfect year across the board. This could be one of the best years we've ever known," said Nicolas Pouget at the National Wine Industry Union.
We've all heard that before. The difference this time is he might actually be right.
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