In my imagination, sometimes the discarded brown bottles of the city sing out to me. They want to be rescued. They want to be washed, scrubbed, cleansed, like seabirds plucked from an oil slick.
I called the beer “A1 Nut Job”. It’s got peanut butter in it. It originated in an encounter that made me think of Sigmund Freud and his musings on Doppelgӓngers and the “unheimlich”. I like to imagine Jack Nicholson saying it in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Why was Dany Prignon – the George Best of Belgian brewing, its Richard Feynman, its Doctor Who, if you will – enquiring after my drinking habits?
The pungent, earthy rind of a Saint Nectaire and the startling acetic bite of Duchesse de Bourgogne ensured that this journey into a wildernesses of flavour was not for the faint-hearted.
Whereas Belgian beer embodies the togetherness-in-diversity of the national football team, German beers assert their regionalism with all the heat and aggression of a local derby.
The most common advice that experienced homebrewers offer to first-timers is, “Try something simple.” So I set my sights on one of the most admired beers on the planet.
Had Nietzsche only thought to set up a couple of buckets he might have discovered, in brewing, the familial link between Denny Conn’s notion of fun and his own concept of “joy”, entwined with, and inextricable from, regret.