Being a big fan of alcohol, I wondered why this was. Is it down to peer pressure? Social malaise perhaps? A sign of Britain heading down the proverbial pan? Or is it down to canny marketing and PR stunts? I suspect it could be the latter. I still remember Carling Black Label adverts from my distant youth. The 'Carlsberg don't do (insert here) but if they did, they'd probably be the best (insert here) in the world' slogan is practically part of the national lexicon.
But it's not all paid-for television advertising. The big beer companies often chuck in a cheeky PR stunt or two into the marketing mix. Here's my selection of ten of the best. In no particular order...
1. Bulmers and Plan B - this stunt was used as part of a wider advertising campaign including a television commercial. A man on the street was seen giving out flyers to passing strangers to go and see 'my friend's band' but not revealing who it was. The lucky punters that opted to take a chance and have a look were treated to a surprise and very intimate free gig by none other than Plan B. Lesson learnt; take a chance in life. Just don't die.
2. Carlsberg - Bikers in a Belgian cinema - I loved this one, as quite simply I was unsure as to how I'd react in a similar scenario. Carlsberg set it up so that unsuspecting cinema goers walked in to a 'movie theatre' to find that there were only two seats left. These seats were in the middle of their row. And every other seat in the cinema was occupied by tattooed, leathered, hairy Hells Angel looking types. Numerous couples walked out, but the ones that had the courage to edge their way past the hard faced bikers were met with cheers and a bottle of Carlsberg each by the suddenly smiling two wheeling wonders.
3. Heineken - Airport Roulette - Heineken set up a 'departures board' at JFK airport, which when the button was pressed, gave up a random destination. Those brave enough to press it had to agree to change their destination regardless as to what came up on the board. Would you take the chance on this? Plenty of people did; flying off to random destinations. A great stunt!
4. Luna Corona - a feet of astronomical genius. And I don't mean that in a size sense. Corona lined up a billboard in New York so that for a fleeting moment, the waxing crescent moon would look like a slice of lime in a bottle of Corona beer. Incredible stuff, with a lot of science and mathematical planning behind it to get it just right. Top job.
5. Heineken - Barcelona versus Bayern Munich, Champions League semi-final - Heineken again here as they invited some top journalists to watch the Champions League semi-final at their hospitality. But the route to the game wasn't straightforward as all sorts of bizarre happenings occurred. Read about the full extent of it here on Shortlist. A very elaborate one, which must have cost a fortune!
6. Budweiser - ex-internationals playing for non-league Wembley FC - this was a controversial one. Budweiser got some ex pro's to play for Wembley FC (who they sponsor) in the first round of the FA Cup. The team included Ray Parlour, Martin Keown, Graeme Le Saux and Claudio Caniggia. Fans of other non-league clubs took exception saying it was 'unfair' and ruined the spirit of the competition. But football players are football players right? The Guardian covered it, so Budweiser won't be complaining.
7. Carlsberg - Best Friend Test Poker Game - Another Carlsberg one here. Could you rely on your best friend to bail you out if you were in trouble? Carlsberg had somebody call their best friend to see if they could bring them money to a poker game at silly o'clock saying that they were in serious trouble. The loyal friends that came down were confronted with a sinister set up. Did they have the minerals? Check it out. I'm pretty sure my friends would bail here rather than bail me out...
8. Red Stripe - Musical corner shop - this stunt involved customers walking into a corner shop, picking up a can of Red Stripe from the beer fridge, and watching the place suddenly erupt into music as products start moving and bottle lids start opening and closing in time to the beat. Some top notch choreography on this one!
9. Heineken - Job Interview - I know this is their third entry, but if you put in some effort, you get rewarded right? So well done Heineken! They set up a series of unusual events for those looking to get a job in their Champions League department. It started off with the interviewer awkwardly holding the interviewees hand as they walked in and then got progressively more bizarre.
10. Red Stripe - Space Invaders - Finally, another one from Red Stripe here as they created a huge version of the classic eighties game Space Invaders out of street junk at Manchester Town Hall, asking passersby to push the button to make it come to life.
With that ten done, I'm off down the pub for a few swift halves...talk about beer pressure!