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Top 10 silliest stories of the month

Celebrating the strange, surreal, oddly ingenious and downright bizarre, we round up the month’s most offbeat drinks-related stories.

From bizarre drinks innovations and ill-advised encounters with livestock to one landlord’s inventive tactic to boost business, the world of drink is far from dull.

Scroll through for our pick of this month’s most amusing, bemusing and strange stories of the month…

Don’t drink beer, New Yorkers told

Surely one of the best things about a hot day is the chance to have a cold beer at the end of it? Not, it seems, if you are Mary Besset, New York City’s health commissioner.

Earlier this month she warned citizens of New York not to drink beer during its ongoing heatwave, during an “emergency press conference in Brooklyn”, instead insisting it was better to drink water.

While that might be true, being denied a responsible pint of cold beer on a hot day is akin to having your lunch money stolen by the school bully.

Predictably, some New Yorkers questioned Besset’s nannying approach insisting via social media that New Yorkers had the right to choose how they would like to spend their time in the sun. Hear hear!

Naked man found drunk in pig barn

“I just like pigs”, was the somewhat lame excuse given by the man found naked and drunk in a pig pen by US police.

Larry William Henry, 64, is facing a raft of charges, including indecent exposure and criminal trespass, after police found him cosying up to a number of hogs at a barn in Pennsylvania, from which he had already been banned.

Henry admitted to drinking a six-pack of Hamm’s beer made by Miller Brewing Company prior to his visit. He is now out of jail on a $25,000 unsecured bail and is due back in court next month on charges of indecent exposure, criminal trespass, defiant trespass and public drunkenness.

Landlord installs fake bus stop to boost sales

A pat on the back goes to this landlord who refused to stand by and watch his customers dwindle. Taking matters into his own hands John Hawkridge, landlord at the Gallipot Inn in Sussex, found a discarded bus stop in a hedge near this pub and seized upon the opportunity to attract bus-loads of punters by erecting it outside of his doorstep. 

While completely unofficial, people assumed the sign was real and began waiting for busses outside the pub. What’s more, buses started to stop. It’s become so popular that Metrobus is now petitioning East Grinstead County Council to officially recognise it as part of the bus route.

The phrase “if you build it they will come” come to mind.

Mormons’ Pioneer Day becomes “Pie and Beer” Day

Any day that champions the delectable pairing of beer and pie is worthy of our attention.

The cleverly named “Pie and Beer Day”, held on the same day as Utah’s “Pioneer Day”, which honours the state’s Mormon ancestors who arrived in Salt Lake City in search of religious freedom. However increasing portion of the state’s population will instead be bowing at the alter of baked goods and beer, with Pie and Beer Day growing in popularity among the non-Mormon community.

It does “make fun of predominant culture a little bit,” admits Michael Pezely, leader of the Lauter Day Brewers homebrew club, but is not intended to offend. Alcohol is of course avoided for most members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The occasion beings together the state’s breweries, including Red Rock, Uinta, Wasatch, 2 row, Squatters, Shades of Pale, Bohemian, Hoppers, Desert Edge and Epic Brewing, with its best bakeries and restaurants to celebrate the glorious pairing that is beer and pie.

Squirrel drunk on beer runs amok

A squirrel got into a spot of bother after it was accused of causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage after breaking into a private members’ club in Worcestershire.

On arriving to open up Sam Boulter, secretary of the Honeybourne Railway Club, said the floor was covered in beer, money, smashed bottles and glasses. Fearing the worst, Boulter was perhaps relieved to spot a squirrel “staggering around”, emerging from behind a box of crisps, rather than a burglar.

“He had obviously run across the bar’s pumps and managed to turn on the Caffrey’s tap”, said Boulter. “He must have flung himself on the handle and drank some as he was staggering around all over the place and moving a bit slowly. I’ve never seen a drunk squirrel before. He was sozzled and looked a bit worse for wear, shall we say”.

The squirrel was eventually caught and released out of a window, costing the club around £300 in damage.

Drinkers either Mary Poppins or Hemmingway

A US university categorised people’s drunken personalities as either: “Mary Poppins”, “Hemingway”, “Nutty Professor” or “Mr Hyde”.

A surprisingly large number of people – four out of 10 – fell into the “Hemingway” category which was for people who apparently see very little decrease in either intellect or conscientiousness when drinking and are considered reliable and still able to process complex ideas.

Men dominated the “Nutty Professor” category, which was for introverts who become more extroverted when drunk and experience a decline in conscientiousness. One in five participants fell into this category.

Women dominated the “Mary Poppins” personality, which is where drinkers remain friendly, cooperative, compassionate and agreeable. 23% of drinkers fell into the “My Hyde” category, for drinkers who become less conscientious and intellectual when drunk. They are apparently more likely to suffer memory blackouts or be arrested.

House with MI6 secret agent bar goes on sale

It’s not everyday that a slice of British spy history comes on the market. This lavish Chelsea townhouse is on the market for £6 million and was once owned by British spy Greville Wynne, who regularly held private meetings there with KGB informant, Colonel Oleg Penkovsky. It was in this house that Penkovsky handed over information on the Cuban Missile Crisis to Greville, subsequently informing US President John F. Kennedy of Russian strategic military sites on the Carribean island.

It comes complete with a bar, paid for by both the KGB and MI6, after Wynne and Penkovsky sourced funds from their respective agencies claiming a bar would help loosen the other’s tongue. Both agencies were said to have stumped up £500 to build the bar, but were at the time unaware of the other’s involvement.

Politician scarpers as illegal booze pyre explodes

A governor in Kenya was forced into a sudden retreat when the illegal alcohol he was helping to destroy blew up.

Around 10 tonnes of bootleg beer confiscated from an illegal brewery in Thika was being destroyed at Kang-oki rubbish tip in the county of Kiambu, overseen by governor William Kabogo. With the booze piled high, doused in petrol and the media looking on, Kabogo stepped forward to put a ceremonial torch to the bonfire. No sooner had he done so than he and his entourage were “running for their lives” as the pyre went up with a bang.

Fortunately no one was hurt and an apparently unruffled Kabogo gave a statement to the press afterwards encouraging Kenyans to bring friends or relatives with an alcohol problem or suffering from withdrawal symptoms to a local hospital for treatment.

The Kenyan government is currently cracking down on bootlegging which is on the rise in the country with Kiambu among the worst affected counties. Often laced with dangerous substances such as methanol the number of deaths, largely among poor people, is rising; as are other ailments such as male impotence.

Johnnie Walker launches whisky tache wax

Moustache wax designed to enhance the flavour of your drink – – just the invention that every hirsute man was waiting for.

Johnnie Walker Red Label unveiled a range of scented moustache waxes earlier this month designed to compliment the Johnnie and Ginger serve – a blend of Johnnie Walker Red Label whisky, ginger ale and a wedge of lime.

The Boldest Wax collection comes in three flavours – Piperine Pepper, Citrus Essence or Ginger Root – and is made using 100% natural beeswax.

Johnnie Walker claims the waxes provide scents that “linger beneath the nostrils” that “intensify the flavour of the serve with every sip”.

Danish festival recycles urine to make beer

Taking recycling to a whole other level, the Roskilde Festival in Denmark planned to collect 25,000 litres of “waste liquid” this year which will be “beercycled” into brews of the future.

The initiative, temptingly entitled “from piss to pilsner”, will collect urine from 100,000 festival-goers and then use the waste to fertilise barley fields the crops from which will go towards beer production with the resulting suds served back to revellers in Roskilde in 2017. Those wishing to make a “contribution” have to go to special urinals emblazoned with slogans such as: “Don’t waste your piss. Farmers can turn it into beer again.”

Leif Nielsen from the Danish Agriculture and Food Council (DAFC) which is behind the idea, told the Guardian: “It’s about changing our approach to waste, from being a burden to being a valuable resource. The huge amount of urine produced at festivals was having a negative impact on the environment and the sewage system. But beercycling will turn the urine into a resource.”

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