Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas time approaches and the shop is open!

Only two days to Christmas, but the shop is open and we're getting better at using the card machine with all the good folk popping in for minikegs of Santa's Swallie for the Festive Season.
We're open for off-sales tomorrow 10-4pm and even on Christmas Eve itself (Saturday 24th) with yours truly between 12 - 3pm. On Saturday I'll be doing tastings in the shop, perhaps with my puppet alter ego (thanks Johny & Sìma from Liberec in Bohemia who carved and clothed me). As you can see I am quite partial to a fine glass of Ossian...
Look forward to seeing you.
Have a good Christmas and be good to your beer!
Slàinte, Nollaig Chridheil is Bliadhna Mhath Ùr!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Beer is Art - Can Art be Beer?

I've often thought that Brewing is an Art, some say a Black Art, but I would tend to promote the concept of the result of Brewing, that is, Beer, being Art, since the activity of Brewing itself has more than a touch of Alchemy - turning base materials into something precious. Beer undoubtedly is a thing of beauty, deemed valuable and, moreover, gives satisfaction too, and it could be argued that there can be nothing more enticing after a hard day's work than a foaming glass of ale, created by the brewer as artist for his or her patron, the customer.

Whether Art is Beer is a more difficult question to answer, but I have been assisted in this task by the above installation. I took the photo in Prague, at Klub Architekturu, in Bethlehem Place, back in April this year. The tank drilled out with hundreds of holes to give it a giraffe-like look is a former 200hl lagering tank. Beer would mature inside for months before heading off for racking into kegs. Here as an Art Installation it underscores the power and might of the yeast in the maturing beer, creating the bubbles of carbon dioxide at the near freezing temperatures of the lagering cellar over the 2 to 3 months of maturation. The holes cut into the the tank represent the these bubbles. Art as Beer? Well I think so.

I'm off to Prague tomorrow morning to bring back some of this incredible yeast so that we can brew some more of our Sunburst Pilsner and if I'm lucky I might find some more art to share with you.

Na Zdravi,