Saturday, 13 December 2008

Beer Theory

I'm more of a cider man than a beer drinker, especially when I've got my pirate voice on (Oi'll juzt be having a noice point o' scrumpy zoiderrrr, thankee), but on beer I have opinions. For instance, beer foam is to beer proper as chocolate is to cocoa powder, as wombats are to wombat dung, as a superior thing is to a not superior thing. This is because it is frothy, bubbly, fluffy, because it licks at your moustache like a schnauzer with a damp nose, because you can almost eat it, because it is like the magic stuff at the tops of the waves when a southerly wind beats across the surface of the sea. Whereas beer is a bit like urine, only more fermented (which is why beer drinkers commonly refer to "being on the piss", partaking in "a piss up", "popping down the pub for a swift half pint o' wee", etc).

Many beer drinkers think that the less foam the better the beer. This is because foam contains fewer molecules of beerness per cubic centimetre than beer proper, so that a pint half filled with beer proper and half filled with foam will comprise less beerness than a pint filled substantially with beer proper and merely garnished with beer foam. Indeed, if your goal is to consume maximum beerness regardless of all else, beer proper will serve your purposes better than beer foam. That seems to me a Philistinish goal.


JahTeh said...

Never mind the beer, Baron, just hop outside and call a halt to the rain. I know it's your fault we're up to our necks in it but building an ark right before Christmas is a big ask.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Fraid the rain's a little outside my purview, but I'll pop a pair o'purple wellies in the post.

genevieve said...

This post reminds me fondly of Young Einstein's experiments.

Have a bubbly Christmas, then.


Ampersand Duck said...

That has put beer firmly in its place. I don't like the stuff, never have, not even the foam; the mere smell of beer makes me nauseous. Give me a good cider any day, something that is increasingly hard to find in pubs and shops. Strongbow doesn't cut it for me anymore, too... too... just *too*, ever since I discovered the local pub's own brew served on tap.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

It's silly stuff, beer. In these times of fiscal discipline, people should seriously consider bottling their compost heaps - the results would taste much the same.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

That's right, Young Einstein was a foam afficionado, wasn't he?

Anonymous said...

There was a lovely scene in the doco series "The Story of English" of some ancient Somerset residents, interviewed in their local hostelry.

"Ooohh, arrrr", said one, "that scrumpy, that be evil stuff, it be. Killed my old man, it did. Course, it took ninety-odd years to do it . . .".

A very efficient drink, is cider. It doesn't waste any effort - or any alcohol - on foam. And of course, for sinning purposes, it's excellent, being part of an unbroken line that leads from the apple all the way to Calvados.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

The apple is a lovely thing.

TimT said...

I don't know how you can all say such things! Beer is delicious. Also healthy! Consider:

- You can keep on drinking water until you poison yourself. You can't do that with beer, it has an inbuilt safety mechanism - eg, you'll fall asleep before you poison yourself.

- Alcoholics are a boon to medical science, as they kindly and thoughtfully pickle their innards with their liquor of choice every day of their lives. Water drinkers, not so much.

- Beer has notable aesthetic properties. What could be more beautiful than a golden, sparkling pint of lager, the light catching in the bubbles as they drift to the surface? NOTHING. That's what!

- Also: mushrooms, fried in butter, with beer and chives added to the end? Could there be ANY sauce more delicious and nourishing in the history of the UNIVERSE? I DON'T THINK SO!

As for cider, well, I have only to point out the following:

There was a young lady of Ryde
Who ate some green apples and died.
The apples fermented
Inside the lamented
And made cider inside 'er inside.

Case closed!

Shelley said...

What could be more beautiful than a golden, sparkling pint of lager, the light catching in the bubbles as they drift to the surface?

What a delightful image.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

I'm just home from a Christmas party where I had my first ever experience of mead. Now there's a liquor I could get the hang of.

Shelley said...

Mead sounds so romantic. I really must try some.

Red Wombat said...

From experience, I can say that to be honest I see little relationship between wombat dung and beer, but your post has perhaps clarified a mystery for me.
Back in my yore days in Newtown, pubs had a tendency to serve beer with excessively large frothy heads on them (sometimes in depths commensurate to the entry of a soviet submarine).
I had always thought this was due to the stinginess of the publicans and their servants, but perhaps it was an attempt to attract a better kind of crowd - one which appreciated the aesthetics of the frothy frothness in their erudite moustaches.
Again, however, I must disagree with your characterisation of beer. As nice as cider is, it is little more than gone-off apple juice, a substance I regularly find in my fridge without even wanting it there.
Beer, on the other hand, is a product of such beauty and art that it lends itself to commodification and overconsumption in the most pleasant of ways.
Finally, on mead. Having brewed the stuff since before I could spell Reykjavik, I can safely say it's an awesome tipple, unless its' too sweet. But it suffers from one key defect - it lacks the peptic-relief mechanism of bubbles, a sure friend in a time - such as this - of too much food and drink.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Red Wombat, you sound like a tippler of some experience, whereas I'm a card-carrying member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union ("Suffragettes not Suppositories"), so I'll defer to your wisdom on the subject of bubbles. As for beer versus cider, we'll just have to agree to disagree.