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.

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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.

Day 8 – #12BeersofXmas 2016

Day 8 – #12BeersofXmas 2016

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Brewery – HawksHead Brewery

Location – Staveley, Cumbria (historically, Westmorland)

The Drink: Tonka

ABV: 8.5% – 330ml

Style: Imperial Porter

Additional info: Pale Ale, Crystal, Chocolate & Vienna Malts – Oats.  Cascade, Bramling Cross & Jester hops.  Tonka beans, cacao nibs and vanilla.

Earlier this year I toddled off to the Hawkshead brewery for their annual beer festival and it was a hell of a treat.  One of those rare days where all the transport works and links up and you get a seat on every journey.  You walk in the right direction each time, the scenery around the place is fantastic and the beer and company isn’t half bad too (especially when its, accidentally, Mark from Runaway and Jay nee Quantum).

Tonka I have had before on keg and it was very, very good then, so lets see how the bottled version stands up…

Pouring a thick black with a long last, off-cream-white head the smell is a very subtle dark chocolate.

Lusciously thick and obesely-bodied in the mouth with light carbonation and a smooth nature its taste is dark chocolate, cherries and a slight nuttiness, think liquefied black forest gateaux only less sweet, a more boozy mature version.

Hawkshead are another of those consistently good brewers, able to blend old and new styles seamlessly but seem to drift under the radar and yet are ever present, in short they let the beer do the talking because, well that is how it should be and its all beer needs.

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Day 7 – #12BeersofXmas

Day 7 – #12BeersofXmas 2016

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Brewery – The Spell Factory

Location – Burnley, Lancashire.

The Drink: Spell One

ABV: 7.0% – 330ml

Style: E.S.B

Additional info: Triple Hops of Citra, Cascade and Centennial.  Triple Malts of Maris Otter, Munich and Rye.

Pours a wonderful deep orange with a quickly dissipating white head. The aroma is of any typical lightly malted bitter with a sweet almost sticky twang.

Mouth feel is light and well rounded, smooth with a nice sweet but slightly bitter after taste.  This is very much a beer of balance and precision and I first had this at one of my favourite pubs The Pendle Witch in Atherton (pronounced a-theeer-tun) and I’d highly recommend a visit there if you fancy getting away from tawdry city centre boozers.

If you’ve not heard of the brewery before, that is because it was supposed to be an off-shoot of Moorhouse’s (much like the other bigger family breweries have started their own, slightly more craft, side projects) but this appears to be the only drink they produced.

If it is the only one then it remains a corker.

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Thanks for reading.