The Beer Queendom...
This is the story of The Beer Queendom, a social utopia where good beer is plentiful
and justice rules. As with all human endeavors, utopia is a hardfought goal. The Queen
is currently battling a moat dweller who she banished from The Beer Queendom for demanding
the inclusion of wheat beers, and the effects of the Outer World’s globally induced
warming trend. Preparations continue, nonetheless, for the world’s greatest beer festival.
Beer Carnival dawned cool and sunny. Ceres, the goddess of grain, was pleased, the Queen thought as she focused her binoculars on the waving rows of barley in the distance. Behind the grain that brought them such good beer the hop trellises were in full bloom. From the parapet, she could see it all.
Closer to the castle lay the carnival grounds, which were dominated by the tents that sheltered kegs of beer from every brewing region. Each keg was backlit by a solar-powered neon sign identifying the beer and the brewery. In an additional stroke of creativity, the Queen had installed flagpoles to fly the colors of the countries of origin of each beer. The move had not only turned the festival grounds into a marvelous, fluttering sea of colors, it allowed her Master Taster to show off his vast flag collection. And clear out desperately needed storage space.
In addition to well-organized drinking areas, the carnival grounds were sprinkled with a series of giant misters. She had tried them out yesterday and they performed admirably, showering a mist fine enough to provide a cool antidote to the global heat, yet not so much as to make the grounds muddy.
The Queen was about to hand the binoculars to Honeyman when her eyes caught sight of a sign sticking out of the water on the opposite shore of the moat. Ever since she’d plastered the moat dweller with tomatoes, things had been quiet in the moat. “Get a load of that,” she said.
Honeyman took the binoculars and read the sign aloud.
“By Royal Decree and Mandate of The Master of the Moat:
No Person Shall Hereby Enter The Moatdom
Until Consumpting One Growler of Wheat Beer.”
“He can’t even spell correctly,” she laughed. Honeyman handed the binoculars to Border Collie as the Queen continued. “Master of the Moat? The only thing he can master is disaster. Where does he come up with these ideas?”
“There is legal precedent for postings,” Honeyman replied.
The Queen looked at the official sundial. It was getting late. “Where is the Master Taster? I’d like to walk the grounds one last time.”
Border Collie picked up the phone and dialed the Master Taster’s quarters. After several rings, she set it down. “He must be in the Beer Shrine, he’s not answering.”
“Let’s go get him,” the Queen replied. She felt great, there was nothing like a morning of good sex to get the endorphins flowing. And she hadn’t seen the Beer Shrine in a while.
As they left the parapet, The Queen glanced one more time at the colorful flags waving in the breeze. Her astrologist, whose weather predictions were as accurate as any meteorologist, said scattered thunderstorms today.
The door to the Beer Shrine was open a crack, the sounds of jazz drifting softly into the hallway. “He’s in there,” Honeyman said, entering.
The Beer Shrine was a sacred place. A center of science for the latest research into sustainable quaffing, it was also the focal point for universal karma in beer. The room looked brighter than the last time she had visited. Maybe it was the giant empty space in the middle of the chamber. “What’s that for?” she asked.
“Easy Throne,” the Master Taster grunted.
“It’s awfully big.” The space would fit an Easy Throne much larger than hers.
“So?” the Master Taster replied.
“He’s getting it from the Moat Dweller,” Border Collie whispered in the Queen’s ear, adding, “It’ll never arrive.”
“The beer force is high,” Honeyman said, diverting attention to the Sepulchre. All eyes turned.
The Sepulchre was a room containing holographic images of every commercial beer on earth. The images floated slowly in air, allowing visitors to look at them closely from every angle. Floating in the direct center of the Sepulchre was the Royal Beer Chalice, the most important part of the Shrine because it indicated the worldwide health of beer. Through a combination of spiritual and empirical forces that only the Queen understood, the Royal Beer Chalice measured the synergy of all human enthusiasm for the holy substance. The Royal Beer Chalice also floated in air, illuminated by laser beams that conveyed the energy to keep it aloft. The Queen called this energy Beer Force. When the Beer Force was good, the Chalice shone brightly and rose higher. When enthusiasm dropped, the Chalice lost its healthy glow and began to waver.
“Let’s drink,” the Master Taster said. He pointed to a drawer in the desk under the Royal Beer Chalice. “In there.”
“What?” Honeyman asked.
“In there,” the Master Taster repeated impatiently. “Open the drawer and get the Holy Coasters.”
Border Collie leapt to the task, unwilling to wait for the Honeyman’s slower, more calculated moves.
“This calls for a cave-aged, passion fruit lambic.” The hum of the Beer Force rose as the Master Taster prepared for an anointment. And as the hum grew louder the Royal Chalice rose higher. With so many great brews in one place thanks to Beer Carnival, the Beer Force was at its peak.
By the time the Queen and her retinue finished the anointment, Beer Carnival had begun. The tents sheltered carnival goers who were treated to every beer style on earth. In addition, taps served samples of traditional grain beverages like kvass, chicha, lambic and sahti as well as newer styles—Imperial IPAs, cherry stouts, smoked rauchbocks and more. There was a beer for every taste.
Given the diversity of beers there would never be more than a thirty second wait in line, the Queen thought, pleased with her planning. Except for in the real ale tent, a separate area presided over by Blokester Beverage. Cask-conditioned beer was always more popular to the beer educated and a crowd had already formed there.
“Is the Blokester here?” the Queen asked as they reached the real ale tent. She remembered her last conversation with him, when he was lost on a roundabout.
“He’s eating a proper English breakfast, but he’s already spiled the casks,” Border Collie replied.
“I hope he goes easy on the sausage and bacon,” the Queen said. “or they’ll have to spile him.”
The group reached the wheat beer tent, which as agreed was set up in a cordoned off area near the pharmaceuticals. The entrance bore the Royal Seal of Prescriptive Approval from the Queendom’s Medical Officer. This prevented all but those having prescriptions from entering. Despite this wheat beer apartheid, the Queen had to admit that wheat beers were ideal for combating the high temperatures. If enough beer drinkers got notes from their doctors, the area would also be packed.
After sampling several beers, the group wandered past the food and games tents. A few last minute entrants had made the Queen a little nervous about the event going off flawlessly, but everything looked in order. Even the Freemasons had requested a booth, sending representatives from each continent—and one who claimed to be from another planet and planned to work the Star Registry booth. Despite their secretive nature and The Queen’s suspicions about their motives in establishing a presence in The Beer Queendom, she had granted the Freemasons a booth.
Beyond the food and games was a booth that contained two scantily clad women setting up a series of beer bottles on a platform. A torn piece of cardboard read Blow Music by the Beer Messiah and his Soviet Symphonic Sisters. The women looked familiar. Not sure of its value, The Queen had positioned the newcomer at the far corner of the festival grounds, next to the one she had reserved for Rich White Male History Month.
“What’s this?” The Queen pointed to a sheet of paper on the ground.
“A flyer,” the Border Collie replied, picking it up. She began to read. “Come one, come …uh…uhh…uhh…”
The Queen took the flyer out of Border Collie’s hands. “You’re reading too slowly.”
Come one, come all!
Board the PT Moatster and cruise the wheat beer bars outside the Queendom.
Finish at Wheaties, the world-famous bar where the Master Taster drinks!
More info, call 1-855-WHEATIES.
She handed the paper to Honeyman. “How is he going to galvanize anyone with that?” No one replied. “Besides, there is no littering in the Queendom. Fine them.”
Next to the Blow Music booth was another small tent with a huge sign that read Beer Bitch. “That will have to go too,” the Queen said. “This is a family event.”
Border Collie scribbled on her note pad, which she then stuffed it into one of her grocery bags. As she did a loud rumbling started, coming from high up in the sky.
“It’s a B-1052,” Border Collie said immediately. “We’d better take cover.”
“No it’s a drone.” The Queen motioned around her, but everyone else had disappeared, including the booth vendors.
“Psst! In here!” The flap to the Beer Bitch tent moved.
Once inside the tent, the Queen’s mind raced. A drone could target and fire missiles at anyone on earth from a mile up. Hadn’t Honeyman just negotiated peace with these guys? Maybe a renegade wing had taken over again. Had they resuscitated Dick or Henry or some other evildoer?
As the rumbling grew, the Queen cursed. She had put too much faith in Honeyman. Negotiating world peace wasn’t easy when you faced international capital. The success of The Beer Queendom was too risky for them; it needed to be destroyed before people got any ideas. What had she been thinking!
As the Queen considered her options she noticed the two Russian mail order brides changing into high, black leather boots, and skirts. They didn’t realize what was about to hit them. Next to the Russians but under a tarp was the outline of a table and chairs and two persons. “Who’s that?”
“Dat iss de Beer Messiah,” Svetlana replied. “He iss tvying to tvade two tickets to de beer carnaval for good veazher and a bottle of beer made from zee outer space.”
“She said they have videos on MySpace,” Border Collie translated. She pulled up an edge of the tarp. “It‘s the alien Freemason.”
“He say dis only de veazher,” Svetlana continued, closing up the back zipper of her skirt.
The noise outside grew louder and Border Collie peered out of the tent flap. Turning, she said, “It’s a thunderstorm.
“De alien Freemason say it vill to pass in fife minutes.”
“What does he know about weather?” The Queen was intrigued.
“He de alien to control ze veazher. Dey aim at certain places on de earse dat make de polluzhion. Also, de aliens send de hurricanes.” As Svetlana spoke, a hand stuck out of the tarp, holding an envelope. “Anyone want to buy two tickets to the beer fest?” a muffled voice asked. “Half price!”
“What about Hurricane Jorge?” the Queen asked, ignoring the ticket scalper. “That just hit a peaceful country.”
Svetlana shrugged. “De alien say at times dey miss. I not sure I to believe de alien.” As the Beer Bitch spoke, the clouds passed over The Beer Queendom and the sun shone down. Not a drop of rain had fallen.
“If he can control the weather, maybe he can help me install my Easy Throne,” the Master Taster suggested. “Where can I get one of these aliens?”
“Is it legal?” Honeyman asked.
“We don’t have illegal aliens,” the Queen replied. “Everyone in the Queendom is legal.” Unable to take her mind off of the noises she had just heard, she exited the tent. Maybe she was acting paranoid, but that had been a close call. “Let’s go have another beer.”
Next issue, negotiating world peace.
By los Testigos de Cerveza
Copyright 2006, Rocky Mountain Brewing News