Comment: Beer stock outs and the Otopeni airport baggage carousel

I have been doing a bit of travel recently with a trip in each of the last three weeks. I do not particularly like flying these days; not out of fear but simply the hassle of getting onto a plane. I am now down to wearing simple trainers, no belt, no watch yet I still beep occasionally at the metal check point before being introduced to the probing of the metal security sausage.

The most recent adventure involved a transfer in CDG Paris – who on earth thought out the people logistics on that airport? If you have to transfer terminals at CDG then remember to take a packed lunch and make sure your passport has plenty of validity. Arriving back to base in Bucharest I waited to collect my bags at the carousel with all the other CDG passengers. The time was well after midnight and inevitably all passengers were tired and tetchy but I noticed something very weird. A fellow passenger (whom I know) was obviously looking for a red suitcase as he proceeded to check several against the luggage tag identifier stuck on the back of his passport.

To be fair the bags were all varying shades of red and similar in size but he was obviously having great difficulty finding his own property. Aha, success! The tag numbers appeared to match and my fellow weary traveller pulled off a yellow case……Now, he is possibly colour blind, a thief – no he’s not by the way – or he simply selected the wrong case.  An honest mistake perhaps, but one that could see him at his business meeting the following morning in tight pink latex rather than a dull M&S suit. (Yes, he has a beard so he could be a contender for the next round of Eurovision.)

Fast forward to a well-known bar in Bucharest which shows all the major UK and European football games. Despite the place being packed out, my domestic senior manager and I secured seats at the bar right in front of the beer pumps. This was one of those large gold coloured metal pumps which is raised off the bar and serves 4 or 5 different beers from a big name brewer. Straight away we noticed a glass over one of the pumps indicating a stock out, but no problem, there were 4 more choices, but not for long. Next to go was the unfiltered or “cloudy” beer. No great loss there from our perspective, but as half time approached, the dark version of our preferred beer went dry.

Soon the flagship golden beer brand ran out in a mist of coughing and spluttering foam. This left just an expensive imported beer and like my friend at the airport it was time to take what was available even if it was not actually our usual beer. Get what you can before it all disappears!

How can the extended beer supply chain fail so dramatically at a city centre bar where Premier League games are shown every week to a packed crowd? I hope supply will be robust by the time the sun starts to shine again!

By Dave Jordan, guest writer

(photo source: Hanul cu Tei)