Old Freddy Walker
One of Roger Protz’s “300 Beers To Try Before You Die," and one of my personal favorite beers, escorted me to an event that called for Moor Beer (Co.) and a touch of creative maneuvering.
Doing things is always more interesting than not doing things. Why always sit at home, talking to one's computer about beer when there is a whole world to explore. With a beer in your hand.
I was invited to just such a 'doing things' type of event by a friend of mine to whom married men flock. She is nearly unable to attract any other sort of male aside from those who have already devoted themselves to a woman and are steadfast on keeping them, and my friend, for as long as possible.
In an attempt to avoid becoming a 'cat lady,' my friend, The Other Woman, has become the most eventful person I know. Not only does she rock climb, snow shoe, organize hiking retreats, attend live and cinema theatre on a regular basis, but she also does horribly artistic things like: sketch group.
"Of course I will attend sketch group! Can I invite Old Freddy Walker?"
A bunch of people to go a house, they all take their shoes off, slip on slippers, sharpen their pencils and sit on the floor. Some come with paint brushes from Japan and others ecologically hand make their paints from kitchen ingredients. Or rocks. Still yet you have people like myself and The Other Woman who attend more for the therapeutic aspects of being in a hushed room with a group of very concentrated people.
One member of the group will dawn a costume, helmet or interesting pose and everyone will take about 20 minutes to whip out their interpretation of the character. Although I was having a great time "drawing what is there and not what I see," as my art teacher used to always say, I kept making eyes with the Old Freddy Walker on the table.
The saucy ol' man wanted to be opened up, stripped down and focused on. Which made me nervous.
I had arrived late and missed the pre-sketching eat, drink and greet bit. After handing my beer to the hostess she whispered that she would put it in the refrigerator. My beer geek levels jump to anti-social levels as I followed her, mumbling that it was best at room temperature and that we could just put it on the table. I didn't want to seem like I was only there to drink my beer while everyone was mid illustration so I began to scribble on a spare piece of paper.
Il Faut Partager
Always a bit apprehensive about bringing a nice full bodied, bottle conditioned beer into unknown circles of highly visionary people, I felt relieved when, after allowing for a model change, The Other Women offered to get Old Freddy Walker on his feet. As we entered the kitchen area, I worried that I might have been more comfortable offering to be a nude model. What I saw on the pre-sketching dinner table wasn't craft aficionado promising. Big bottles of basic lager, chemical white wine and an array of mix-matched party foods.
"... we eat and drink, then get down to business."
My business is the eating and drinking.
If they didn't like it, they could always paint with it.
The Other Woman did the honors of taking one of Will's best imports and converting it into social lubricant.
Not able to find what I would consider a proper glass, there was a candle holder or possibly an ashtray of some sort which was made of glass and served as a great little tumbler to receive my small sampling of the liquid gold. Or rather, liquid coal, as Old Freddy Walker has a distinctly midnight bound tone to it. No chance of seeing one's hand on the other side of the glass or avoiding the wafting aromas of chocolate, dry red fruits and heavy roasted bread.
Content to be drinking I answered a few beer questions and passed around the glasses.
The few who tasted Old Freddy Walker came out with some insightful perceptions including: christmas in your mouth, sweet cafe (or coffee) and not like Guinness at all.
Not at all like Guinness and yes, very complex but beautifully drinkable. Having begun the craft beer conversion of a few French artists, my work for the evening was complete.
I snapped the included pictures of the empty bottle lounging in the midst of a cultured art ocean, topped up the glass of The Other Woman and myself, and decided two things:
1: I should draw more because I suck at it
2: Next time I'll bring more beer