A Good Beer Blog

2008 Beer Poetry Contest Entries

1. "Untitled" by Bryan Blakeley of Waco, Texas, USA

A tender shoot nimbly rises from red-brown soil,
pressing ever skyward, drinking sunshine, guzzling rainwater;
quietly transforming rude, elemental material into sweet sustenance.

Gentle green flowers concentrate noble resins,
weaving intricate entanglements on imposing lattice;
anticipating olfactory bliss and gustatory revelry.

Earth-woven, handcrafted artwork in liquid!
With each swallow I encounter nature's bounty -
I am content.


2. "Tradition in History" by Andrew Jones, California, MD.

I

Olde Enkidu unwashed bestial man
Took bread & beer from prostitutes hand
Gilgamesh’s trickery custom of the land

Ancient oral sages tell of beasts & beer
Nectar of the gods & Sumerian cheer
One man’s tomfoolery turns another’s to fear

Seven beers & Enkidu’s heart soared
Liquid gold was mightier than the sword
One man’s weakness is another’s restored

Ninkasi hymn of devotion & bliss
Was it the beer or the prostitute’s kiss
That sent Enkidu into the human abyss

What elixir turns animal to human
As it passes through the intestinal lumen
Somehow makes most men subhuman

II

Grain-growing wusa from heaven
Emmer wheat brewed from Egyptian leaven
Replica passed on from Tutankhamun

Beer bible author James Death
Wrote about its history with his every breath
Drank even by Shakespearian’s Macbeth

Early humans cultivated barley & wheat
Drove the nomadic life into defeat
Village life was now reinforced in concrete

Brewing knowledge passed from culture to culture
Fermented in Greek, Roman & English climature
Ceres green thumb – goddess of agriculture

Thracians brytos made different from rye
Hellanicus of Lesbos operas did sigh
Sing thy opus of brutos upon high

III

Water mostly spoiled by human waste
Preferred ale to quench their taste
Middle Ages dark, dingy & displaced

Bitter the age made good by hops
French cultivated aplenty a crops
For their ingenuity we must give them their props

Monastery monks and artisan brew masters
Took homemaking brewing and made it faster
For mass consumption without nasty aster

Ale or beer whatever one calls it
Unhopped or hopped in 15th century Britt
Purification tied to a judicial writ

Brewers Company of London went so far as to state
“No hops, herbs or other” will desecrate
Our ale which we honor and stipulate

IV

Reinheitsgebot of William IV from Bavaria
Became the standard brew law & all its hysteria
Something about Germans & their quest for purity criteria

History cannot dispute German beer pleasure
The Gebot gave us a boldly aromatic treasure
That few cultures can replicate or measure

The French Pasteur’s important added piece
Now water, barley, hops & yeast
Another Frenchman ordains our liquid feast

Another century & an accidental brew
The Lager was born in a cavernous debut
Crisper taste & a wonderful hue

Europeans preserved the art & craft
Passed down from ancient handcraft
This gave them a splendid draught

V

America born - & beer brewing continues
Innovation to brewing brings rave reviews
Thermometer & hydrometer was all the news

Maltsters and brewers worked hand in hand
To damper the fire that dried malt fanned -
Smokeless malt was all the demand

Once malt’s drying problem was figured out
Multi-malt beers became the entire shout
Dark roasted porters & flavorful stouts

An invention by Wheeler & his roaster drum
Made beer all the better – better than rum
An invention from heaven that’s time had come

Mankind’s gluttony & drunkard’s frustration
Governmental laws and heavy taxation
Turned back the hands of time without reservation

VI

Coutts development of continuous fermentation
Made modern day beer making an abomination
By taking out the individualization

Business was booming & so was the nation
Foxtrot, jiggerbug was all the sensation
Women at home wanting rights and voter registration

Their movement brought down the brewing establishment
Liquor wasn’t without their abatement
This brought on a new accompaniment

Bootlegging thugs and racketeering careers
Drew upon American’s worst fears
An alcohol-less country could go on for years

Prohibition killed the craftsmen’s diligence
Subduing the palette’s consciousness
Into benign taste buds & unconsciousness

VI

Time continued and companies made huge profits
As our zombie forefathers drank to their hearts contents
The light-beered lager was the staple of their diets

The craft-brewed interest sparked a revolution
With pale ales, pilsners, weisbiers in old tradition
Hearty Bohemian & the Belgians contribution

It is with crisp elegance and a refined mission
That they keep brewing not in an American tradition
But for the History of brewing in all its sensation

Beer or ale – call it what you will
Served room temperature or chilled
Will sure to give you your ultimate thrill

Hudson Valley TAP New York 2008
Alan McLeod & his Good Beer Blog we appreciate
& all the fine food on our Hudson Valley plate


3. "Sweet Beer" by Mike Drach of Toronto.

sweet, beautiful beer —

you are not always that sweet
are you?
you are often bitter and sweet
at the same time
"bittersweet" you might call it
and i will

finest of pleasures, most humble of pleasures
you are the drink of the people
the drink of /my/ people
drink of my choice
good enough for me
but really too good for me

so when i pour you —
it's with cautious respect.
more respect than i've shown any lover of mine
heed your structure, liquid revolutionary
foam formations fragment stained-glass ceilings
the most headstrong of drinks
yet so delicate

my ritual:
you're too cold, i warm you with my hands
my hands become cold from warming you
i run them under the hot water as long as i can stand it
and immediately wrap my hands back around you
i want to unleash your scent
your true flavour
i will know your sweet bitterness so much better when you adjust
to the temperature of this room

...dark foam floats upon dark fluid...
sophisticated words to describe you won't come
but they don't matter right now
they'll come later
right now i need to wet my lips
with you

sweet beer —
(sweet mother who art in heaven)
i actually mutter this small impromptu prayer
though i am not a religious man,
i can imagine how it feels to be a trappist monk right now.
worn, warm palms cradle a glass goblet
feeling its cool weight, its patience
its curative properties
vapours drift, rising like patron saints to ancient monastery ceilings
echoing off pipe organ and brass tun
sending clamours between my cheeks like the church bells of grimbergen
i almost need to back away

put you down lest the bitterness and the sweetness overwhelm me
i want to have you —
not just consume you, but have you.
i want you to still be there when i turn around
thank god there are others like you.


4. "I Like Beer" by Wayne Carter, address unknown.

i like beer
i like it a lot,
i cannot stop
with just a shot.
i drink so much
i soon fall down,
i burp and belch
and feel like a clown.
i feel like crap the very next day
so i lite a cig and down and I.P.A.
i know someday
i'll have to stop,
but for now just call me,
Pop-a-Top!


5. "Untitled" by Erich Renken, address unknown

I remember well my first beers
Despite that time's been 17 years
Bud Light was the brew that night
"Wait a minute, man, there's something not right"
It's what I thought when I tasted
That shitty brew which got me wasted

I couldn't believe that everyone loved beer

But time went on and I drank more
And each time that I woke up on the floor
I grew a little fonder of Busch and Miller
And my empties grew, pillar by pillar
Until one day when I spotted a sale
And bought Sierra Nevada, my first pale ale

I started to see why people loved beer

At first it was bitter, but I persisted
Even when everyone else resisted
There was something about that piney smell
And it went with pizza so damn well
So I made it my own personal quest
To try stouts and porters and all the rest

I began to wonder why people liked Coors

Now I spend wads of money to horde
120 Minutes, Kentucky Breakfasts, and Dark Lord
But my will is weak and I always crack
That good stuff that sits on my rack
And as I drink, my thoughts do flood,
"Thank god that I didn't stop at Bud"


6. "Untitled" by Adam Beck of Beer Bits 2.

a pint is too easy
to quaff
the wine glass full up with beer is better
to take in

sip after sip
pull after pull

funky earthy sweet bread fills my nose
sticky lace entrances my eyes
earthy tang sweetly coats my tongue