A Beer Burka

The Seasonal CAMRA Festival Must-Have

Pirate performer ‘mortified’ after she is told to cover up her cleavage at beer festival

When Wigan CAMRA host their “treat adults like adults” annual beer festival they usually have a theme night where you can get free entry if you are dressed as that year’s festival theme.

Being Wigan, everything is generally related to pies and rather laboured puns.  Puns which would probably turn the stomach of the puritans gleefully filling the pages of pumpclip parade

This year, 2018, it was a PIE-lot.There has been a PIE-King (that’s a pun on Viking, clearly cultural appropriation) and a whole host of other that despite searching for images and being to lazy to walk to my glass cabinet to check the artwork, I can’t be bothered to delve in to only to point out that there was once, of course, a PIE-Rate.

So where as modern feminists leap with joy as young women lose jobs as walk-on girls in darts and grid girls in motor sports, because, you know, women should have choices just not 100% there own, so too it would seem that CAMRA, as they try and “revitalise” and after a few recent to-dos and as they succumb to the inevitable supersessionism that is spreading through the beer world like a virulent yeast infection they have now gone full circle and over to the other side.

A side inhabited by the virtuous, the puritanical, the zealots.  Those against choice or even actual equality.

Whether future CAMRA festivals will feature dress codes for women, remains to be seen.  Perhaps it might depend if the festival is held in a place of worship where alcohol is acceptable but what a woman wears is subject to patrols by their approved modesty police.

Or maybe everyone can take a breath, behave like adults, so trying to feed into an “us vs them” mentality and actual approach life and all its aspects with rationality and clear thinking.

It can happen.

Maybe.

 

Thanks for reading.

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Hitler had the Right Idea. He was just an Underachiever…

 

I love Bill Hicks.  One of the last great stand-up comedians out there and very much missed.

If you watch the video from 52 seconds to 1 minute, then that is where the title of this very short piece is from and of course taken as just that quote you’d be thinking…wow, that is quite a nasty thing to say.

If you were then to watch the full 2 minutes and 52 seconds of the video, in fact it you were to search for the whole set, you’d see it in its true meaning and form.

You know…

CONTEXT

 

Thanks reading.

The Very Modern Deaths of Pastor Niemöller and Voltaire*

“I don’t agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

It wasn’t Voltaire that said this, it was *Evelyn Beatrice Hall who was….well, here is a link to explain it.

 

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

– Pastor Martin Niemöller

 

I don’t know, you get a title in your head, you draft a piece and then a few weeks later, news and current events take a hold and you have to edit the piece accordingly.

Or rather just strip it down completely as there isn’t much to add to go along with these quotes, brevity of these few words and simply looking at people’s reactions to news is better than a rambling ball of nonsense from me.

We live in interesting times (which is the title of another upcoming blog piece).

 

Thanks for reading.

A Joke – Highlighting the Joke that is UK Justice and Freedom of Speech

 

If you’re in the UK you may not be able to see this video…think about that…

I’d been meaning to write about this for a while but figured I’d let is play out to an actual verdict and while the sentencing will happen in April the sentence for telling a joke has been passed.

Guilty of being Grossly Offensive.

The story is that a young internet comedian called known as Count Dankula, who actually has one of the more lovely Scottish accents, thought it would be funny if he could take his girlfriend’s Pug (Buddah, no sure on the spelling, blame the lovely accent), a cute, loveable, soppy looking dog and make it unappealing by getting it to react to certain phrases and commands.

He posted the above video (which you should probably watch for context…and for a good laugh, using a VPN) of said dog reacting to phrases such as “gas the Jews” and taught it to give Sieg Heil salutes and watching the speeches of Adolf Hitler.

Yes a dog watching the videos of Hitler is apparently not funny.  Not even not funny but as of sentencing today, Grossly Offensive.

A quick look on Dankula’s twitter feed even suggest that he may be tagged and subject to being placed under house arrest in what is lovingly called a “Restriction Of Liberty Order.”

This is the state of Scotland today.

This is the state of the UK today.

This is the state of Free Speech in the UK today.

There isn’t much more I can add, call it a logical fallacy but the slippery slope has just been tipped further towards tyranny.

 

Thanks for reading.

Edit: Someone put up a mirror to the video, so people in the UK should be able to see it, for now.

 

One in the Pink, Brewdog in the Stink

 

I feel cheap linking to Brewdog, I feel cheap writing about it

It is quite simple to grab attention these days but the relative shit storm that greeted this huge virtue signal warms my cockles.

It appears I have to be kept in all beer/twitter related rages via my mates on Whatsapp, then like prodding a sore tooth I step foot onto said social media platform and then disappear down a rabbit hole of shit for an hour.

Of course in this wonderful age of mainly faux outrage, trying to look like you’re at the forefront of equality and not just using it as a cheap marketing tool is always going to be difficult but as with anything Brewdog related, it is just being talked about that is enough, positive or negative in unimportant.

Of course what needs to be clarified, when parody is not enough is this…

THE GENDER PAY GAP IS FUCKING BULLSHIT

Terrible maths built on top of agendas of rage built on foundations of shit of every kind.

But I suppose if I genuinely had a liking for Punk IPA I might stroll into their Manchester bar and simply demand my 20% off Pink IPA as, at least for that day, I will identify as a female.

The politicising of the most banal things infests everything these days.

Black Panther was made out to be something greater than just a super hero film with black actors in it, when everyone fawning over it seemed to forget about previous heroes films like Hancock (Will Smith) or the good, great and dog-shit Blade Trilogy (Wesley Snipes) to name a few.

Same goes with Wonder Woman the previous year. In fact one cinema in the US hosted “women only” showings of it.  Then had to append it to “identify as women” to full assuage the temper tantrum brats out there.

Wonder Woman and Black Panther were/are successes because the general public want to see a good, entertaining film; gender and race seldom enter into it.  If everyone was so pumped for Wonder Woman then perhaps Justice League wouldn’t have been a major flop.

Why am I talking films?  Because if I may suggest that all beer is also actually a craft (and not craft, if that makes sense), then like films and music people are injecting segregation.

It is not about equality or finding a balance, it is becoming an unnecessary need to find and sew division when there needn’t be any.  The “with us or against us” diatribe is a nonsense but it is playing up big time both in the entertainment industry and it would seem, the beer world.

And like I don’t care who stars or directs or writes the films I go and see, I just want to see something good, nor do I care about the gender behind the mash paddle; it could be a 3-headed elephant like creature with 5 breasts, 3 vaginas, 2 penises and a plethora of gonads and I would not care a jot as long as the beer was good.

One final thought on this subject of segregation, while swimming through twitter shit I saw this…

Now I can firstly assume that the women only tasting is also open to those who “identify as a woman” too but either way after being told that beer has to be more inclusive it seems a sad indictment that, private entity or not, the wonderful Rutland Arms, the organiser(s) of Sheffield Beer Week and Ladies that Beer would think this was a good direction to go in.

I know the theory behind it, I understand it, I simply don’t agree with it and if equality is supposed to be some kind of virtuous and moral stance then this, well it’s discrimination isn’t it?

Plus I’m wondering if the staff at the Rutland Arms will all be female for the 2pm tasting too?

Meh.  In the end I obviously cared enough to write this piece about it but this is just a distillation of events that lead to disillusionment.  The above are genuine questions, so if anyone reading this wants to point this piece in the direction of those involved then the comments are always open (pending spam block) for replies.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Bolton CAMRA Beer Festival – The Wokest of Woke

So after the jollity of the 29th Bent & Bongs beer festival in February and the recently passed 31st Wigan CAMRA beer festival next up will be the Bolton CAMRA beer festival held at the Ukrainian Club (not to be confused with the other Bolton Beer Festival, now held at the Macron Stadium, that was once held at a rugby ground in a giant awing heated by jet engines that caused condensation to drop from the roof into your pint).

I thought I’d quickly search twitter for any news on beers and was greeted by their most confusing of pinned tweets.

More prominent stand against sexism?

I don’t know what that means.

There is a physical stand, the ones made of wood, against sexism where one can view leaflets and other materials?

If this is going to be the case then I’ve never seen a stand dedicated to being against sexism in all the times I’ve gone to this festival so anything, as opposed to nothing, is always going to be more prominent.

Might there be a physical stand, the ones made of flesh legs, where people will protest against sexism?

This, again is not something I’ve witnessed at beer festivals past, so it will definitely be more prominent.  Though if it is this type of stand being taken and it happens while I’m waiting to be served I will be slightly miffed.  If this is the case I hope there are times displayed around the hall to highlight when these stands will take place.

Perhaps there will be a stand with the CAMRA commandments on it?

Again, new so obviously more prominent.  Then again B&B and Wigan managed to pass off (and have do for 3 decades) without the need for this.

I guess people in Bolton and Manchester are more sexist and this is required in this little backwater towns.  Who knows?

And on the food stall at Bolton I’ll trust you can also purchase a word salad to go with your beer?

 

Thanks for reading.

An Interesting Beer Interview

Despite being out of the beer loop it was quite a surprise that I had an interview, perhaps a none broadcast pod-cast, fall in my lap quite recently.

I’m not one for conspiracy theories but it does seem a bit odd that I was never made aware of it whilst I was part of that most exclusive of clubs.

Anyway, I present it to you for your own delectation; transcribed as best as I can, all spelling and grammatical errors are mine, as you’d expect.

 

Interviewer (I): Hello, its everyone’s favourite blue-haired beer communicator Simon Jessica Wrighton, here for another episode of “Beer, its a really fucking serious business” and I’ve yet again braved not only stepping outside of London but also, being in the North of England, outside of Manchester and Leeds, to bring you this interview with John, brewer and owner of Common Sense Brewing, here in [remember to add which backwater town this actually is].  So John, as most of our readers and listeners might not know about you and your beer please tell us a bit about yourself.

John (J): Well, my background was in science and I home-brewed for a number of years and then, following a small lottery win I thought I’d see how well a hobby could grow into a business and if I could make enough to leave science and hopefully earn a living doing something I preferred, while being my own boss and hoping that I didn’t end up hating it.  8 years on, so far all 3 of those criteria have been met.

(I): And tell us a bit about the beer.

(J): Well, we brew a variety of beers, your pales mainly, we have a bitter, a mild, a stout and sometimes I try and dabble in what seems to be on trend in the beer world.

(I): So would you say you’re more of a traditional style of brewer or a more modern, forward thinking brewery?

(J): I brew what sells really.  Obviously my main market is my local area and it has a more of what you probably call a traditional feel to it but they all seem willing to try anything.  Likewise I can sell to wholesalers who can ship it around areas it isn’t really practical for us to reach.

(I): Give us an insight into the set-up of the brewery.

(J): Well it is a one man operation, I…

(I): Person.

(J): Sorry…

(I): One person operation.

(J): Er, OK.  So I’m the sole person handling the brewing, sales, admin, accounts, marketing and everything else in between.

(I): So you don’t have anyone else on your staff.

(J): Not at the moment no, I’m handling things quite well as I’ve have done since I started.

(I): But in the future you may need to employ some other people to help, possibly from other ethnic or gender backgrounds?

(J): What?

(I): You’ll be an equal opportunity employer?

(J): Well, yes, because I think it is the law.

(I): So you might end up getting a woman to help out.

(J): I suppose so, but if the time ever comes I’ll get whoever is best qualified or suited to whatever role I need filling.

(I): So what you’re saying is that you wouldn’t employ a woman?

(J): Where are we going with this, I thought I was here to talk beer and brewing?

(I): Yes, of course, but I’m sure our fans want to know that they won’t possibly be buying your beer knowing they are funding someone who doesn’t believe in equality.

(J): Sorry? You’ve lost me, but look, if the time comes I’ll advertise a role, interview whoever applies for it and then make a decision based on what information I’ve gleamed from them and their CVs, but this seems to be a hypothetical discussion so perhaps we should just talk about the present?

(I) Yes, of course. Tell us a bit about your most popular beer.

(J): Right, it is a very simple 4% pale ale.

(I):  What is the grist make-up?

(J): Just pale malt with a bit of wheat for head retention.

(I): So you don’t use any black malt?

(J): Er, not is this particular beer as it is a pale.

(I): But you do use black malts?

(J): Well yes, in my more amber and red beers and I of course use chocolate malts in my mild and stout.

(I): So what you’re saying is you’ve not yet brewed using all black malts yet?

(J): Er, no because I wouldn’t get beer, at least beer as we know it, out of that.

(I): Don’t you think you should at least try?

(J): I could try but experience and the general science behind brewing says that I won’t get beer from it.  If we are still talking about beer that is?

(I): Yes, of course we are.  What is the hop profile?

(J): I use Admiral hops for bittering, I use Admiral for bittering the vast majority of my beers just to keep it simple and cost effective.  The aroma comes from liberal use of Mosaic hops.

(I): Do you use more Admiral or more Mosaic?

(J): Erm, Mosaic but that is because of the nature of the beer.

(I): So why not use more Admiral?

(J): Because that isn’t what this beer requires.

(I): So you’re saying that Admiral and Mosaic aren’t of equal value?

(J): Eh? They both do important jobs but both are quite different in the jobs that they do.  Seriously pal, are we still talking about beer?

(I): Touched a nerve have I?

(J): No, you’re just confusing me with this line of questioning.  Is there anything else I can answer for you.

(I): Yes, of course.

(J): Is it about beer or brewing?

(I): Of course it is.

(J): Ask away then.

(I):  Why don’t you maintain quotas for how much hops and malts you use?

(J): What do you mean by quotas, I record all the weights I take on my brew sheets if that is what you’re getting at?

(I): Good.  So you’re saying we could look through you’re brew sheets and see how equally you spread your use of hops and malts.

(J): What do you mean equally?

(I): To make sure you use everything equally.

(J): What?  I can’t use everything equally, that isn’t the nature of the beer I make.

(I): So you’re saying you don’t use hops and malts equally?

(J): Well, they do completely different jobs.

(I): So they aren’t equal?

(J): What, hops and malt, are we talking by weight?

(I): Yes.

(J): Well, no, as I just said, they do different jobs and they can’t be compared as being equal.  There is no like for like comparison.

(I): Not even as an average?

(J): What? Especially not as an average.  Honestly, are we still talking about beer here?

(I): Thank you John, thank you for your time and a highly revealing insight into the brewing practices up here in [remember to add name of this rainy backwater].

(J): Er, thank you.

 

 

 

Thanks for reading.