Oh how I love an occasion that lends itself as an excuse for themed beer to have an outing….NOT!
Yes it’s St Georges Day of course and the bars will be full of them, “George’s Morning Glory”, “Old Dragon Breath”, “EDL Special Brew” etc etc etc. You’ll be able to walk into thousands of boozers across the land and say I’ll have a flagon of that, or should that read “a pint of that with a flag-on”…. (sorry)
Come on though, is it really necessary, are we all so shallow that we’ll order a pint of whatever “it” turns out to be, just because it’s called something remotely English, St Georgie or with a hint of Dragon?
Turn away from the bar and look at it again, it’s beer, there’s no George cross on it now and I’ll hazard a guess that it’s light brown and tastes of damp cardboard with the word hop written on it in crayon.
Well if that’s your thing and you’ve just bought one, I hope it tastes shite as more fool you for buying it.
I’ve a suggestion, we could just make it “lets have some really tasty English beer on the bar day” and choose to buy or stock a delicious beer, brewed in England on a day like Saint Georges day and actually enjoy our celebratory pint, or am I just a miserable old git?
Once more into the breach dear friends once more, or close them up with our English dead. William Shakespeare – The Life of Henry the Fifth Act 3 Scene 1
I’ve never been a big fan of old Will Shakinspoke in all honesty, although I recognise his literary brilliance of course it’s just never really “been my bag” so to speak. But today, St Georges Day, 23 April 2012 it was this passage that popped into my head when I thought about writing this post. It’s a long and passionate battle cry as the King leads his men into battle, many to their certain death and it sends a shiver down my spine when I hear it. (see video clip below for the full piece in action)
Now I’m not suggesting we all pop across the channel for a punch up, (although it is then only a short hop to Belgium), but it seems we English seem a little reserved when in comes to our own patron saints day. Yes, we change our Facebook and twitter icons to a George cross or similar and perhaps don the old footie shirt, but generally speaking all English passion and patriotism seems lost when it comes to actually recognising and celebrating the days passing.
The same can’t be said for example on St Patricks Day. Our pubs are decked out in emerald-green and folk flock to our pubs in search of a pint of the black stuff, comedy leprechaun hats donned and the Pogues and The Dubliners CD’s dusted off. Yes through years of clever bombardment marketing the good folks at Guinness have many an English person convinced that they are temporarily Irish for the day, so that we ditch our normal choice of beverage for the “official beer of Ireland”.. (Out of interest, what do Irish folk think of that, is it the same with you, or do you just sit back chuckling at our foolishness?)
Checking Google, apparently it’s Greene King IPA. It’s also Marstons Pedigree, Wells Bombardier and even errr “Carlsberg” (presumably as it’s brewed in Northampton etc). Surely Google can’t be wrong? (I bloody hope so)
An open question then for debate, chat and mulling over. History aside, what beer typifies modern Englishness, be that a style or an individual brew and if you had a choice of any English beer to raise a glass with today, what would it be??