Beer Flies and The Sopranos

If you’ve not seen The Sopranos this post may contain spoilers…

Beer Flies

I’ve worked in 3 main environments in my employed life; in bars, in breweries and mainly in laboratories and in all three flies were a problem.

You’d think in fairly modern lab environments that creepy crawlies wouldn’t be a factor but they always find a way in.  Through doors, through windows left open in the hotter summer months, through fume cupboards and extractor vents.  With all the nasties I’ve inhaled over the years you think that those chemicals would be a big enough deterrent for these critters but no, there they are, what was a pristine working surface when you left for the day is returned to in the morning to be met with a fly somehow doing backstroke in your mobile phase.

For me, most of the bars (or cellars) were relatively flying pest free, the biggest problem is always at the brewery.  A lack of storage space in most pubs will see used casks thrown outside, most of the time not sealed and lord what a grand job cleaning fly eggs out of cask is. Bar flies are not included in this piece, loveable rogues that they usually are.

I’m not a fan of chemical weapons; watching something slowly twitch its last as its mitochondrion cease respiring is never pleasant so the short, swift splat against whatever surface they are resting on is preferable, or the Mr Miyagi school of snatching it out of the air is also employed, usually without chopsticks.

Though I find that every time I do this I consider what the fly is thinking; one minute buzzing around, bumping into things, smelling the sweet wort of the final beer and looking for a way into the fermenter, the very next moment – nothing.  Obviously at point of death they aren’t thinking anything at all but in some ways this then gets me thinking about…

The Sopranos

I was bought the box set of The Sopranos many years ago and finally, over the course of the first few months of 2017, got round to binge watching it all.

When it comes to TV series it started with the original run of Oz, which despite being bumped around the late night schedules of Channel 4 (UK), I was still able to catch most of it.  I never watched 24, save the very last episode of Season 1.  I can chalk off Breaking Bad, Games of Thrones is still ongoing for now and The Wire still remains my personal favourite but a lack of The Sopranos always seemed to hang over my head, so I settled in to watch it.

The series was originally shown on Channel Four and when this happened I caught precisely, one opening credits sequence, one scene of Lorraine Bracco, a Rottweiler and a vending machine (which obviously made little sense at the time) and the last few minutes of the final episode, which everyone had banged on about but again made little sense in any context.

The scene is famous for a long and protracted diner scene in which Tony Soprano (the sadly deceased James Gandolfini) waits and meets the arrival of his wife, his son and maybe eventually his daughter, all to the sound of Don’t Stop Believing  by Journey.  As they discuss mundane family matters, the bell in the diner rings to announce the arrival of each new customer and each time Tony looks up to see if its his daughter, then over the course of some onion rings the bell rings, Tony looks up and then the screen cuts to black.  There is a wait of some 30 seconds before the credits roll.  The ending baffled most, mainly because of its ambiguity let alone the suddenness of it all.

Personally I never saw Tony as anything more than the gangster he was, on my scale he didn’t even measure up as an anti-hero but the ending still have a hard impact despite not being wholly loving of the main protagonist.

There are many videos out there discussing what the ending means and a very good one that picks out “clues” from the preceding few episodes to point to the fact that Tony died.

Swift, short, sudden and the victim was totally anonymous to their own death, in essence just like squishing beer flies.

Who wants a protracted death, body flooded with chemicals that are only palliative, far better just to have the lights turned off.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

One thing I can agree with Tony Soprano on is this…

 

Prequel: If Beer Was…

If Brewdog Was…

They Live

This past weekend, a reincarnated ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper took a trip up to Aberdeen, Scotland.

 

 

On the way there he was given some sunglasses which caused strange things to be seen when he tried them on…

 

 

 

He then found his way to a meeting of, well he didn’t know what to make of it…

 

 

 

He snapped at the gathering…

 

 

The more loyal members of the fan club became enraged and went on the attack…

 

And sadly Roddy and his morals were no more…

The moral of the story is, you never know what you are buying in to…

…or who you are drinking a beer with…

 

Thanks for reading…

 

 

 

 

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Today in “What? Craft Beer is a Business?”

For the 1st of March 2017…

Brewer offers lots of money for Sales Rep

– probably getting paid more than most brewers out there

Distribution Company that once tried to sue craft brewer buys controlling interest in craft brewery

Halewood extends into beer with Hawkshead Brewery deal

 

Punk Brewing Gods issue Cease and Desist to Pub

Heineken Trolls Craft Beer with their own words

– while also buying loads of UK pubs to annoy everyone else in the beer world.

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Day 12 – #12BeersofXmas 2016

Day 12 – #12BeersofXmas 2016

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Brewery – Torrside

Location – New Mills, High Peak, Derbyshire

The Drink: With Strange Aeons

ABV: 10% – 330mL

Style: Imperial Stout

Additional info: Gyle: 47 (a – parti-gyle), Bottled 25/11/16, BBE, 18/05/22, Artwork by Emma Sidwell, Suitable for those who shouldn’t be handling the new plastic £5 notes.

One of the many insults that stuck with my from watching Red Dwarf as a child was the word Goyt, when I venture around New Mills that one of the rivers around that area shares the name always brings a childish chuckle to my cockles.

Another thing that I ponder while drinking this Lovecraft named beer is – is ‘The Thing That Should Not Be’ the worst song on ‘Master of Puppets’ by Metallica, answer in the comments?

No head, little carbonation but do you want them with an imperial stout, answers in the comments?

Pours thick and black and leaves an alcoholic haze when swirled in the glass, to the nose and taste buds it is sweet dark chocolate and lightly roasted coffee, a smooth and silky mouth feel with a warming after taste, perfect to have by the fire at Christmas time, or next to the radiator in February.

Brought to you by…

 

 

Thanks for reading.

Day 11 – #12BeersofXmas 2016

Day 11 – #12BeersofXmas 2016

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Brewery – Sacre Brew

Location – Wolverhampton

The Drink: Creme de Stout

ABV: 4.7% – 330ml

Style: Mint-Chocolate Stout

Additional info: Batch: MCC011, BBE: April 2017

Pours a dark brown with a good strong cream-brown head (despite my over zealous pour) which retains well throughout and in general the drink is carbonated very well.

Light mint on the nose, like sniffing an After Eight through its weird wrapper, but also distinct malty and toast notes I associated with a good stout.

Mouth feel is a little fizz but well rounded if slightly too thin for my stout requirements.  The taste is light mint which works well in complementing the burnt malty stout taste, also has a nice bitter twang right at the back end.

All in all a very nice stout.

Brought to you by…

I will teach myself the solo this year…

 

Thanks for reading.

Part 2: If Beer Was…

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

 

Bill the beer communicator starts the hysteria even though he too is getting jaded but its OK because the adoring crowd only hear what they want to…

 

Who can take a mango
Add it to a brew
Mix in some more chocolate
and pray for a miracle or two?
The brewery man can
 candyman
Who can take some fruit pulp
Making beer drinkers sigh
Under carb it too
and make a lemon meringue pie?
The brewery man
The brewery man can
The brewery man can cause he mixes it with lactose and makes beer taste a dud
And the beer doesn’t taste like beer cause the brewery man doesn’t think it should

 

After a while the lucky few are led into a magical world of beer production and can’t believe some of the shenanigans that take place but they are enthralled, even hypnotised…

1inlzl

Come with me, and you’ll be in a world of pure Humulonation.
Take a look and you’ll see into your imagination

We’ll begin, with a spin
Travelling in a world of intrepid beer creation
What we’ll see will defy taste explanation

We don’t really brew beer right
We just throw some shoes into it

Grapefruit juice, passion fruit
Our new DIPA
Taste like raw sewage

1inmam

 

Then some odd looking beings appear and begin to sing words of warning, little attention is paid to them…
lookofit

 

Oompa Loompa dump in some glue
I’ve got another beer for you
Omni Pollo get in the fucking sea
If you are wise you’ll listen to me
What do you get from a glut of fad brews?
A massive beer gut and bad Untappd reviews
Why don’t you try simply drinking a mild?
Or would you just run hide?
F.O.M.O.
F.O.M.O.
F.O.M.O.
F.O.M.O.
Just throw in more Dextrose
dextrose

 

Oompa Loompa Doompadee Dah
If you vary your drinking you will go far
You will live in happiness too
Like the Old blokes
In a pub do

 

By now those that remain wish are getting a bit narked, they were expecting one off launches, the hype wasn’t paying off, one poor minion snaps…
verucatantrum
No, now!!
I want a brew tap
I want a party
Craft beer bottle hauls and a million food stalls
And performing for the lols and …
Give it to me

Now!

I want the latest
I want the real scope
I’ve got the fear
It’s my freelance career
Give it to me
Now!

verucanow

 

Willy Wonka knows how volatile the brewery industry can be, he laments the trouble that is possible ahead…
There’s no earthly way of knowing
Which direction beer is going
There’s no knowing where we’re rowing
Or which way the market’s flowing
wwchicken
Is it raining, is it snowing
Is it Willamete or Goldings?
Not a speck of light is showing
So the heavy murk is growing
Are the fires of Hell a-glowing
Is the Galena reaper mowing
Yes, the danger must be growing
My hop contract is surely slowing
But they’re certainly not showing
Any signs that business is growing

 

Then, only a few could reach maximum velocity and so the rest were cut to pieces trying to get through the great glass ceiling.

 

wonka

 

 

Thanks for reading.

Beer & Food Pairings – Careful Now

Twitter polls are fun – it seems Sunday’s are the time for beer related ones and other that the regular #hopinions that Beer O’Clock show pods loving fires out on God’s day there was one and a subsequent blog piece by the former Ale Bastard now more journalistically savvily named Yes Ale

The poll was about whether beer and food pairings were possibly going to become common place in, what I suspect was certain places.  I was adament it wouldn’t be the case, in fact I’d go as far to say it probably won’t ever be but it was actually his blog that reminded me that after a random day drinking around Manchester centre, myself and a group of acquaintences had ended up at the Red’s BBQ place and I had noted that most of thier meals came with beer suggestions, all of which were ultimately ignored, by everyone at the table.

I like food, I like it a lot.

I like beer, I like it a lot.

The two together – nope.

This is merely a personal and actual physical thing where on my palate both things are ruined rather than complemented and it isn’t a case of not finding the right pairings because for some odd reason, probably to do with the occasion and general vibe, constant eating at a beer festival is easy, a sit-down meal with a side of beers, far from it.

The closest I thought a good pairing would be considered menu worthy was a sorachi ace beer (I forget which one, it isn’t important) with a meat dish with sriracha chili sauce and that is about as well to do as it gets.  Give me pub snacks with my pint, or stodgey festival fodder and you’re laughing but that is me chosing what I want to eat with the beer I’ve chosen, what I don’t want is for the beer to be chosen for me.

I noted  when last at the Alphabet/Grub Brewery Tap that happens most Saturdays in Manchester that they suggest food to go with the beers.  Convieniently each beer goes with a food from each food stall and of course they are only suggestions, there is no compulsion but sometimes nothing beats a pint of bitter with those odd packets of Ploughmans.

The wineification of beer won’t happen but I fully expect quite a few people to make quite a bit of money out of people before most realise they’ve been conned into a taste of a lifestyle that their pay day loans won’t support.

One finally thought, with so many beers desperately trying to be more like food and be as far away from beer as possible, why bother pairing it, just keep on guzzling down murk bombs stuffed with lactose and fruit juices and save money by buying a few packets of Cheese Moments.

 

Thanks for reading.