Archive for November 2nd, 2007

A nasty surprise for those who had hoped that some parts of the pubs and brewery heritage would remain after the closure of Young’s brewery in Wandsworth, South London.

This is what the developers want (From the Evening Standard):

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It is time for The Session again, when beer bloggers around the globe blog about the same theme. This month it is hosted by brewer Tomme Arthur at the Lost Abbey, one of the great American micros I have yet to try.

I’ve not been too good at following up on the Session, but here is my contribution on Beer and Music.

I am sure there have been songs about beer and drunkenness since the civilizations in the Middle East started cultivating barley and millet same milennia ago, but they are unfortunately lost to us. There are plenty of beer songs still around, though, but are they what we really need?

There are a few well known German beer songs, but they are, frankly, not very sophisticated. Fine if you are sitting there in a tent with your third two litre stein coming up, perhaps:

In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus, ein, zwei, zuffa…


Trink, trink Brüderlein, trink….

The British Isles are awash with more or less Irish laments to pubs and drinking, be it Whiskey on a Sunday, A Pub with no Beer, or, the ultimate:

I’ve been a wild rover for many a year

And I spent all my money on whiskey and beer….

Is this what we want?  No, nay, never. No nay never no more!

In Scandinavia, there are drinking songs old and new. Some of them are focusing on the idle life, To pilsner i en snor efter en båd, others are connected to students,

Ja, at alla bäckar vore brännvin

Indalselven full av bayerskt öl….

Fine again for consuming large quantities, chased with an aquavit, but it is not what we are looking for.

I think we must cross the pond, as the genre that really has a range of beer songs is country music. Some of them are majestic. Close your eyes and hear Johnny Cash sing the words of Kris Kristofferson:

Well I woke up Sunday morning with no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt

And the beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad, so I had one more for dessert

Then I fumbled in my closet ’till I finally found my cleanest dirty shirt….

Yes, it is poetry, but it is not very uplifting, is it? I could list dozens of country drinking songs, and they fall into two categories. One is the Tear in my Beer type, which connects the liquid with darkness and sorrow. The other is the Let’s grab a six-pack and then go down to the honky tonk, which hardly focuses on the qualities of the beer involved, and it is closely linked to similar songs about bourbon.

What we need, ladies and gentlemen, is for someone to step up and sing us a song about craft beer. Not cold beer, not a lot of beer, not beer diluted by salty liquids.

I envisage a mature singer-songwriter. Guy Clark, perhaps, who writes his own songs, builds his own guitars and writes songs about tools that work, about friendship, about home grown tomatoes. His last album is called Work bench songs.

Tornado time in Texas,

strips the paint right off your barn

Tornado time in Texas

blows the tattoo of your arm.

He could write us a craft beer anthem. Any other nominations?

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