Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A story of, the glory of, beer

Two Pints of BitterEvery lunchtime he would walk all the way across St Albans, passing a dozen or pubs or more, to the one house in the city that sold the Bedford bitter.

His performance never varied.

As he entered the public bar he would raise his finger and Ken the landlord would reach for a pint glass and fill it as David walked to the counter.

He never rushed.

He looked at the pint for a moment or two, waiting for the beer to settle and the head to form. Then he would reach for the glass and fleetingly hold it up to the light, savouring the crystal clarity and tawny colour of the beer.

Then, and only then, would he put the glass to his lips and despatch a good third of its contents. A great explosion of pleasure, a long orgasmic 'Aaaagh!', accompanied the return of the glass to the bar.

David would suck the foam from his moustache and then say to the bar and to the world in general all that needed to be said on the subject of the quality, the pleasure, the unalloyed brilliance of his beer:
'Not bad that.'

And, that's why I make beer.

[That splendid passage is the conclusion to The Great British Beer Book by Roger Protz; the likewise photograph — Two Pints of Bitter — was the winner of blogger Stonch's Visions of Beer contest. ]

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