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Alcohol Might Get Through Brexit... But Not In The Way You Think

07/11/2016 11:58

Nearly half a year on from Brexit, and with little-to-no real end in sight of the horror we have voted upon ourselves, silver linings look increasingly distant with every "Brexit means Brexit" uttered by the Conservative front bench. For one thing our economy is, to put it mildly (and Britishly), buggered in a way that almost makes you pine for Cameron's austerity measures. Almost.

The Great British Pound has gone down la toilette after Brexit, along with other Great British traditions like free movement, human rights and Bake Off. So what do the people of the UK have to cling to in order to make themselves feel like the future may still be theirs?

The answer might be found, in that equally British of ways, at the bottom of a bottle.

Alcohol could save us

As the great epic poet Homer said, alcohol is "the cause of and solution to all of life's problems."

Brexit may well have happened because of drunk voters, or at least one politician who enjoys posing with pints to prove he is a 'man of the people'. But now, alcohol could cure the the Brexit hangover, hair of the dog style, helping you to forget the cataclysmic decision we wrought upon ourselves. At the very least, it could help you forget The Hangover Part III, another cultural fiasco we're still living with the consequences of.

But don't go full Bukowski. Much like John Goodman in The Hangover Part III, there is nothing drinking can do to salvage this total mess. Instead, selling the alcohol could be your saving grace.

Yes, the pound may be down the drain, but don't start thinking your booze has to go the same way just yet, because it could be worth a fortune.

How do you know if your alcohol is valuable?

Each alcohol, be it beer, wine, spirit or ghost, has its own criteria for what makes it worth money. At the moment, the whisky market is doing particularly well, with sales of American whisky reaching $72 billion last year. The wine market, on the other hand, has seen better days.

Whisky is often produced in smaller batches than other spirits, which massively ramps up the price of any given bottle. The extreme example of the Dalmore 62 came in a run of twelve, each released at separate times; the most recently-found bottle sold for £125,000. Experts cite other factors beyond the liquid itself. For true connoisseurs, the age or even the colour of the whisky bottle will play a role in whisky valuation.

Still, if you do have any bottles of wine gathering dust in a cellar, it is still worth examining them; just because they're old, there's no guarantee that they will be either good or worth money. Use a comprehensive list of wine valuation guidelines to check their value - wine experts demand "readable labels" and have a vendetta against "capsule rust".

Think carefully about whether you want to sell your alcohol now for a quick post-Brexit fix, or if you want to keep it as an investment, hoping that someday it will be worth more. Perhaps it could come in handy if the pound goes even lower than David Bowie in 1977 or Flo Rida's shorty in 2008.

Alcohol could help us with non-EU trade deals

Alcohol won't just help us out personally, it could prove useful when negotiating trade deals with non-EU nations. I don't just mean getting the Chinese Premiere drunk enough to sign the dotted line (but that probably would help).

British alcohol is perhaps surprisingly popular with some foreign buyers. Chinese tourists are known to spend up to £50,000 a trip on British whisky. One visitor was even willing to brave the snowy heights of Aberdeen to pick up Macallan Blue Label from the distillery. With such clear demand from abroad, it is definitely worth putting whisky on the table during trade negotiations, perhaps to work out some kind of import/export arrangement to save Chinese tourists flying out to the 'deen.

But ultimately, it all boils down to whether or not you really want to get rid of your alcohol in the first place. If you have a sentimental attachment to a dusty Dalwhinnie or a spurned Suntory, don't feel obliged to flog it just because you fear the worst of Brexit; more lucrative times may yet lie ahead for the humble single malt. As with selling anything vintage, how much it will be worth is likely to be something of a crapshoot. If you have a copy of The Hangover III on DVD or blu-ray on the other hand...

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