An artisanally crafted blog curated by Cooking Lager for discerning readers of beer bloggery

Monday, 12 April 2010

Of Barbeques, beer world cups, and foreign climes

My beer blogging today was going to be a bit of a rant against the killjoys and snobs that are against cheap supermarket lout. At the risk of labouring the point, this blog is about entertaining myself, and the lovely cheap lout, entertains me so. I was distracted by the beer world cup, blogged about by the fragrant Melissa Cole and possibly even more fragrant Zak Avery. I couldn’t suppress a chuckle. A beer world cup? I had a mental image of a subbuteo game with cans of lout dressed up in mini soccer shirts. With Zak playing for England and getting knocked out on penalties in the semi finals by our German cousins. Then I got to thinking. It’s actually not as ridiculous as I think. Beer is a global product. Everyone in the world likes a beer.

The famous Frank Zappa quote says it all. “You can't have a Real Country unless you have a BEER and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a BEER.

The whole world plays soccer, so you can have a world cup in that game. The whole world likes a beer, so you can have some sort of competition too. It’s less stupid as having a world cup for games the whole world doesn’t play, like rugby, cricket or World Series baseball. If the world doesn’t play, it ain’t a world cup.

But unlike soccer, where the world plays to the same set of rules (although may interpret them slightly differently and accept blatant diving in the penalty box which is only okay so long as it is us diving), I doubt the world plays to the same set of rules when it comes to beer.

At the risk of exposing myself as a beer geek I once went on a brewery tour. This tour was in a foreign land, and my excuse was I was there on business and I had a free day before my flight. So I got on a train & bus and went to a brewery of a beer I had gotten quite a taste for during my stay. It was recommended to me by some lasses I met in a beer garden, and a couple of them joined me on the jaunt. I wasn’t fooling around. I’m a good boy. The squeeze has nothing to be concerned about. But when you are in a foreign country, having a beer with your new project colleagues, and some pretty girls talk to you, it is possible to make platonic friends with beautiful young ladies. Now if I were single, I would be telling a different story.

On this tour came the inevitable tasting of the breweries products and I talked to an Austrian couple that had travelled specifically to do this tour. Austrian beer geeks. Of this couple were an extremely knowledgeable beer geek lady (who collected bottle caps, go figure) and her slightly bored lady friend, lesbian lover, life partner. Heh it’s the 21st century. Now I took a liking to them both. Nothing pervy. Two pretty foreign lasses, who are at it, do not have me thinking lavicious thoughts. Okay so I lied there. Yes I did spend part of the conversation thinking about them at it with each other, but I also paid attention to the lady beer geek’s views on beer. Namely that the beer we were drinking was the world’s best beer (it was very good, but no it wasn’t) and her view that English beer is by and large terrible (a lot of it is undrinkable piss, though not all). I’m no defender of pongy ale, but I got her point. The flavour profile of UK ale is quite different and when it comes down to it, it is a matter of taste.

With no common rules in regard what beer ought to be made of, taste like, look like, smell like, can you have a world cup? The game is different in every country it is played. Is not one Austrian lesbian’s nectar, another’s bland industrial pop? Uncle Zak Avery’s superb full flavoured IPA would no doubt make an Austrian lesbian gag.

Nevertheless I enjoyed the tour, and was quite disappointed the 2 pretty girls I’d gone along with, were not lesbians. I’ve not been on any other brewery tours. I’m not a beer geek. I might go on another in similar circumstance of wanting to fritter away a day of my life, but that won’t make me a geek either.

I am still laughing at the notion of a beer world cup, though. Aren’t you glad such things exist?

I’m no longer in the mood for my cheap supermarket lout rant. Suffice to say I had a delightful weekend, enjoying the lovely weather and yesterday saw me attending a barbeque in a friend of the squeezes garden. Cheap burnt meat, salad, cheap wine, cheap lout, and I loved every minute of it. Maybe it was the weather, but being in the company of people isn’t that bad when the sun shines.

The country seems to be full of small minded prosperity guilt riddled middle class tossers that dislike the notion of people enjoying themselves in the sun, with a barbeque of cheap steaks, salad and cheap grog. They would prefer it to cost twice as much. They would prefer it if matured organic beef were to be burnt to a cinder on the barbeque rather than a tray of cheap steaks from the supermarket. They would no doubt prefer it if the cheap lout and cheap bottles of wine cost an arm and a leg more. They might even think we all ought to have jolly well gone down a pub. You may think that yourself. If you do, bugger off and leave us to enjoy the little sun we get in this country, and the ability of people to throw an informal get together of friends that doesn’t cost a packet. The day was delightful and would have been no better for more expensive fair. Sit in your gloomy pubs, have a moan, and let cooking lager enthusiasts enjoy all that is cheap and cheerful. Pathetic rant really. Not got the energy in the sun.


Montague said...

Go get 'em Cookie! I do think Avery should be off limits though. You've got Dredge and the retarded FABPOW! You've got Curmudgeon and his love of smokers rights. Herr'man ranting and raving about beery politics, and countless other experts giving us their 5 cents. We're screwed. Every day new ones pop up because they had the brilliant idea to blog about beer. Tasty lady on this post. Perhaps you should post more nudes???

ZakAvery said...

Cookie, I'm not really sure who you're ranting against. It seems tome that you've made lots of friends, and the love-in that is the beer blogosphere has accepted you for what you are - lout and all. Even I admit that lout has a place. Even I drank a bottle of San Miguel the other day

And it's the World Beer Cup, not the beer world cup. You should have a look at their <a href=">categories</a> - I'm sure lout is in there somewhere.

ZakAvery said...

Oops, I forgot to close my quotes: WBC categories here

Cooking Lager said...

It wasn't a rant against you Zak, for what its worth I think your a nice enough guy sharing his passion. It is my shame to sometimes be amused by it, as I may be amused by anything slightly eccentric. It's not even your world beer cup that made me smile.

Beer doesn't have rules, and when those that think it does decide one is better than another, because of those rules, it doesn't offend me, it amuses me. Your opinion is valid, as is anyones, but it amuses me when people think an opinion matters.

The only thing I'm agin' is the argument for minimum pricing. I'm not even agin' those that make such arguments, just the argument itself.

All the rest of it is just laugh, and if I was less lazy or cleverer I'd make better jokes than ones about beards.

ZakAvery said...

Awww, group hug!

I know you're not digging at me Cookie - but do take a look at the WBC categories and the Beer Judge Certification Program, that should give you enough cause for concern.

And I think it's perfectly fitting that you indulge my harmless obsession with some harmless joshing.

Barm said...

I deny that lout has a place. Cheap beer is great. Germany is awash with it, some of it brilliant. There's no justification for crap beer when there's so much great beer in the world.

Tandleman said...

"the WBC categories and the Beer Judge Certification Program, that should give you enough cause for concern"

Should give everyone cause for concern I'd have thought.

Matt said...

Even the world beer cup has room for lout - Pabst Blue Ribbon scored a silver.

Miller Lite has won a good in 96, 98, 02 and 06 - ouf course for the American style Light Lager.

Martyn Cornell said...

Even I drank a bottle of San Miguel the other day

Me too, Zak -'course, mine was the original Philippines version, not the Spanish colonialism-in-reverse brew … ('twas, too - nice bottle, fired-on label).

Mark, said...

If all you want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague away kit and some cheap grog then you have my blessing for what it's worth. I'm not in the market for dictating preferences to the wider world, just getting on with enjoying mine (and sharing a little of that passion).