Today, Day 5 of the Advent Blog and it’s my turn. Here is my tale of a tipple.
Over the holiday period, one of the delights for some people is to enjoy a tipple of their favourite dram, and my post today is relative to that. I recall with great pleasure the entertainment provided in the run up to Christmas by my father’s homemade beer.
The fun would begin with preparations even before the brew was made. This seemed more like chemistry to me than anything else, but perhaps alchemy might be a better description.
Yes, stirring the brew was great fun, and checking it as it fermented was a daily ritual.
Most years my father made batches of both mild and bitter beers. For those of you who don’t know those beers, they are the brown beers available in the UK. Usually the process followed a satisfactory pattern, and at the end, we would watch Dad carefully pouring his brew into bottles. These were all then set in the cupboard under the stairs, ready for the holiday period. However, the year I remember best was the one where something went wrong with the process.
The first any of us knew about it was the explosive sound of a cork ejected like bullet from one of the bottles in the cupboard under the stairs. As we children had strict instructions not to touch the bottles, the first thing we did was call for help. Yes, we were very well behaved.
Dad arrived and opened the cupboard door. The smell wafted out in a cloud of yeasty ripeness, and that was the year I heard my Dad swear.
The next fifteen minutes or so has to be one of my treasured memories, because I smile whenever I think of it. My dad, working as carefully as I ever say him, gingerly-ferried bottle after bottle from the cupboard and took them out into the kitchen. Some bottles made it all the way before the cork popped, others didn’t.
Each exploding top caused gales of laughter from us children and deepened my mother’s frown, until finally she saw the funny side and laughed with us. As the process went on, we gave marks out of ten to the corks that hit the kitchen ceiling and formed craters in the plaster.
Even today, so many years later, when I visit my parents home I can still see some of those craters.
And for those of you who enjoy a tipple, may your brew be bright.
My giveaway today is a copy of my Werewolf story, Timeless. Leave me a comment about one of your favourite childhood memories of Christmas and your comments number might come up in the draw. By participating in this giveaway you acknowledge you are over 18.