Most people are aware Christmas has some religious roots, and those who know me know I am a religious man. I know what your thinking, and although I was lead vocalist for a death metal band in my university days I am not a Satanist. For my religion I decided to combine the well known and respected religion and discipline of Jedi with the discipline, art and science of brewing. I call it; Brew-I.
As I am a follower of the brewing force I myself am obliged to conduct rituals to follow it. These include brewing, enjoying great beer and reviewing it in my personal notebook, assisting brewing activities at work, as well as educating those less strong with brewing force about the wondrous world of beer. Alongside me are masses of followers of craft brewing, many of them at one with the brewing force. But these unknowing followers can be broadly categorized as ether followers of the force (ones working in the brewing industry or pub trade, or simple beer advocates), High priests (those who write or speak publicly about the beauty of beer), or Warriors (brewers and head brewers). Here are some examples of these righteous ones.
Brew-I followers: Beer Nut, Dave (Daleside No1 Dray), Gus Odlin (John Bull, Alnwick)
High priests/orators of the brewing world: Pete Brown, Melissa Cole, Jeff Evans, Mark Dredge etc.
Brew-I warriors: These include the practitioners of the brewing art; Martin Dickie (Brew Dog), Craig Witty (Daleside), Randy Mosher (also classed as a priest), Ed, John (more hops) Mayer (Rogue), Alistair Hook (Meantime), Woolpacker Dave, and the artist formally known as Wurst.
Ok I suppose Brew-I isn’t a real organized, established religion, but arguably it almost could be. In my quest so far I’ve read so much material from enthusiastic young (and old) bloggers and beer writers, been to events such as Beers of the World, GBBF, and discovered hundreds of diverse, well crafted beers brewed by brewers skilled and passionate about their craft. On some occasions I have even been lucky enough to meet the brewers themselves, and have the autographs to prove it. But lets not forget amongst all these hero’s, that at the centre stage of all this culture, history, tradition, passion, science, art and new wave radical brewing revolution pandemonium, are our friends…… The yeast.
But the thing is with this whole star wars/brewing world comparison is that its almost explainable. You can almost see the similarities between Darth Vader and his powerful empire trying to conqor the galaxy against the rebel alliance just like how InBev-AB dominating global beer markets against the groups of smaller rebel craft brewers. Then most fittingly you have CAMRA (the Wookies), the great Michael Jackson beer hunter (Yoda), and Obi Wan Kenobi (Randy Mosher) alongside many other comparable figures I could probably think of if I thought hard enough.
But I suppose in real life things arn’t so black and white. Like Pete Brown once mentioned the beer industry needs big brewers, small brewers, governing bodies, consumer movements and so forth. It’s all part of the natural balance of the force. It seems that most are in agreement that the real evil lies with the governments tax hiking reaction to binge drinking thinking it will solve something (or just make it look like they are tackling the problem whilst getting more revenue in the process) and the neo-prohibitionists who feed off statistics directly influenced by young chavs getting boozed up on cheap supermarket pap.
So to conclude let us say a prayer…
Our lord Jackson, who art in heaven, beer hunter be his name. Give us our daily beer…
That is all on my religious views, may the brewing force be strong with you.