As I got older, I transitioned from drinking a lot of mediocre beer, to drinking a bit of good beer
. When we moved to England seven years ago, I walked into a pub and had an IPA hand pulled from the cellar. That was like drinking the essence of God, and it was just a run of the mill pub pint. Since then, I’ve explored the great beers of the British Isles and have found heaven in the pint glass
I’ve been all over the world, and while I do enjoy a few American beers (Stone Brewery), some Mexican beers (Dos Equis), and the many wonderful continental beers from Belgium, Germany, etc…, I firmly believe the best beers in the world are made right here in the UK
. There is nothing like a good pint of ale, and Scotland, Wales, and England all make wonderful contributions to the ‘real ale’ scene.
As far as tea, I also transitioned from the iced tea I used to consume by the gallons in Florida, to the nice hot cuppa (my favorite it PG Tips).
Since it’s difficult to find real ale and PG Tips in the States (and when you do, you pretty much need to take out a second mortgage to finance the purchase
) I feel very fortunate to be in my own beer Mecca.
As I start my Druid training, I wonder if the experience will be more like beer or tea. I imagine it will be a bit of both.
In a sense, I’m like the tea leaf, and I’ll use the hot water of the gwers to release my flavor. However, the release of flavor alone may just be a good starting point.
I expect that, like good ale, this druid path will be an intricate, complex process. Just as the tea’s flavor is released, hot water will be used to release the wort from my partially germinated grain (my inquisitive mind, my preconceptions perhaps?). Then only after sugar and yeast are added (training) and fermentation occurs (meditation and introspection) does the Druid ale start to take on its own flavors - flavors that are unique because of the nuances in the brewing process. As the process nears completion, the Druid ale is racked and then bottled (stored potential?). Once the Druid ale has been bottled, and the yeast has separated and settled, the Druid ale is crystal clear. Now this ale is ready to be poured and shared (the ability to tutor, mentor others).
Oh no, all this beer talk! There’s a bottle of Fuller’s London Pride in the kitchen just calling out to me! (must wait ‘til this evening, must wait ‘til this evening, must wait ‘til this evening)