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back to article Greene King pubs to offer free beer Wi-Fi

Pub chain Greene King will soon offer free Wi-Fi access in all of its 2400 boozers and eateries, courtesy of The Cloud. The two companies kicked off 2012 by wiring up 300 pubs with wireless hotspots, but Greene King today said it was not only going to have all of its 1000 tied houses and other establishments thus equipped but …

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WTF?

Greene King IPA?

Seriously?

I don't think much of Abbot in the first place but you PREFER that 3.4% watered down crap? It's horrible. It doesn't even taste much of beer...

Then again, I avoid Greene King at all costs anyway - poor beer, poor pubs.

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Re: Greene King IPA?

St Edmunds is okay, best beer they do IMO, and the Apple Tree by Mount Pleasant in London is a decent place to drink it, but on the whole I wouldn't bother with their beer / pubs either.

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Re: Greene King IPA?

Personally, I prefer their IPA to Abbots Ale, but I'd prefer either of them to anything by Fuller's. All of them are bested by any Adnam's tipple, which you can find just as easily in London.

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Re: Greene King IPA?

Absolutely, Greene King IPA tastes basically of chalk. I'd recommend whatever guest beer they happen to have as it is bound to be better than their own brews.

I've disliked Greene King ever since they basically bought every pub in my hometown. Makes for very uninteresting pub crawls.

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Re: Greene King IPA?

Agreed. The beer's pish and their policy of buying decent breweries and turning their beer to pish is, well, pish as well.

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Anonymous Coward

But it's not "free" is it?

I find it quite annoying when I see signs offering "free wifi". Because it isn't really. They are actually offering free wifi connection to a paid-for service login page, like for The Cloud, or BT Openzone, or some other (possibly) dodgy service that wants your postcode, email address, and inside leg measurement before allowing you 30 minutes access to their "valuable internet connection" (yes John Lewis I'm looking at you). Or, worse,,they want money as well!!.

I wasn't so upset about it when O2 used to give me "free" sign-in on The Cloud hotspots with my contract, but now they've setup in competition (but not very well yet) that's gone away.

So to recap. The only thing they give you "free" is the ability to pay them for using their wifi access point.

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Re: But it's not "free" is it?

It's "free as in beer", at least the Wetherspoons is where I sign in as Pubby Mcpubson from Stonybridge with password "ThePub".

Granted it is a PITA to have to remember a disposable email address and password, but it's still provided free of charge.

That said, I'm more impressed by places which offer it without login.

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Re: But it's not "free" is it?

Exactly - come on El Reg, what's with lapping up the PR? My local boozer simply has a blackboard behind the bar with a password that lets you connect to their router. That's all you need. I hate having to navigate around crummy The Cloud login pages.

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Would be useful, but...

...I refuse on principle to drink any Greede Kerching beers (even the admittedly excellent XX Mild).

This is a company that produces beers that pretend to be from such old breweries as Ruddle's, Morland and Tolly Cobbold without the slightest indication that they're all brewed at the same Westgate Street brewery. I've even heard them being sold in GK pubs as "guest beers", pretending they're nothing whatsoever to do with the GK brewery.

And they even produced advertising material pretending that their piss-poor IPA had been Camra's Champion Beer of Britain, which it wasn't.

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Re: Would be useful, but...

Close but no cigar. When Greene King bought Ridleys (which bought Tolly Cobbold), they continued brewing Tolly Original in Chelmsford at the old Riddle's site.

Anyway, what's wrong with Westgate St brewery?

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FAIL

Re: Would be useful, but...

@ Tony Green

I'm afraid you need to retract your comment about GK pretending their IPA had been CAMRAs CBOB. It has been. I was there when it was announced. I was there when it was judged. I was the Bar Manager who looked after the beers that entered the competion that year.

And belive it or not (ok that's a given for you) it was a good drop of ale. Not my favourite - but the judges thought so. The thing with cask ale is that the work involves the brewer, distributor, the cellar man and the bar man. If each does their job well ALL cask ales should taste as the brewer intended them to.

BTB - to make sure it hadn't been 'tampered' with I had it lab tested against another sample provided from elsewhere.

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Re: Would be useful, but...

That wouldn't be the trial that was done when they used blanket pressure on one of them to prove that it doesn't make the slightest difference to the taste - and CAMRA went ape, was it??

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Cloud is not that useful compared to an open hotspot

You have to log in. (Why? You could easily use a sacrificial email address, if security is an issue the MAC address would mean more)

A lot of devices can't. Either they have no browser, or a simple one that doesn't work.

And the act of having to log in removes the convenience. If you have a mobile in your pocket that would otherwise connect automatically, do you actually want to have to take it out an log in?

Why can't they have a simple (plain HTML) once per device sign in (if they feel they need one at all), then once the device is registered, the MAC address would be used.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cloud is not that useful compared to an open hotspot

"You have to log in. (Why?"

Because The Cloud want to charge you for using their AP. ie: It isn't really free. That part's a con.

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Re: Re: Cloud is not that useful compared to an open hotspot

@AC: Please provide a citation that this service is not free to the end user.

Fine, you're miffed at having to use a disposable email address but that does not mean the service costs money.

I have no love for any brewery or any other company, neither have I any particular fondness for signing in to WiFi but as fas as I can tell you are talking bollocks. That is unless you have specific information that the company in question is not providing the free service, in which case it might be a good idea to provide that information to the ASA (and the rest of us) rather than just posting anonymous comments.

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Re: Cloud is not that useful compared to an open hotspot

I imagine they need you to login as there will be T&C about downloading pr0n, dodgy stuff etc. Free wifi probably has so much EU redtape that I guess this is the only way they can cover their arses with "look, email xxxx@xxx.com logged in at that time, go chase them" etc.

good luck with that using goaway101@gmail.com

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Go

USA does free WiFi so much better

Every restraunt, bar etc.. I've been to over there seems to offer free WiFi. 99% of them redirect you to a single 'click accept' button and then you're away. No typing, no info required.

Much better than we have over here.

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Re: USA does free WiFi so much better

But look at the beer you have to drink!

Do you want Black Sheep and a login page or Miller and free wifi?

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Re: USA does free WiFi so much better

The Concord Trailways services in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire have free wifi at their terminals and on the coaches themselves... all totally free.

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Pint

Re: USA does free WiFi so much better

Lots of good beer if you know where to look for it. Shipyard use yeast from Ringwood and even brew a decent version of Old Thumper, and I've had cellar conditioned locally brewed beer from a hand pump in a bar in Portland, Maine.

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Pint

Greene King IPA

Internet Protocol Ale?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Greene King IPA

Isopropyl Alcohol?

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Estate

Some of the pubs are awful, there's one in Woburn Sands that's a part time pizza parlour, my local is a tip. Free wifi is one thing, but they need to sort there premises out first

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IPA

You're all crazy, the only palatable beer Greene King Sells is Old Speckled Hen. Even if they did ruin it when they closed down the Morland Brewery.

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Pint

As a former Greene King (tenant) landlord ...

Try to bear in mind that the quality of the beer has a great deal to do with the cellar manager. A bad cellar manager who doesn't love his craft can easily ruin a good brew from the brewery (unless you're dealing with the on-tap "smooth" keg sh*te that passes as beer).

Real Ale cellar conditioning is an artform as much as a science.

I like to think I transformed the quality of beer when I took over the pub I was lucky to run for almost 2 years, and my volumes and the feedback from the punters, plus the commendation from CAMRA gave me good reason to think my pride was well placed.

My IPA was still IPA, but quite different - I was told - to the supposedly same IPA at many other GK establishments. In addition to the IPA we ran Speckled Hen, with Abbot only for special occasions (not enough demand for Abbot for us to turn it over quickly enough to ensure quality, where-as Speckled Hen turned over very nicely).

We also ran whatever guest was on offer, although if it didn't prove popular we would substitute with Ruddles County or Morland Original (which was always very popular).

My cellar management assessment from my GK area manager was 96%. He knocked me off 4% because my spare CO2 was chained upright rather than laid flat in cradles, even tho upright chaining it perfectly acceptable practice. He told me not to be too disappointed, because he accepted my cellar simply didn't have room for the cradles and that he was using that as an excuse because GK never, EVER gave 100% simply as a matter of policy.

Having said all that, Wadworths 6X and St Austell Tribute.... nom nom nom nom nom. The days we could have those as guests were happy days indeed.

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Anonymous Coward

St Austell FTW

I'm going to Cornwall for 2 weeks in August and will be paying them a visit.

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Pint

Re: As a former Greene King (tenant) landlord ...

After years of rigorous, er, research, I've found Greene King IPA to vary greatly from pub to pub, more so than other ales. I know of one pub in particular that always does good GK IPA in my corner of Essex and I have had less than pleasurable experiences of the stuff in Greene Kings own pubs in Bury St. Edmunds. The bottles seem a bit hit and miss too.

To conclude: You sir, speak truth. Now get back in that pub because there is a definite lack of good bar men and women about.

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Coat

Green King announces...

... their pub managers have finally learned how to install wireless routers!

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Meh

Firstly, yet another idea to kill the pub atmosphere. First we had wide screen TV with bloody football every minute of the day, now it's WiFi. What happened to going out to socialise with other people?

Secondly, the writer of the article is obviously either a shandy drinker or a eurofizz lover, or has only sampled it in bottles or cans which are nothing like the real thing what so ever. A well kept pint of Abbot that's not too fresh (or too old), is nectar in a glass, and should only be taken whilst standing. Persons attempting to drink Abbot Ale in a sitting position may find their knees inoperative after a few. The best way to serve it is "from the wood" - ie a wooden "pin" on the bar, and these days the only way you'll see that is where the landlord takes it to the brewery personally to get it re-filled.

IPA is known by some as "Bury St Edmunds Sugarbeet Factory Effluent", or just plain "Bury Ditch Water". When they brewed IPA at three sites (before becoming GK PLC), both Biggleswade and Furneaux Pelham produced superior IPA.

Old Speckled Hen is an abomination of what it once was, it doesn't taste anything like it used to when brewed at Morland's brewery, same goes for any of their other stolen ales.

Chemically the water may be made to be the same as the original brewery's water, but it doesn't have the same taste. And Bury St Edmunds area tap water has a funny twang to it. Probably due to the Sugar Beet Factory.

Cellar management is an art, and sadly there are not many landlords that do it properly. GK pubs often suffer from spiralling rents, and when that happens, the beer suffers. They love to send out the "plate counters", and if your kitchen is doing plenty of work, the put the rent up. The more you do to counter that, the more they put it up until you just can't afford it anymore. The next tenant comes in on a super cheap deal and it starts again. I can see GK putting the cost of these WiFi hotspots onto their tenants rent too!

There is no such thing as free beer, especially with GK.

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Nice Picture

Nice Photo reference...

(http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/113527/Battle-of-the-Boffins--Battle-of-the-Boffins--Battle-of-the-Boffins--Battle-of-the-Boffins-)

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RSS titles don't do strike-through mark-up, but, if they did, I wouldn't be looking for my free beer.

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Linux

Free Beer

Just felt obliged to post this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Beer

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Pint

IPA....????

IPA is the lager drinkers real ale.

Thin, tasteless pish ....... the article is obviously written by a lagerboy!

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WTF?

OK - listen up folks, people have a fondness for various ales. I myself like to frequent the Fat Cat in Norwich. I go there because it's not in the city centre, sells top notch ales and ciders.

I don't go to a pub so that I can 'check in' WiFi in pubs is crass.

Put your phones away, relax and enjoy a drop of the good stuff.

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"free pub wifi"

I tried it out, found the endless navigation pages and switched off wifi.

+1 for "unlimited" data tarriffs. If needed I usually just tether.

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Anonymous Coward

Ah, ale snobs....

More or less irritating than wine snobs? I'm undecided.

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Re: Ah, ale snobs....

Presumably writte by someone who thinks there is a difference between Carlsber/Carling/Tuborg take any other 4ish% pale stuff that tastes a fraction different to soda water.

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Happy

What a shame

No Greene King pubs within 10 miles of where I live

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