A Pint of Plain for All Life’s Ills
“When things go wrong and will not come right,
Though you do the best you can,
When life looks black as the hour of night -
A pint of plain is your only man.”
(Read the full poem here: https://www.maths.tcd.ie/~bradyn/flann.html)
So begins “The Workman’s Friend” by Flann O’Brien. In Ireland, that nation of great drinkers, Flann O’Brien was one of the greatest. A character in the novel At Swim Two Birds composes this short ode to the restorative powers of beer, porter in particular.
“Plain” refers to plain porter, a beer we at the Civil Life love. You have been enjoying our new Eclipse Baltic Porter for several weeks now. As supplies dwindle, you needn’t worry, our classic London Porter will be returning in a few weeks.
Let’s consider the differences between these great beers. The Baltic Porter, being a lager, is somewhat lighter bodied, though registering a respectable 7% alcohol. Its layered roast has notes of chocolate, dried fruit, and even licorice.
Our London Porter is a classic English recipe, with all English malts, including Maris Otter, brown and black malts, and some crystal and flaked barley for body. We use our ESB yeast strain and Northdown hops. This Porter is rich and full-bodied, with rich roasted malt character, including cocoa, coffee, and caramel. Our own barman, sign painter, and Swedish automobile mechanic Chris Valier refers to it as “a meatball.”
Just in time for the autumn and winter, it’s comfort food in a glass. You can’t go wrong with porter. According to Flann O’Brien, a pint of plain combats bad luck, poverty, ill health, hunger, and even national strife. Talk about a timely tipple! Porter is the worker’s restorative. And whether you carry a hod of bricks all day, or shift zeros and ones on a screen, you deserve the blessed consolation of a pint of one of the finest porters available.
Join us in our well-wooded pub for a pint. Enjoy the transition from Baltic Porter to London Porter. Feel free to call it plain (though in truth, it’s anything but). As always we wish you good luck, wealth, good health, a well-stocked larder, and national unity. Sláinte!
The Civil Blog has returned. It is predominantly authored by Civil Life Barman, Dr. Patrick Hurley, who can be found tending to our bar patrons on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He is also responsible for tending to our draft lines, which is recognized as one of our most important tasks. Special guest writers will appear from time to time. We hope reading this blog will give you much insight about the Civil Life and most importantly help you understand a bit more about all of us that work here and the beers we put our hearts into.