“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special”.
Physicist and cosmologist, Stephen Hawking, who we heard yesterday has sadly died, did not have very much to say about beer in fact his doctor told him at the age of 21 “to lay off the beer”. He seemed to have much bigger fish to fry, like unravelling the mysteries of the Universe and passing on his insight and teaching to the world. We also know that he probably didn’t really have a beer with Homer Simpson…
He lived for fifty years longer than doctors thought after he was diagnosed with the incurable disease, ALS or Motor Neurone Disease as it is more commonly known. In the extra time he was “given”, he enabled the world to access the secrets that have baffled “man” since time began. Using his in-depth knowledge and profound ability to hypothesise and research to the eighth degree, he encourages us to consider the paradoxical strength and frailty of our ancient and beautiful world. He wanted the world’s population and leaders to think and stop destroying ourselves. While the earth may continue spinning for millennia yet, it is questionable how long life (as we know it) will continue.
“In his eyes shone the reflection of the most beautiful planet in the Universe—a planet that is not too hot and not too cold; that has liquid water on the surface and where the gravity is just right for human beings and the atmosphere is perfect for them to breathe; where there are mountains and deserts and oceans and islands and forests and trees and birds and plants and animals and insects and people—lots and lots of people. Where there is life. Some of it, possibly, intelligent.” (Stephen Hawking, George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt)
So, this weekend why not raise a glass in Tribute to a man who is probably, roughly (by my calculations) one in 178 billion, and here are some suggestions while you’re out and about this weekend:
Yeovil Ales, Star Gazer 4% abv: a copper speciality bitter with a late hopping floral bouquet, it is rich & hoppy yet sweet & luscious at the same time!
- Isle of Purbeck Brewery’s Solar Power 4.3% abv: A premium lager style beer, golden in colour with a distinctive ‘noble’ hop aroma from the Bavarian Hallertau late hop edition. The palate is a soft balance of malt, caramel & wheat malt providing a clean & refreshing finish, ideal for drinking al fresco.
- Vibrant Forest, Flying Saucer 4.3%: Hoppy, golden ale. This beer is supremely well balanced and sessionable. It begins with a strong piney, citrus aroma which moves to a bright hoppy flavour on the palate. A firm bitterness sits on its golden malty base and lingers just long enough to make you demand more!
- Gyle 59, Starstruck 6.6%: This is our porter, The Favourite, enhanced with a subtle addition of star anise. This addition gives the rich and fruity porter an extra complexity with a gentle hint of liquorice.
- Dorset Brewing Company, Jurassic: Crisp golden ale with hints of apricot, lasting bitterness and a clean citrus aroma 4.2% and Jurassic Dark: Dark wheat beer with a rich chocolate and port flavour
- and a forest fruit aroma 5.9%
- Bath Ales, Dark Side Dark wheat beer with a rich chocolate and port flavour and a forest fruit aroma 4%: and Prophecy is a dry, bitter yet complex pale ale that will challenge the taste buds. It’s brewed using Columbus and Chinook hops to provide contrasting fruit and pine flavours and aromas. Prophecy contains wheat and barley malt, 3.8% abv.
- Hattie Brown’s Moonlite 3.8%, Fullmoon 5% and Spangle 4.6%
- Hop Back Brewery, Crop Circle 4.2%: The subtle blend and aroma of bittering hops give a crispness on the tongue which is delicately fruit, before giving way to some dryness. Gluten Free.
Not only was he a respected scientist, he was also known for his sense of humour. He did leave us with one quote that might have been for us CAMRA members: “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change”.
Rest in peace, Stephen Hawking. 8th January 1942 – 14th March 2018.