If you wanted to annoy a Scot – and who wouldn’t? It’s hilarious – you could remind them that the modern kilt, that iconic symbol of Scottishness was an English idea, and came about when Mr. Rawlinson of Lancashire wanted his workers at t’ ironworks to get a move on and stop loafing about in their traditional but obviously daft full-length tartans, warmth and dignity be damned. You could remind them that the name of one of their greatest medieval philosophers is now a byword for idiocy for no better reason that no-one could be bothered figuring out what he was actually on about. You could remind them of Aberdeen (sorry, but hey, you know I’m right). You could remind them that their oldest and greatest independent brewery (which just happened to be Belhaven) was finally bought out in 2005 by the English, and this, their “Scottish Stout” was launched in 2007. Now I’m not saying it’s an English creation, but…well in any case there remains something to say about it that may or may not go down well.
Sorry to interrupt the irregularly scheduled Hop Rockin Peet posts, but it’s time for a bit of guest blogging. Over here in Canadia, Queen Victoria’s birthday is celebrated around the 24th of May. It has largely come to mean the start of summer, a long weekend, fireworks, and most importantly, a celebration of beer. For those that don’t know, the next most common unit of beer, after the six pack is two dozen, or twenty four. Round these parts, it’s called a two-four. May 24. May Two Four. Seriously, that’s the colloquial name for the holiday. Look, after surviving a long winter, the hungry bears of spring, and maple syrup induced delirium, it doesn’t take much for a Canadian celebrate this day with great enthusiasm. Continue reading
Around the World in 80 beers episode 1: Spain
Some explanation is in order here. In looking into the feasibility of doing a world tour of sorts inspired by the Phileas Fogg journey it becomes clear pretty quickly that following such a route would not at all be a beery trip these days. I’m not sure all the countries he went through still exist, let alone produce beer, let alone produce beer available in New Zealand and furthermore depending on certain international maritime boundaries possession of said beer would probably land you in a fairly unpleasant prison at some points of the journey. So that’s out. Continue reading
It’s good to make fun of the English, mainly because they deserve it, but we’re running out of things to tease them about. They’ve got the Ashes, for starters. The whole bad teeth thing? Yeah, not so much as it turns out. And I really can’t make fun of their weather, not today. Above all though as an Australian I grew up mocking the English habit of drinking beer ‘warm’ – which is never really all that warm in England anyway of course – but again, after too many distinctly average Australian beers which must be drunk brass monkeyingly cold to protect the unwary from actually tasting the stuff I am prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt if they can justify it with decent, balanced and interesting brews. The Black Sheep Ale – which is, a bit disappointingly, I admit – not a dark beer, is recommended to be consumed at 13 degrees which is currently well above room temperature. So, warm then. But I shall have to put my mocking hat away. Without ruining the surprise too much I think I can say I get it now. It’s delicious. Continue reading
An auspicious day, this. May the first, international worker’s day, when sweaty layabouts worldwide belt out the Internationale almost as if it still means anything; neopagan Beltane, which really should be Samhain here, the end of the harvest and the beginning of the dark half of the year, marked with the opening of gates to the various netherworlds. It is also the feast day of St. James the Less, an epithet I am not going to mock if his dead-but-not-really spirit happens to be out and about (though if you’re reading this, zombie Jim, it’s not as bad as being remembered as Charles the Fat or Charles the Simple or George the Worryingly Mad and they were all kings). But it’s also tightarse Tuesday, and I choose to commemmorate the day with another cheapie from the nasty end of the shelf, the Crest Super.