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

Monday, 26 January 2015

Here in the pub

Today is the first post in the great beer blog revival. A rage against the dying of the light of beer bloggery. But what can you do to revive beer bloggery? If you don’t have a beer blog, why not? If your partner doesn’t, why not? What about your kids? Get them into beer bloggery, if you have a beer blog post the link in the comments!

A poetic reminiscence of pub life, of a lifelong love affair with the pub and a surprising confession of being adept at the pub karaoke from arguably one of the greats, possibly greatest, of beer writing and beer bloggery, Adrian Turney-Curly-Wurly, renowned the world over for books about revolutions, beer and death. I haven’t read any of them, preferring books about the No1 ladies detective agency, but if it sounds your cup of tea, why not eh?

An old man shuffles in; the barman wordlessly pours and presents a fresh frothy pint of something brown. The only words spoken are “How you keeping, Mike” I don’t hear the response above even the quiet mumblings of the tables and snugs that surround me. The mumbles of contentment frittering along the air and stroking me like a feather falling from the sky and brushing against my skin. I breathe the air, a slight staleness of old ale, warm and comforting as the gentle embrace of an old lover greeting you as an old friend. Memories, history, good and bad. None of it mattering but all poignant and meaningful in the shaping of who we existentially are. I have never been here before but I have visited this place a million times. Reality, dreams, all have merged into a seamless stream of consciousness. I hear the crunch of a salty snack being consumed with relish in the snug sparking a distant hazy recollection of a savory taste quenched with a refreshing fermented malted beverage in the way that beer, only beautiful lovely beer can do.

Yes beer, that old lover that can still delight, surprise and enrich your journey through life, a partner in good times and bad. In prosperity and penury. In success and failure. In hope and regret. A first youthful adolescent kiss with your heart’s desire, a final kiss as you part at a junction in life’s long road. Never judging, never questioning. Accepting. Accepting who you are, what you have become and how you have come to this place, here and now. The ever present, merging all moments of space and time into this one moment. This one moment no longer than the time of a single breath. Longer than a lifetime, for all moments are here. All moments are now. I have always been here. I have never left, yet this is my first time all over again. I take a sip of my beer. The flavor gentle and familiar, yet new and delighting. Touching every part of mouth and slipping down slowly. A moment savored, relished. A single moment in one day, but every moment of every day condensed into this fleeting whisper of time.

Time, that stealer of life, that precious jewel within which every moment exists here, where all senses are both idle but focused on the moment. But the moment of my reverie breaks, shatters as a new moment begins. The old moment is gone, but it will never really go. It will always remain a part of who I am. D.J. Jeff is about to start up the karaoke, I came second last time. Will I win this time? Time will tell, Time will reveal. In time all of its secrets will impart. An old man grumbles. Sheila takes to the microphone. Air turns sublime as sweet echoes fill the empty spaces, the nooks, the crannies, the secret places that exist here and there, within and without, but only really here. My turn is next. I give my all, all I can be, all I want to be, all of that of which I am capable, the soul laid bare, for this one moment.

A gentle applause. Polite more than enthusiastic. Not the applause Sheila received. Second again. The power of love for this pub, for every pub, for every pub is this pub and this pub every pub. More than walls, a roof and chairs. An externalization of an internal and eternal dream. Sheila is gracious in victory, warm and complementary about my song, but the beer in my mouth becomes like ash, salty tears of regret. Only another pint can exit this moment and create life anew. A new moment to embrace, empower and nurture. A new beginning. But at least I win something in the meat raffle. Pork chops. I like pork chops.

It is all here, everything and nothing. The crunch of a cheese and onion crisp, the delight in a cool refreshing beer. All of human life. All of my life. Here. Only here. Never there. Only here.

Here in the pub.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Beer Bloggery Lives!

Someone smarter than me once said that all politics is binary. You are either for or against. You are either yes or you are no. That the politics of consensus does not truly exist and where it appears to exist it masks either a deception or a selling of principles for a price. That we the voter should abhor consensus, coalition and politicians working together and see it for the sniveling cop out it is. We should demand gladiatorial contests of mighty intellects and in the victory of our principles crush our ideological opponents with barely disguised contempt as the new revealed truth emerges from our once considered radical opinion.

The single biggest cultural and political issue of our age is the most noble of all noble endeavors, the path of enlightened beer geekery. The beer geek bestrides the early 21st century as a modern day colossus, a titan, a living god. Intellectual and cultural superiority assured, the trail is of walking a path others can follow towards their own beer nirvana.

Yet questions still remain, still, even now, questions that can only have a yes or a no. The continuation of long established beery tradition or the embracing of new innovative technology, ingredients or recipe? Cloudy or clear? Hop bomb or boring brown? Sparkler or no sparkler? Saucy/offensive pump clip or stylish contemporary design? Exclusive or inclusive pricing? These questions have challenged mankind since we rose from the primordial soup to be self-aware conscious entities seeking an explanation for the universe we inhabit. These questions require the titans of beer geekery to stand and be counted. To have their conviction and intellect questioned and challenged in the all mighty battle of cultural dominance.

But where are they? As the 21st century emerged so was born the greatest art form known to man. I’m talking about beer bloggery. This art form grew organically from the lesser art forms, technologies and human innovations that preceded it. The development of human language, the written word, the printing press, computers, computer networks and the internet. All coming together to finally reach the pinnacle of human achievement. Beer Bloggery.

In the centuries to come, school children in their virtual reality classrooms in space will doubtless study this literary genre and place it on a par with Shakespeare, Dickens and Chaucer. It will be the defining literary fructification of the age. Ask yourself this, how many other literary genres have a guild? However, beer bloggery is in peril. It is a dying art. The world of twitter has reduced the great beery intellectual debate to short pithy assertions, where mob rule towers over cerebral hypothesis. The great beer bloggers of days past now rarely if ever post. What was once a lush garden has become a desert. A post apocalyptic nightmare.

The greatest of 21st century phrenic rumination may whither on the vine. As if the whole of human evolution was a long battle, red in tooth and claw, brutal in pain and death, to see itself flower for only a single summer before the chaos of unreason once more reasserted its dominance.

Well I’m not standing for it. Beer bloggery needs to be saved! It needs to return. Human civilization demands it. To achieve this I have asked the greatest alumnus of beer bloggery to return. To post once more their beery musings. To guest post here. Many have heeded that call and are furiously typing away as you read this. Beer bloggery will not die, it will live and as those guest posts come in I will publish them here. Works of beery brilliance collected and released here. Future generations will have no need to study the ancient lost art of beer bloggery for it will live on and remain a relevant ideal long into the 22nd century and beyond.

Beer Bloggery Lives!