Tuesday, 16 June 2015

The annual hop contract again

The opening in the forest was large, with a central island of refuge guarded by two men. Boxes upon boxes of hops towered behind these two crafty types sporting beards and tattoos. No one could remember what brewery they were from it was another new one. Piles of empty casks were stacked like sand bag walls here and there. "What can you see?" whispered the head brewer to the MD with his binoculars nestled in the undergrowth. "Motueka.. At least five boxes. Galaxy, Citra, Ella" he scoped across "Amarillo and Equinox on the right, and on the top. Simco". "Right" said the Head brewer. You distract them by throwing some of these nuts from the mash tun door while I go round the side. "Wait!" Said the MD as he inspected some more. "Land mines, the whole area's covered in them except for one path". "Right boss" he replied "I take the path you draw the other beard out got it? Now GO GO GO!!".

The head brewer broke cover, armed with a mash paddle heading towards the huge central mountain of hops whilst big beard (obviously a head brewer) moved outwards to find where the falling metal nuts were coming from. Suddenly, to the left, another younger bloke breaks cover, obviously the cask washer/assistant charging menacingly with a shive extractor in hand. Theres a 'WOOOSHH' through the air as Head brewer launches a C-spanner directly at him to take the youngster to the ground. Approaching the stack of hops the bearded brewer brandishes his weapon of choice to stop the intruder. The clever bastard had connected his transfer pump to his sparge arm to make a deadly makeshift propeller of death capable of decapitating apponents.

Head brewer bracing gripped his mash paddle as helicopter blades of death approached, spinning menacingly fast. Theres a sudden 'BOOM' as the other bearded brewer steps on a land mine. This distracted the sparge arm wielder allowing head brewer to hurl a 5kg sack of malt from his rucksack straight into the baldes. A cloud of malt dust fills the air startling to disarm the propeller wielding assailant. Head brewer quickly charges to bludgeon his opponent to the floor with his mash paddle. Immediately he's surging for the top of the hop mountain the look of sheer joy, excitement and relief on his face.

"Simco! I've got the fuckin Simco!!" he cries victoriously lifting the box of hops. A crippling blow suddenly comes from behind as an empty cask is launched at his back. Another more well-known head brewer runs over with his brew clan to start taking the boxes. They had obviously been hiding in the undergrowth also, waiting for the right time to strike. "c'mon lads grab as much as we can, quadruple IPA back on the brew schedule next year". As they were leaving they didn't realise one thing. That the MD from the undergrowth had quicky linked up the land mines with trip wires and placed drums of liquid caustic umongst the booby traps. The result was of course carnage.

Could this really be the future of hop contracting in the brewing industry? Which hop merchants would be televising 'The Lupulin Games' first (from a fully controlled arena)? What do you think?

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