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West Brewery to host opera nights for first time

West Brewery's Petra Wetzel is big on beer, opera and innovation - just try not to say g�tter-d�mmerung with your mouth full of dinner. Picture: Contributed

West Brewery's Petra Wetzel is big on beer, opera and innovation - just try not to say g�tter-d�mmerung with your mouth full of dinner. Picture: Contributed

  • by ERRIKA ASKELAND AND DOMINIC JEFF
 

PETRA Wetzel, maker of German artisan lagers and wheat beers in Glasgow, has come up with some entertainment with a difference that may just bring a touch of culture to the drinking classes.

In December, West Brewery will play host for the first time to two opera nights, during which guests will experience a “tasting menu of operatic delights”.

She says: “This is our first co-operation with some of the cast of Scottish Opera put together by one of the finest London music producers, and to say we are excited about this is the understatement of the decade. Opera in a brewery? Who would ever have dreamed of it?”

Well, it’s an interesting variation on organising a you-know-what in a brewery.

Heroes, zeroes and those who could do a lot better

There was evidence of some refreshing honesty in the “Good week/ Could do better/ Bad week column” in the newsletter sent out by Invicta public affairs.

The weekly missive is written by hack-turned-MSP turned media adviser David Whitton. In Whitton’s latest update, poor Michael Moore was deemed to be having a bad week, while Alistair Carmichael, Moore’s successor as Scottish secretary after the autumn reshuffle, had a good one. But Whitton reserved the censure of “could do better” for himself.

He noted that in his last despatch, he had written that the size of Norway’s oil fund was £470 million, which in the scheme of things, is pretty measly.

He wrote: “That figure should obviously have read £470 billion. I either need to brush up my typing or get new glasses.”

As we here at the People desk like to say, “What’s a few zeroes between friends?” And, “There but for the grace of God go all of us”.

Boys clubs beware as women seek more seats

Institutional heavyweight Legal & General has set its sights on FTSE-100 company boards that still have no women members, having laid down the gauntlet by promising to vote against the chairmen of those that don’t by 2015.

Top-tier Scottish companies whose boardrooms were formerly female-free zones can breathe easy regarding L&G’s threat, after Scottish industrials Aggreko and Wood Group recruited some female talent last year, including Rebecca McDonald, Diane Layfield at the generator maker and Mary Shafer-Malicki for the Aberdeen oil company.

But while they aren’t under the same cosh of political pressure as their larger cohorts, FTSE 250 boards are also coming under increasing scrutiny in this area.

That should give some food for thought for Ronnie Hanna, chairman of Irn-Bru maker AG Barr, and whoever is taking over from Martin Gilbert.

Both firms seem to be thumbing their noses at the trend for increased diversity by remaining steadfastly male, pale … and stale?

Soup for the soul is simply another genius idea

What else would you expect from a soup shop called Union of Genius but that it would have a few good ideas?

Elaine Mason, founder and head soupmonger, has taken the encroaching cold weather to heart and instituted the concept of “suspended coffee”.

It’s a relatively new trend whereby kind folk pay for a coffee which staff then give to a poor soul who needs it.

The UoG blog states: “The idea is actually really simple. Instead of buying one coffee, you pay for two. You have your coffee, and the second is later claimed by someone who can’t afford a coffee.”

They admit they nicked the idea from their friends at “fellow conscientious” business Social Bite, who in turn nicked it from Italy.

“They’ve been big on coffee sospeso for a long time,” the blog explains. “It fits right in with our ethos, just like our monthly soupy donations to the Bethany Care Van, which were initially made possible by our Kickstarter backers.

“We’re all friends here.”

The company also plans to extend to “suspended soup” later in the year.

 

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