I realise its Christmas day and I should therefore be wrapped up in bed awaiting Santa to come down my chimney (or something) but am wide awake and the festive mood is making me feel a little mischevious.......
With thanks first of all to Mr Q for the word Bellers, I thought I would share, almost as literally as I can, this run down of all that happened when six or seven corpulent whingers entered a bar popular for its kegs and cans and bemoaned almost every aspect - only for some to stay for more than a pint each.
I was sat near the bar, likely with my friend T-Dawg, but also likely by myself, enjoying a chat with the staff. The unwieldy hills of flesh arrived in a doughy trail and immediately started moaning at the range of beers. "You aven got enni bitter on then?" one asked in a thick West Midlands accent. The barman admitted his failure in life, but pointed the assembled party in the direction of Brass Castle Comet, a single hop pale ale, nearer to the unedifying dullness of bitter than anything else.
One by one the portly complainers tasted the beer and mostly scowled. "ooh, ooh, its gorra twang, its gorra twang this as" said one, about 47 times. "ooh thass oppy innit. Ooh no. Far too oppy....." Much mumbling followed, yet mysteriously, apart from one who had a gin (but was likely not part of the group) all had the Comet, apart from one who had a stout....
We none bellers continued our convivial chat whilst they sat down, saying loudly "iss really disappointing this place innit" and "oi expected a traditional bitter like that Barnsley they ave over the road". Even more perplexing than their choice of venue, was the comment by one that "ooh no, Commit is faar too oppy to be suitible forrah single op beer". As opposed to what? Target? First Gold?
Its important for me to point out by the way that this is not a criticism of their preferred beer style. Not at all. If all they drink is bitter then they probably damn well know a lot about it, and its good to be clear about what you like, and would prefer. My issue is, why come to a bar renowned for its keg lines and range of cans and bottles to drink bitter? They were heading to the Wellington next - and Gav from Neepsend who turned up as they were leaving was quick to point out that Neepsend don't brew a bitter and were very unlikely to have one in at the Wellington.
A couple of rogues in the crew stayed for another pint if memory serves, whilst the majority of the lumpish crowd shambled off with their broken dreams hanging in the air, and their ripe disdain fizzing on the seats they had sat on.
I think that my Dad is very set in his ways when it comes to beer but his main enemy is strength rather than the horror of ingredients or the rueful spectre of interesting flavours dirtying his long loved beers. These guys and girls far outstripped WF in terms of narrowness and determination to not enjoy anything new. And that is saying something.
It's their loss in the end, so I feel sorry for them, but equally there's no need to go round pissing in everyone else's sherbet because the ice cream is too cold. Perhaps its time to lighten up a little?
On a number of levels.
Your very best health!