To make truly mad alcoholic drinks, you need to be really dedicated. The demands of modern capitalism mean profit takes precedence over all other concerns, so if it takes a long time, they won't do it. Hence all these pissy weak beers coming out like Beck's Vier, Peeterman Artois and - you what? - the 2% Carling C2, which appears to be a soft drink for those who find Carling too strong and full-flavoured.
Seriously, what is wrong with everybody? I understand the invention of Guinness Extra Cold; it's for people who like the brand but don't actually like the beer, so need it superchilled to remove all flavour. Why would you need flavourless diluted piss like Fosters extra cold?
The promotion says it's pretend beer for when you need to be seen with a pint but can't actually have one. Mind you, the same promotion calls it 'the great tasting mid-strength lager'.
'Mid', as any user of the English language will tell you, means that which is in the middle, neither the top nor the bottom. As opposed to that whose value is lower than any other. Rather than being a lunchtime pint, I suspect it's more to do with the fact that you can brew it inside of a day and get the gear making a new batch, maximising profit.
At the other end of the scale lie the drinks that can never repay the time invested, so they can only be made by those with all the time in the world going spare and no concern for monetary reward. Monks. All those insanely strong thick beers from Belgian trappists. Is it just a coincidence, or is there a shared etymological root with 'Belgium' and 'bludgeon'?
In the UK, we have our own. Buckfast Tonic Wine.
The label starts you worrying even before you unscrew the cap. "The use of the words 'tonic wine' does not imply health giving properties".
It's made in a a big monastery in a small village, Buckfastleigh in Devon. They import continental wines and do something secret and weird to them, probably involving rituals from books like the ones Giles from Buffy keeps on the upstairs shelves.
What comes out is a lunatic thing that makes the drinker howl like a werewolf drag queen being boiled alive.
The makers surely realise it attracts the more, er, insistent type of drinker. The availability of Buckfast seems inversely proportionate to the proximity to Buckfastleigh Abbey. They know full well what it does to people and they don't want it anywhere near them.
Find it in Devon? No chance. By Birmingham it's in a few choice offies, but you have to know where to look. In Glasgow it's practically delivered with the milk.
And so it is that we come to Berkeley Street in Glasgow city centre and find this enchanting alfresco scene.
Some radge bugger's been getting their bits out and pissing on the pavement, and they've also deposited their empty bottle of, oh, what a surprise...