Time-out on Tennent’s in the Union: a tragedy for studentkind


Sadly, there is no agony aunt column in The Saint. However I have found myself desperately searching for a forum wherein I can air my grievances with what I believe to be one of the greatest social injustices of our time. The issue I have is one which I feel cannot go unnoticed, though I am sure that many of you will be aware of it already, and I don’t doubt that you too are seething with rage over this kick in the gut which we have received at the start of this academic year.

The Union no longer sells Tennent’s.

Now I will admit that I am unaware of the reasoning behind it. Short of the bar manager suffering a breakdown of clear thought, I can only assume that this decision to move away from the diesel that powers Scotland (the petrol being Irn-Bru) is down to either licensing issues or a faltering relationship with the Wellpark brewery. This is however unimportant at this juncture because whatever reason there is behind this outrage, it simply isn’t a good enough one.

The moment I realised that this travesty had taken place was as I stood in the queue for the bar on my first night back in this most northern Monaco. What a blow to the frivolity of the evening that was. The friend in front of me, who I had asked to buy my beer for me due to his preferential position at the head of the crowd of shouting, alcohol-fuelled cattle which always forms around the Union bar on a busy night, turns to me to inform me that not only is he unable to get me a Tennent’s, but that he has instead bought me a Carling.

Now I can almost forgive this faux-pas, on account of this particular acquaintance’s possession of an American passport. This means that he did not realise that the injustice he had just done to me was equivalent to promising someone a million pounds, and instead kicking them in the nuts, sleeping with their spouse and then giving them a large gas bill.

Tennent’s is a blue-blooded beer; one of pure standing, noble kin and fine breeding, whereas Carling has a receding chin, seven webbed fingers and gout. I damn near kicked it out of his hand. Of course I didn’t (my mother raised me well) and I graciously accepted the vessel of stale cat urine which he was proffering, but I was inwardly feeling like someone who thought they were going on a Tinder date with a pure stunner and turned up to see Steve Buscemi fiddling with his cutlery.

What distresses me most is that my academic children (who I am raising this year) will never experience the joy of buying a Tennent’s in the Union for £2.40, and experiencing the cool flow of that king of refreshing alcoholic lager beer rushing over their taste buds, stimulating each one as it plummets to your core. So many first years are missing out on this, and don’t try to tell me that I could get it elsewhere, because there’s something about that low, low price tag which makes the taste of it just so much better. Nothing can truly replace the beauty of a Union Tennent’s and now this opportunity has been taken from them. I know that Theresa May isn’t big on the Human Rights Act, but this really takes the biscuit.

It is because of my disgust at this lack of decent alcoholic sustenance in the Union that I have set up a petition on change.org (accessible here: https://www.change.org/p/st-andrews-students-union-bring-tennent-s-back-to-the-st-andrews-union ) in order to try and restore order to the universe.

I urge you, the reader, to sign the petition as soon as you can. The issue at hand is urgent, and it needs to be addressed. When future historians look back on the epoch we are now entering, they will see this decision as the reason for the decline of this great town, and will lambast us for not taking action. This is our call to arms, the day we take our stand against an injustice which cannot be allowed to fester in the heart of our beloved town.

To stand idly by and accept what has to be the worst decision since Nixon thought ‘I’d really like to know what the Democrats are doing today’ would be not only letting a lamentation of the Union’s decision to deprive us of ‘Scotland’s favourite pint’ and a call to arms the university down, letting your parents down, and letting your children down, but also it would be letting yourself down.

You know what the right thing to do is; sign that petition and we can get the change this town so desperately needs. I’m willing to take this to Holyrood if I have to.

You can take our lives, but you’ll never take our Tennent’s.



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