@Peace – @Peace & The Plutonian Noise Symphony

@Peace & The Plutonian Noise SymphonyOpen up a science documentary on YouTube and hit play. Open a pack of chicken-flavoured chips. Take a big hit from the bong, hand on face, and as Neil deGrasse Tyson explains astrophysics let your mind wander, let memories about your childhood in the country flit past, think of your father’s recent illness and death, and wonder what it all means to be a unique product of a star that went supernova billions of years ago, ending up with you, this person, sitting here, getting high and having a good old ponder.

At least, that’s my guess as to what went into creating @Peace & The Plutonian Noise Symphony, the debut full-length album from Auckland band @Peace.

I loved the first self-titled @Peace mini-album, it’s stoned and thoughtful considerations of politics and poverty in suburban Auckland, but the subsequent Girl Songs EP and whatever Homebrew otherwise got up to didn’t really do all that much for me. So I wasn’t expecting too much from this new album, but when I spotted Simon Sweetman raving about it, and that it was (at the time) “pay-what-you-like” on Bandcamp it was a no-brainer to check it out.

Immediately, it is obvious that @Peace’s sonic palette has expanded greatly from their earlier lightly-jazzy, slightly folksy hip hop. This is big vast psychedelic hip hop, complex and often surprisingly altered beats holding down big stoned synths and washes of guitar that sit somewhere between Funkadelic and gentle jazz.

The vocals are, for the most part, treated and layered, taking a far more g-funk feel than on the earlier EPs. Pitch shifted high, adding a sense of unreality that strangely makes more real the raps about physics, evolution, mortality and finding sense in the world.

This is, frankly, hippie hip hop, and it’s a freak out, man. And its freaking good.

There’s so much going on even in the quietest tracks. The production is very lithe and tricky, rhythms constantly shifting and twisting, almost shocking bursts of double-time beats flying in and out. The vocals play around with the beats, staccato shots of lyrics often playing a counter-point to the underlying rhythm, while the big gentle mid-range guitar and synth wash in and out.

In less than two days I’ve already listened to this album six times, and I get the feeling I’ll be exploring it for some time yet. The psychedelic variety, the fascinating, intelligent and sometimes brutally honest lyrics, and the overall relaxed stoned vibe of the thing melds into one of the strongest slabs of music I’ve heard in a while.

And, as I listen to it I feel so damn happy for @Peace. This is a brave album. I’d be surprised if it sells huge amounts, so challenging and intelligent it is. But it deserves to be huge. It probably won’t be the soundtrack to winter nights with a glass of what you fancy (or a smoke, if that’s your thing), but it should be. There’s an honesty and purity within these psychedelic tunes.  This sounds like an album that took a lot of effort to create, and is very personal to those who produced it. An album that feels important. Necessary, for both the artist and the audience.

You can check it out and buy it from their Bandcamp page, here, at a price of your choosing.  Do it.

Beer match: I’d want to listen to this album with something relaxed and relaxing, something warm to comfort you as the evening’s get longer and colder. Kereru’s toasty and beguiling ‘For Great Justice’ wood-fired toasted coconut porter is one of my favourite beers so now. Full of warming, nutty flavours, it’s great for an autumn evening.

And, in keeping with the science theme of @Peace & The Plutonian Noise Symphony, if you can get hold of it, why not also pour a glass of ‘For Science’, the  brown porter that is the base for ‘For Great Justice’, sans toasted coconut Compare and contrast, see which one you prefer, and maybe have a good old think about life, the universe and everything.

Garage Project ‘Mon P’tit Chou’

Well, since I mentioned Garage Project in today’s earlier rant about the Chatoe Rogue, I might as well write a bit more about Aro Valley’s finest.  Garage Project have always been notable for the strength and variety of their artwork, across their tap badges, bottles and cans.

Cans.  I love beer in cans.  I wish there was more good beer in cans.  Cans are lightweight, cans are convenient for storage and transport, and cans do far more to protect the flavour of the beer within than any transparent glass bottle could ever hope to do.  I’ve had twelve month old IPAs from a can that, when poured into the glass, revealed themselves to be almost as hoppy and bright as they were when fresh.

But there’s a reason more brewers don’t sell beer in cans – because they don’t sell.  When punters think of beers in cans, they think dozens of Tui or DB Draught.  They think in terms of quantity, not quality.  And when you’re faced with a single 335ml can being sold for almost the price of a cheap six-pack of fizzy yellow lager, the suspicion that you’re being brutally overcharged probably looms large in some purchaser’s minds.

Which means the beers don’t sell.  I saw cans of Maui’s gorgeous CoCoNut Porter sitting unloved and unsold on Thorndon New World’s shelves for nearly a year, despite my best efforts to drink their stock.  Eventually they were discounted to be moved on, and while that was great for me to get a bargain, that beer going unsold means the supermarket’s never stocked it again.  And who can blame them – they’re there to make money, too.

But more and more local brewers are canning their beers, and Garage Project’s right there leading this trend.  As a brewery and a brand they’re not selling themselves to “Joe Sixpack”. From their Aro Valley location, adventurous artwork, frequent appearances on tap at Wellington’s hippest bars, and their beards, they’re going for a different market.  People look for good beer, interesting beer, challenging beer.

mon p'tit chouWhich brings me to this, Garage Project’s little French-style farmhouse saison, ‘Mon P’tit Chou.’   Just look at it; the pretty white can, the gorgeously cute artwork, the pretty font.  It’s a nice can to look at.  You want to keep it nearby while you drink the beer within.

And what a nice little name for a beer.  A French term of endearment, meaning “my little cabbage”.  The whole package, the colours, the soft artwork, everything about this beer just says “this beer is nice.”

I’d normally never recommend drinking from a can directly, but I think you can make an exception here.  Sitting on a lawn on a warm afternoon (even better if it’s the lawn outside Rogue & Vagabond), you want to drink this sprightly little beer right from the tin, just like I was doing for this photo.

But here’s the catch – I don’t really think all that much of the beer within the can! For something described as a farmhouse saison, I don’t get any of the farmhouse funk or tart sourness I’d expect to taste.  If I was to describe this beer in a word, it’d be “sprightly.”  It’s light on its feet, but there’s not a lot going on beyond the first fizzy orange peel notes on the nose.  It’s not very dry, the aftertaste doesn’t really do anything apart from fade quickly.

Indeed, after finishing the glass I struggle to even remember what this beer tasted like.

The thing is, none of that really matters.  Because sometimes a light, sprightly beer is the beer you want to drink. And when it’s coming from such a gorgeous package you can’t but help to enjoy every sip.

Is that superficial of me?  So be it.  As I wrote in that earlier post, beer’s a very subjective thing.

Chatoe Rogue ‘First Growth OREgasmic Ale’

Beer’s a very subjective thing.  One person’s floral and vibrant tea-hopped beer is another person’s tannic and rank Gunnamatta.  (Especially if that person is Neil Miller).  And sometimes the most superficial things can getting you liking or hating a beer before you’ve ever raised the glass to the lips.

Advertising and branding, for example.  Moa could well be making the finest beers in New Zealand right now, but I wouldn’t know because I haven’t drunk any of their product since the release of that prospectus and its associated marketing trying to convince us that their beer brand was for “men wanting moments of manhood.” 

Bottle design and tap badge art is another factor that can sway me one way or another.  I probably liked Garage Project’s sometimes erratic beers more than I otherwise would have because of their excellent focus on art and design.  Other times a design will make me hesitate before buying their beer – Christchurch’s Harrington’s Breweries, for example, has recently revamped their label art and, on thinking about it, I haven’t bought one of their beers since.  That’s very unfair on them, and I really should correct that next time I’m buying, but the new design, with the block of text sandwiched between two solid coloured blocks doesn’t attract my eye at all.

OREgasmicWhich brings me to the subject of today’s blog, the ‘Chatoe Rogue First Growth OREgasmic Ale’, from the arm of Rogue Brewing that makes beer from ingredients sourced from their very own farm. Starting with the good; this white label with its fistful of hops both makes the bottle stand out on the shelf from other Rogue ales, while keeping in theme with other artwork from the brewery.

But the words. Oh my, the words.  There’s nearly an essay’s worth of them on this bottle. Starting with the gimmick in the title – “OREgasmic.”  Okay, I get that’s making it clear this beer is from Oregon, using the three-letter acronym for the state, but the front-loading of those capital letters is just ugly.  But it’s not the last offense against capitalisation going on here.

And we have “Chatoe Rogue”, which carries the subtitle “GROW THE REVOLUTION.” “Chatoe Rogue”?  Ooh, la la, it’s like “château” but look at our creative, revolutionary spelling! (I note that Rogue have moved to “Rogue Farms” now for their home-grown beers, which just reads and sounds better.)

And, if you hadn’t yet picked up that this beer’s been made from ingredients that are all sourced from Rogue’s own farm, there’s a silly “GYO a” thing circling the top of the label.  But because that’s not clear enough the label goes on to explain that “GYO” means “Grow Your Own.”

The unpleasant mix of self-importance and self-amusement carries on all over the label.  “Revolution Hops, Risk™ & Dare™ Malts” they tell us.  To the right they tell us the latitude and longitude of the Rogue hopyard and barley farm.  Just in case you doubted that there actually were real farms.

But, hang on, they’re not just any farms – it’s a “micro hopyard”, and a “micro barley farm”.    And in case the point hadn’t been made, the list of ingredients doesn’t just list the hops and malts, it lists them as “Rogue Micro Hopyard Revolution & Independent Hops.”  It’s micro, don’t you know, which means it’s better. Apparently.

The beer is also brewed with “Free Range Coastal Water.”  Oh, of course it is.

There is so much annoying to me on this label.  So many ham-fisted attempts to convey the “revolutionary” aspect of brewing beer from ingredients grown for the purpose, from land belonging to the brewery.

So many forceful efforts to convince the buyer (or perhaps themselves) that this is An Important Beer, made in An Important Manner, to be drunk by people discerning enough to recognise how Important it is to be drinking a beer made from Free Range Coastal Water, with ingredients from a Micro Barley Farm and Micro Hopyard.

Very Important Capitalisation. As Phil Cook, beer-ranter extraordinaire would say, what a load of brandwank.

But, enough ranting, what about the beer?

The ale’s a very cloudy orange, with a very orange coloured head, that lifts a big whack of bright, fresh, citrusy hop aromas, rising about a caramel sweetness.

It’s very sweet up front once in the mouth, but the thick complex malt characteristic is quickly kicked into touch by a big old slab of bitterness.

A very hoppy ale; perhaps needed a bit more malt to balance things out.  It ends quite roughly, leaving the mouth dry with that distinct sandpapery feel that comes from hop monster ales.  The body of the ale is very soft, which makes the bright and bitter hops more noticeable perhaps.  Could’ve done with a bit more body, thickness and malt, I think.

But, still, quite nice.  But I wonder if I would’ve liked it more if the bottle’s label hadn’t got up my nose quite so much…

Maximum the Hormone – Yoshū Fukushū (2013)

Yoshu_Fukushu_frontIt starts with a gently picked guitar, before a sweet female voice begins to sing in sweet, pure Japanese.

Fifty seconds in, the song erupts with a huge wall heavy guitar riff, accompanied by a death metal roar.

The guitar falls away, but the riff remains, building back towards a crescendo, while a male Japanese voice rants, increasing in anger until again the massive wall of noise and the death scream return.

Then, at two minutes, the riff kicks into double time, the drums clashing away in a metal thrash, with screamed vocals over the top, two clearly different male voices trading lyrics.

Until a minute later, suddenly a great big catchy pop-punk chorus, four voices rising towards a triumphant refrain, something like a Japanese Green Day.  Before, boom!, we’re back into the thrash.

It’s insane.  It’s unpredictable.  I love it.

Yoshū Fukushū is the sixth album by Japanese rock / metal / everything band Maximum the Hormone.  And it may be one of the most exciting metal albums I’ve heard in ages.  So much fun, so much variety, so much musicianship.  They happily flit between a range of rock and metal genres; from thrash, doom metal, 80s hair metal, nu-metal, hardcore, ska, new wave and pop.  Often within the same song.

The band are made of blue-haired bassist Ue-Chan, who looks like Flea but whose playing style reminds me more of Faith No More’s Billy Gould; often funky but able to dive down and hold firm the bottom end during the faster, harder elements.  There’s Daisuke Han, board-shorts and t-shirt wearing vocalist, specialising in the harsh vocals, possessing a scream able to move up and down registers to fit the key of the song he’s roaring over.

There’s big, hirsute Maximum the Ryo, guitarist, clean vocalist and chief songwriter.  Very talented guitarist, and also possessed of a very voice, able to sing and shout within whatever genre he’s decided to take the song though.

Then, at the back, perhaps the band’s most important element, his sister Nao.  Band founder, drummer, and singer.  She’s able to provide the band with the sweetest J-Pop vocals, a real point of difference as the band’s songs flit joyfully between genres heavy and soft.  And, as well as the sweetness, she’s got a high-register scream that’s fills out the heaviest parts of their music superbly.  And she could arguably be one of the most spectacular drummers currently working in rock.  Seriously.  Her ability to chop and change styles and feels, to lay down a superb blast beat one moment then a nicely syncopated ska beat the next, is simply brilliance.

Yoshū Fukushū is an album I can’t listen to without smiling. Smiling often. And a bit of headbanging.  The sheer confidence and competency they show as the move a song from the heaviest thrash, to the bouncy pop-rock, to catchy pop, and back again is a joy to listen to.

A bouncy new wave pop song has a huge dirge-like doom metal breakdown in the middle.  A Hagar-era Van Halen sounding rock song breaks into a hardcore punk middle eight, before a surf-pop chorus sweeps over the top.  A fast, skate-punk thrash is held together by a Nao-screeched pop chorus.  A chorus as catchy as anything ever written by ABBA breaks out into a double-time detuned mosh.

And there’s even a self-titled theme song; which could be Tool if Maynard was singing in Japanese.  And if they had a female vocalist able to sing an addictive little hook over a heavy-as-fuck chorus.  And if Tool were able to relax enough to turn the middle of a song into a little rock-rap of the sort Red Hot Chilli Peppers used to do in the 80s.

The album’s catchy-as-fuck.  Apart from occasional use of English I don’t understand a single thing they’re saying, but yet I often find myself singing the songs out loud to myself.  In Japanese. Potentially awkward.

Yoshū Fukushū is intense, weird, surprising, and a huge amount of fun.  Maximum the Hormone are a band that clearly loves and listens to a lot of rock music across a huge spectrum of styles and feels, and enjoys mixing them together into some utterly unique combination of songs.    I struggle to think of many Western rock bands who can (or who did) flit between styles so confidently.  I keep coming back to Faith No More; but that just may be recognising an idiosyncratic approach to what they do – and a huge sense of fun – within both bands.

Ah, look, you really need to check them out yourself.  Below’s the video for one of the singles off the album, A.L.I.E.N, and it’s superb.  Keep watching.  If you think it gets a bit intense and odd when the bassist sprouts a second and third head, you haven’t seen anything yet.  Because just when you think it can’t get any louder, it goes someone where entirely.  Keep watching…

Beer match:  I reckon you want something a bit playful, a bit surprising, a bit rock-and-roll to go with this album.  Sounds like a Townshend beer to me.  I’m very tempted to suggest the Divine Intervention, the strong, hoppy Belgian pale brewed with Southstar’s Kieran Haslett Moore, but both Kieran and Martin Townshend might not like me co-opting their Slayer-inspired ale or a genre-mashing Japanese metal band.  Or maybe they won’t?

Ah, either way, instead I’d suggest the JCIPA instead.  One of my favourite beers; a superbly balanced “traditional” IPA; not a hop-bomb, not too sweet, just the right combination of malt and hops rolling over each other.  A nice punch of citrus, a nice lingeringly sweet bitterness, a lot of fun, and maybe a pleasant surprise if you were expecting a more American-style IPA.   Just like you’d be surprised by Maximum the Hormone if you were expecting American-style metal…

Baylands Brewery ‘Miss Demeanour’

Beer love.  It’s like bus love, but with a beer.

What, you haven’t heard of bus love, either?  Well, it’s when you’re sitting on the bus and someone gets on who you instantly fall head-over-heels in love with.  Something about their hair, their clothes, their posture, the way they swipe their Snapper card.  Something.  And you sit there for the rest of the trip in a reverie of romance, a life spent together, children and forever after.

Or maybe just really hot sex.

Anyway, beer love’s a lot like that.  When you’re sitting there, having a drink or two, and a new beer appears in your glass that you’ve never tried before.  And from the first mouthful you know this is the one. The one you’ll drink again and again, love forever.

At least until the next beer that sweeps you off your feet.

Mind you, unlike bus love, beer love is more likely to be reciprocated.  Beer is a very giving drink in that regard.  And unlike bus love, it’s likely you’ll be able to continue the fling with that beer again and again and the more I think about it beer love isn’t all that similar to bus love when you get right down to it.

Um, where was I?

Oh, yeah, last Wednesday I was breaking my sort-of-Feb Fast with a few beers at Bin 44Rex Attitude was first up, of course, and it barely touched the sides.  But soon after was my first taste of Baylands BreweryMiss Demeanour.’ And it was beer love, just like that.

Not long ago I waxed a bit lyrical about ‘Golden Perch’ from Yeastie Boys.  Now, I love that ale so much I could almost say that the “hoppy golden ale” style might well be my favourite.  If I’d ever tasted more than just that one.

Well, now I’ve got a sample size of two, and I’ll take the 100% success rate as confirmation that, yes, hoppy golden ales are a favourite style of mine.  Especially on a sunny summer or autumn’s afternoon.

This golden ale is chock full of hops.  Perhaps too full, if you’re a golden ale purist.  Me, I love the explosion of citrus and resin that wafts off the top, and the big, sharp fruity grapefruit flavours that roll around in the mouth.  And a big, long, sweet and resinous aftertaste, lip smacking and leaving the mouth just dry enough that you want another sip.

And, at 4.2% abv, this is one that you can keep on sipping for a few pints as the sun sets without getting too squiffy. 

Delicious.  So much so I had to pop back into the bar the next day just to make sure I wasn’t imagining how delicious this unassuming golden ale from the little garage-based family brewery from Newlands.  Nope, even better the second time around (with no Rex to ruin the palate beforehand).

There’s some great stuff coming out of that Newlands garage, and for my taste buds, this is the best yet.  Cheers, Aidan and Nikki Styles!

Big call time: I think it might even be better than the Golden Perch.  I’d really like to try Miss Demeanour from the bottle to be sure, so for now I’ll tie them neck-to-neck when it comes to smooth, easy drinking, moderately boozy full flavoured hoppy golden ales. 

How’s that for a style classification?

The New Pornographers – Mass Romantic (2000)

Insanely infectious harmonies soaring over raucous jangly guitars, Beach Boys melodies swirling above Beatles-influenced pop band arrangements, sharp and catchy angular Cheap Trick riffs and indie power pop garage thump.  God damn, this album is joyous!

When I first saw Canadian “pop supergroup” The New Pornographers live back in 2008 I’d only heard their most recent album, Challengers.  Yet, still, all through a gig that spanned material new and old there was a surfeit of hooks, of melodies that grabbed you into singing along to a chorus you hadn’t heard before that moment.

Simply great pop music, played with skills, smarts and a whole lot of talent. And it’s all here, on their Mass Romantic, their debut album.

Sure, it isn’t perfect.  Maybe too many ideas, maybe not enough bass and depth to the production, maybe a bit thin.  But that’s all easy to shove to one side when song after song drenches you in such addictive hooks, strung and sung over the top of a huge, bright, fun slab of jangling indie pop.

A bit of 60s organ, a bit of sax, and a lot of harmonies lay the whole thing out nicely, while the lyrics are as ridiculous and melodramatic as they need to be to build the songs to climactic choruses.  Burt Bacharach by way of The Pixies.

The entire band sings, each bringing their own unique tone (culminating with them all singing “so give us the keys now, we’ll burn this hall of justice down!” at the end of the album. There’s Neko Case with her brassy soaring siren call, Carl Newman with his slightly off-sweet voice and Dan Bejar‘s knowingly smirking tones all expressing something different, but all clearly sounding like they all mean what they sing – and enjoy singing it.

Power pop at its best, and giving big strong hints towards the more layered and baroque pop this band would head towards over later albums.  While showing how rooted they were in the guitar-bass-drums-keyboard-vocals root of all the best pop music.

Listen, and smile.

Beer match:  I really want a beer… today’s the last day of my belated, broken Feb Fast.  What do I want?  A Rex Attitude?   But, that’s by-the-by.  What would I be drinking, if I was to be drinking a beer while listening to this album as I write this post.   Ahh, shit, yeah, it’d be the Rex…  But, if you’re not me, I’d want to match this beer with something bright and joyful.  Sounds like a ParrotDog BitterBitch to me!

…now I really want a BitterBitch.

Yeastie Boys ‘Rex Attitude’

A few Twitter storms in a pint glasses last week, which evolved in classic Twitter style.  Someone wrote something. Someone else responded.  Others saw, retweeted, brought their own agendas and prejudices to the Twitter pile-on, someone external to the original argument took it all a bit too far, and so on.  And that’s all I really want to say about that,

But, one of the storms involved someone tweeting their thoughts on Yeastie Boys’ ‘Rex Attitude’.  Like “liquid nail polish remover” they wrote.  And most offensively, they called it an Australian beer.

I’d been thinking a bit about The Rex lately.  I’ve three days to go on my “sort-of-Feb Fast,” which was delayed starting, then interrupted by last week’s conference and a birthday party, but now winding down to the 28th day without alcohol (and other things. For health, you know).

So my mind’s been turned a bit to what beer I’d like to break the fast with.  And I think I’d really like it to be a Rex Attitude.  That insane heavily-peated golden ale from the Yeasties, that uncompromising smoke bomb of a beer.  I love it.

Well, I love it now.  I didn’t at first.  Did anyone (apart from probably Stu McKinley)?

I went along to the launch of the beer at Regional Wines and Spirits a few years back, and immediately on walking into the room I could see something was afoot.  I could see Stu standing behind a counter, carefully eyeing everyone’s reactions as they took their first sip.  And, just behind him was Jed Soane, photographing as many first-reactions as he could.

And the first-reactions?  Well, best see them for yourself on Jed’s The Beer Project if you haven’t already.

Me, I took a taster and, when Jed’s camera was pointing elsewhere, sniffed then drunk the golden ale that seemed to almost cling to the sides of the glass. Burnt rubber and a bit of iodine.

It was full-on, confrontational, and I didn’t like it at all.  Very unusual flavours for a beer. I’ve since begun to explore Islay whisky, and I can now instantly link those smoky, salty spirits to what the Yeasties have done with this 7% golden ale, but back in April 2011 I hadn’t encountered those flavours before.

Before it even touched my lips it was confronting me.  Rex Attitude fairly punches you in the face with a huge whiff like a bottle of iodine broken into a beachside bonfire.  Smoke and medicine, almost ghastly.  But then when it hits your mouth there’s this massive sweetness, warm and sticky, that tempers the obnoxiously strong aroma with a more delicious undertone.  But, on that first taste, I found it very quickly replaced by an aftertaste that felt a bit like I’d imagine it would be like to lick the tar seal after a burnout has been done on it.

If it wasn’t for the strong sweetness carrying the smoke and medicine flavours I probably would’ve put the glass down and never tried it again.  But I didn’t.  There was something there, in the sticky sweetness and over-powering smoke that got me thinking.  Got me thinking that I should buy a couple of bottles.  Maybe not to drink, but perhaps to cook with.  “Sweet liquid smoke,” you see.  Could be useful…

And it was.  The next weekend I cooked a pork-and-bean chilli and added about half a bottle of Rex Attitude to the pot.  Worked brilliantly.  The sweetness and smoke of the ale buoyed the chilli, garlic and tomato flavours of the slow-cooked chilli; the end result was less smoky than if I’d used chipotle, but was richer, smoother and more “blended” due to effect of the sugars in the ale.

I drunk the rest of the bottle while cooking the chilli and, better prepared, I could see what this beer was trying to do.  Over-thinking, over-smelling, over-analysing is not this beer’s friends.  Over-anticipation probably doesn’t help, either.  But quietly drinking half-a-bottle while cooking, just sipping it into my mouth without thinking too much about it, it all made sense.  Rather than burnt rubber, I was getting bacon.  Rather than iodine, I was getting play between saltiness  and sweetness of the deliciously thick golden ale.

That’s really the genius of this ale.  Using the heavily-peated malt to make a golden ale rather than a darker beer just works.  The massive smokiness of the aroma is utterly balanced when the drink finally gets into your mouth.

By the end of that half-bottle I was really beginning to enjoy it.  So, of course, I had to open the second bottle.  And by the end of that, I was in love…

For a while there in 2011 I’d drink Rex Attitude as often as I could find it in bars; often simply for the reactions you’d get from others when the aroma crept out of the glass, across the table, into their nostrils.  Such a polarising beer, it wasn’t unknown for people to shift tables rather than smell it!

And many people still hate it. Try it once, and will never try it again.  I can’t see where “liquid nail polish remover” comes from, though.  If you’d asked me to associate that smell with a drink, it’d be cheap vodka, surely?  Not an incredibly smoky ale…

But, yes, come Wednesday, I’ll be looking to have a beer after work.  And I do hope that beer is a Rex Attitude.  (Or, even better, it’s stronger, smoother, more sophisticated relative, XerreX.)

I’m looking forward to it…