On Beer (2)


“The sacred pint alone can unbind the tongue…” James Joyce, Ulysses

They are particular about their drinking vessels at the Moon Under Water, and never, for example, make the mistake of serving a pint of beer in a handleless glass. Apart from glass and pewter mugs, they have some of those pleasant strawberry-pink china ones which are now seldom seen in London. China mugs went out about 30 years ago, because most people like their drink to be transparent, but in my opinion beer tastes better out of china…

… to be fair, I do know of a few pubs that almost come up to the Moon Under Water. I have mentioned above ten qualities that the perfect pub should have and I know one pub that has eight of them. Even there, however, there is no draught stout, and no china mugs.

George Orwell , The Moon under Water

Thirstily he set it to his lips, and as its cool refreshment began to soothe his throat, he thanked heaven that in a world of much evil there was still so good a thing as ale.”

Rafael Sabatini, Fortune’s Fool

 ‘I see,’ said Karl, staring at the quickly emptying basket and listening to the curious noise which Robinson made in drinking, for the beer seemed first to plunge right down into his throat and gurgle up again with a sort of whistle before finally pouring its flood into the deep.    

Franz Kafka, Amerika

Oh, this beer here is cold, cold and hop-bitter, no point coming up for air, gulp, till it’s all–hahhhh.”

Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

Here’s to your health, said Kelly. Good luck, I said. The porter was sour to the palate, but viscid, potent. Kelly made a long noise as if releasing air from his interior. I looked at him from the corner of my eye and said: You can’t beat a good pint. He leaned over and put his face close to me in an earnest manner. Do you know what I am going to tell you, he said with his wry mouth, a pint of plain is your only man. Notwithstanding this eulogy, I soon found that the mass of plain porter bears an unsatisfactory relation to its toxic content and I became subsequently addicted to brown stout in bottle, a drink which still remains the one that I prefer the most despite the painful and blinding fits of vomiting which a plurality of bottles has often induced in me.”

Flann O’Brien, At Swim-two-birds

Fill with mingled cream and amber,
I will drain that glass again.
Such hilarious visions clamber

Through the chambers of my brain.
Quaintest thoughts Queerest fancies,
Come to life and fade away:
What care I how time advances?
I am drinking ale today.

Edgar Allan Poe   Lines on Ale

There is an ancient Celtic axiom that says ‘Good people drink good beer.’ Which is true, then as now. Just look around you in any public barroom and you will quickly see: Bad people drink bad beer. Think about it. 

Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Beer’s intellectual. What a shame so many idiots drink it.

 Ray Bradbury The Watchful Poker Chip of H. Matisse

I don’t think I’ve drunk enough beer to understand that.

 Terry Pratchett, The Last Continent

“[Barnabas speaks] “I will drink water.”

“Water? But water is not fit for men to drink. For the cattle, for birds and beast, but a man needs ale . . . or wine, if you are a Frenchman.” [William answers]”

Louis L’Amour, To the Far Blue Mountains

“There is this advantage about German beer: it does not make a man drunk as the word drunk is understood in England. There is nothing objectionable about him; he is simply tired. He does not want to talk; he wants to be let alone, to go to sleep; it does not matter where— anywhere.”

Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men on the Bummel

I’d tried to straighten him out, but there’s only so much you can do for a person who thinks Auschwitz is a brand of beer

 David Sedaris  Naked

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