Since the dawn of time our species has instinctively moved forwards, and through necessity, curiosity or boredom we have mapped the globe and travelled it every which way. Columbus, Da Gama, Drake, Raleigh, Champlain and many others have forged a path for modern-day civilisations. Since then there have been notable explorations of our land, sea and into outer space and we salute them. Latter day pioneers including Livingstone and Scott have instilled a sense of adventure where our ancestors most likely took up the gauntlet as their day job. Following my sedentary 20th/21st century upbringing, I find myself exploring not only the history but the here-and-now though my television and the internet, captivated by the likes of Carl Bushby, Ellen MacArthur and Ed Stafford who don’t do things by halves! oooo and don’t forget Fogle! [I jest – sorry Ben].
Along with fulfilling personal goals and the well-earned plaudits, all of the above named have put themselves on the line, heads on the block, risked life-and-limb to bring us whatever the Holy Grail happens to be at that moment in time.
“365 beers in 365 days“
I’m aware that this is a grand introduction and that it promises greatness, but in my opinion and as someone who spends way too much time deliberating and not enough time seizing the moment, then I applaud a modern-day beer explorer. Galletly is unlikely to join Columbus in the halls of fame, but substitute geographic navigation for the realms of beer-prospecting and we are likely to see a circumnavigation worth recognising in some small way. Alice Galletly is attempting 365 beers in 365 days and her agenda is clear. An unqualified beer-geek with buckets of enthusiasm and a yearning for the learning, embarked on her “ridiculous 365 day tasting session” 9th August 2011. What is not to like? Without asking, I’m not sure how this will be structured, but it looks to be a straight-forward 365 day slog, which you can follow in more detail on her blog Beer for a Year.
In my mind, the phrase ‘Beer for a Year’ conjurs up images of regular home deliveries of a mass-produced lager having jokingly entered a supermarket competition – and won. With no cheap imitations in sight, Alice has already enjoyed beers from no fewer than 12 countries and from breweries including: Anchor, De Molen, BrewDog, Rogue, Sierra Nevada and Little Creatures as well as making the most of her native New Zealand’s breweries including: Epic, Yeastie Boys, Tuatara, Emerson’s and Townshend. As I write this post it’s Day 80, and Beer #80 was a Beechworth Robust Porter from the Bridge Road Brewery, Victoria, Australia, which was a drink likened to a doughnut. It’s this kind of beer tasting commentary that I find refreshing, the ability and freedom to say it how it is without the need to complete a tasting notes template or comment on its style compatibility.
I hope you follow Alice from here on in and that you will join me and the St John’s Ambulance* crew in handing her bottles of water along the way and wrapping her in a foil blanket on the finish line.
*St John's Ambulance does not condone or support this death-defying voyage.