This missive comes to us from Colonel Wort Spargearm, chief defender of the crown over at The BeerCast.
Communication between our great nations appears to have dried up recently, becoming as rare as a spare Shilling in an Irishman’s pocket. Allow me to remedy the situation with a report from the Queen’s Country, as to the current state of the proud industry of beer. As you may be aware, things are afoot here, as ever, that serve to demonstrate to any Gentleman the increased attention granted to our beloved beverage. I shall attempt to purvey this information over the subsequent paragraphs.
Regrettably, I must begin with a tale of woe – one that naturally strikes a chord with many of your compatriots in the colonies.* Taxation, sir. The joyful flagon of ale is under threat! For years hence, the turn-screws in our Government have raised the taxation levied on our beer – to date, us Britons pay the highest rates of duty in Europe! The dastardly Teutons pay a mere fraction of what we must – I fear our regiments sent East are taunted by the moustachioed foes over this very issue.
*Particularly those sons of the Massa-chusetts. I gather the loyal men of the New Hampshire will know little of what I speak, however.
On the first day of November hence, however, our Parliament shall commence debating this issue, following a collection of a majestic 100,000 signatories. The hated Beer Duty Escalator will be discussed. Ale-loving Britons will hope that the elected men of honour will reverse this evil method of gaining monies for the exchequer. I, however, am of the sorry opinion that as the very men who established such a grievous taxage are debating – why should they rescind such?
Elsewhere across our bejewelled Nation, upstarts and braggards are at work, sirs! I speak of the rise of those types who enjoy their ales chilled, as if iced for a summer’s afternoon! The storage of these beverages – I hardly dare refer to them as beer – in barrels made of metal, is surely an affront to decency. I trust you share my opinion that metal is best used to forge sabres and cannon to quell the uprisings of the aforementioned Europeans. However, the younger Gentlemen seem to prefer this type of ale? Whatever next?
I shall tell thee, sirs. It has also come to my attention that certain of the brewers (and, I opine, our fair lady brewsters) are selecting to retain the sedimentation in their ales! For many ages, the British beer has been clear, sparkling and as bright as the eyes of a noble gun-dog. Now, this movement appears that asserts these so-called ‘unfined’ beers are more natural, and taste the more pleasant. I cannot agree. Call me a traditionalist, but I find nothing ‘fine’ about those ales.
I fear we are at the cross-roads here, sirs.* The old-guard – and I rise with anger at the thought of myself as such – are becoming unsteady, bamboozled upon all sides by poltroons who insist on cold, fizzy ale of enormous alcoholic percentage. Our taxation has increased to levels that would make a Yankee revolt, sirs! (many apologies if this comment is deemed as ‘too soon’). If the blaggards in Parliament do nothing to reverse this tax, I shall proceed at once to pour barrels of the Indian Pale Ale into yonder Thames. Or I would it were not stored in d****d metal kegs!
*Cross-roads being the intersection of two streets, meeting at right-angles. Our latest town-planners swear by them, but I am led to believe they have yet to make it to the colonies.
I shall keep you to date with events periodically, as befits the relationship of Gentlemen founded in adversity.
Colonel Wort Spargearm (ret’d)
PS – In answer to the last question raised in your previous correspondence – if t’were up to me, I should relocate Messers Calagione and Koch (Junior) to the Antipodes. But I fear even that distance would not be an inconvenience to them. Good day.