Sunday, 10 April 2011

Beer in society-a competition loser

Since I first started writing this blog, I've come to find that I actually enjoy myself doing it. I'm by no-means a born writer and I make no attempt to hide that fact, but I've had a certain amount of feedback from people and a few actually like reading it (God knows why?) and some even find it entertaining, so for someone who only got a U for English in my GCSE's (I'm not sure if the U stands for Unclassified or Utter shit?)...its pretty good. Back in march, wile I was reading some of the various beer blogs that I look at to fill my days with, I came across a post that was informing people that the Wells & Youngs brewery was hosting a competition for amateur beer writers to write a piece on the social importance of beer...and with £2,000 for 1st prize, I thought I would give it a pop. Well the winner was announced on Friday 8th April, and surprise, surprise it wasn't me. I don't mind because I really didn't think I would win, but I just thought it would be nice to share my entry with you. Enjoy!!

" Beer, glorious beer. I personally think Oliver would of been a far better musical if that was the song in their hearts in that famous seen. Yes, I know they’re only children, but come on…this was the Victorian times. Now I know saying this all sounds rather silly, but I think breaking into spontaneous song about the joys of a good beer sounds just like the kind of thing that would happen after necking a few, don’t you agree?

It never really ceases to amaze me seeing the influence that beer has on how people act and how it can change a social situation in a completely different way then I think is possible with any other form of alcohol, and not just by people acting up and letting loose when being drunk. Nothing beats the kind of banter you get when talking at the bar, pint firmly in hand, as you discus such important matters as work, politics, religion, who on TV you would like to have sex with etc.. such things couldn’t be spoken about over a glass of wine or a gin and diet tonic, it just wouldn’t feel right. Beyond all that fake macho rubbish though, beer just makes you feel more at ease with yourself and with what your doing. Its the drink of the everyman, it doesn’t try to be something its not, it doesn’t demand a special setting for it to be drunk and enjoyed, it can be drunk by everyone, man and women, young an old, Newcastle united fan and Sunderland supporter (although probably not best for them to drink together) and its the only drink other then tea that you can drink in large quantities without getting bored of it. Well you try drinking that much orange juice and find out for yourself.

I think that really though, one of the best things about what beer brings to society is that although people who enjoy beer can be split into more subgroups of fans then you’ll get with any other kind of drink, alcoholic or not, and more so then with any band or TV show. Be it your devout cask ale drinker, your trendy craft beer enthusiast, someone who enjoys a nice cold pint of branded lager and all of the groups in-between, these people are always brought together in the end at the pub. A national institution that’s grinded deep into this countries culture, founded by the need to drink beer, relax, to get away from the stresses of life and most important of all…to socialise. Some say that pubs have changed, they say that you can no longer just go out, find a pub somewhere that you’ve never been to before and be welcomed in and included in the banter at the bar just like a normal regular. Be it in a small village in the middle of nowhere or in London. Being a barman myself and by being a great fan of all things beer related, I can honestly say this just isn’t true. I’ve been to countless pubs and bars all-around, and of course yes, there are some exceptions to this , but the people in pubs are just as open and friendly as they’ve ever been. And the greatest way that this has been shown to me around this sceptred…if slightly boozy isle?? By the offer to and from locals to buy each other a pint.

Beer as been with us, in one form or another, for a long, long time and I expect it will be around for much longer. It’s a necessity of life, some would even say that it was what drove civilisation to be what it is today, I’m not a historian and I don’t know enough about how the world and its cultures developed to be able to prove this theory, but I can say one thing for certain…some of the best things that have happened to me in my life, and some of the greatest things I’ve done, have all been achieved from the love and influence of beer. Who knows how beer will change in the years to come? Some people are worried by the future, believing that beer drinkers are destined to be forced to drink bland, flavourless beers…both lagers and ales, but they shouldn't be. If history has shown us anything, the development of beer can only get better, that’s how we’re drinking some of the best beers ever brewed right now.

Get behind the geekiness that surrounds beer though, and just appreciate that it's there for you, through good times and through bad, at celebrating a new birth and at wakes, at weddings and at celebrating the divorce going through, but also, it's there with you when you're just relaxing, at home or at the pub with friends, just sitting there, adding its own bit of character to the scene, almost like it's apart of the gang."

Hope you enjoyed it. My next post will be some beer reviews and me letting you know how bottling my home brew went. Tutty bye.

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