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The Beerdom Charter

17 May 2012, 20:27

We, the people, declare that our country will never be prosperous or free until all the people can afford to drink Jack Daniels and Johnny Blue. And we pledge ourselves to strive together, sparing neither strength nor courage, until this dream has been fulfilled.

Remember when deputy president Motlanthe proposed a toast; and the ANC leaders raised their glasses to “enjoy champagne on your behalf through their lips?” And there you stood, drooling at the mouth, flabbergasted – wondering why you had never thought of this clever ploy when it was your turn to buy a round at your local shebeen.

Aah, but there’s a difference: he is a politician who has a full-time spin-doctor to write his script, and you are nothing but an ordinary citizen – the man in the street. (Your house has been repossessed because you’ve lost your job, so now you are living in the street.)

You now have four options: (a) get a place on the gravy train, (b) buy your own booze, (c) stop drinking, or, (d) brew your own beer. Being an ordinary citizen, you will soon come to realise that the first three options are not for you. This is because you are (a) honest, (b) poor, and (c) have some serious drinking problems. So, you’ll have to (d) brew you own, Boet!

But first, allow me to digress. (Don’t worry; I won’t do it on your new shoes.)

A couple of years ago, I visited the Nottingham Road Brewing Company in the KZN Midlands – a dangerous place for the unwary. Within minutes of entering the brewery, I was attacked by their vicious *Pye Eyed Possum Pilsener. Viciously. Many times.

The next day I woke up wearing a T-shirt with the logo: “I’m Possed as a Pye Eyed Pissum,” written across the front. And a grumpy wife. And other aches and pains. It was then that I realised that tequila was not the most hazardous substance that I have ever ingested. Possum, Boet, remember the name! Pissum!

(Important lesson here: Just because something looks like beer, smells like beer, and tastes like beer, does not mean it will behave like beer.)


With this in mind, I started reading up on various brewing recipes. Beer has been around for a gazillion years – it was discovered even before fire. How else do you suppose those Neanderthals tolerated those filthy, ugly, obnoxious neanderthalinas that they used to bop on the head with a stick – before dragging them into the nearest cave to give them some more stick?

Before going on a neanderthalina hunt, the cavemen first downed a few pints – keep in mind that the pints in those days were large – they weren’t called pintasaurus for nothing. After a six-pack of pintasaurus, the cave ladies looked positively alluring, and smelled like daisies. (From there the saying: “She’s a six-pack pintasaurus girl.”)

But moving on.

There are thousands of beer recipes and I’m sure you’ll be able to get these from the internet. But, in my hunt for a really BAD, kick-me-when-I’m-down, never-to-be-forgotten beer, I came across this old recipe for making ale.

Warning: Not for the squeamish. Children, bunny-huggers, atheists, gays, and those with weak bladders, leave the room now. NOW, I said!  

COCK ALE (circa the 1500's) A real recipe from some obscure text found in the Scottish Highlands.


"Take 10 gallons of ale and a large **cock, the older the better; parboil the cock, flay him, and stamp him in a stone mortar until his bones are broken (you must gut him when you flay him). Then, put the cock into two quarts of sack, and put to it five pounds of raisins of the sun - stoned; some blades of mace, and a few cloves. Put all these into a canvas bag, and a little before you find the ale has been working, put the bag and ale together in vessel. In a week or nine days bottle it up, fill the bottle just above the neck and give it the same time to ripen as other ale."

Now let us see if the deputy president and his cronies will drink the cock ale on our behalf!

*Great beer!

**Male chicken – also known as: rooster

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