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October 6, 2008 | by  | in Opinion |
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Some sober reflections on beer

If all the beer produced around the world was put into cans – and there are some people who would probably think that was a very good idea – the resulting stack would go from the earth to the moon over 35 times. Just like that, you are smarter than you were a minute ago. That figure kind of puts my old flat’s can wall in some sort of perspective.

We were terribly proud of the over 5,000 cans meticulously stacked up in the living room. Well-deserved hubris took the form of a medium-sized night-time earthquake. I was under the door thinking the house was collapsing before I realised the tremendous racket was actually the sound of 5,000 cans falling over very, very slowly.

The next morning, we squeezed the cans into the car, took them to a recycling station and used the $34.25 to buy more beer on the way home. Those cans learnt the hard way that what goes around, comes around.

After an introduction so tangential it would make Professor Nigel S Roberts exclaim “my word, what an awfully tangential introduction,” it is time to announce that this is my final beer column for Salient. Perhaps next year another writer will step into the breach and produce three-part exposes on “Flame Beer – Why it Rocks.” Judging from the mailbag, there is a strong demand for that article from at least one student with a blue crayon and poor spelling.

Writing the beer column for two years has been a lot of fun. Perhaps my favourite column was the one slating the execrable Mash beers, and it is certainly the one I still get the most comments about. I have tried without much success to claim credit for the fact that the beers disappeared a few months after the column appeared.

In terms of beer regrets, I do regret not writing enough about the marvellous talking Mad Butcher figurine the nice people at Lion Red (“Leon Rouge”) sent me. I should have also written more about the drinking exploits of the late, great Andre the Giant.

I have enjoyed the occasional letters to the editor about the columns, whether they called me a hero (I’m not, I’m just an extraordinary guy doing extraordinary things) or belittled my ability to handle beers of 5.3% alcohol. The editors too – Steve and Tristan – were absolutely outstanding because they never changed my copy. I wish all editors had such a laissez-faire approach.

To my loyal readers, I leave this final piece of advice – drink good beer and, for heavens’ sake, drink it out of a glass.


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  1. Matt says:

    Talk about late to the party… I’ve only just discovered Neil Miller’s beer blog, and it looks like he finished writing it almost a year ago.

    Anyone know where Neil is now? We could use a talent like that on BoozeMonkey.

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:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this