It turns out that after all these years of scepticism I have been wrong. There is a force of good and bad balancing each other out in the universe; call it karma. There is a perfect state of death; call it heaven. There is an omnipotent force to be discovered; call it god. Today I have experienced two of these, and indirectly glimpsed the third.
An unfortunate experience in my girlfriend’s car, the breaking of the clutch cable, in busy traffic can only be the result of bad karma. Shaken but unharmed we made it to safety by the recycling point at Baguley Tesco (Tesco seems to be getting an awful lot of passing mentions in my blog; they’re assimilation rate increases exponentially). We were all extremely hungry, driving as we were to get a Sunday carvery in Altrincham. I set off to get us all MacDonald’s to fill our empty hungover bellies, and my girlfriend contact our car’s guardian angel. By the time I returned bearing chicken burgers and happy meals, the watchful seraphim had arrived and was attaching the tow bar. Our plans of a carvery were well out of the window. We were towed to Altrincham to have the clutch cable replaced, and killed time with an aimless walk around the back streets of Altrincham.
And here the bad karma we had received was balanced out by the best of karma; we glimpsed the heaven in death. More precisely we discovered, in a basement down an alley, a beer bar called Mort Subite (translates as Sudden Death).
Curious I walked in, down the steps and through a curtain into an almost pitch black room. Before my eyes could acclimatise we were greeted by a waitress and shown a table. I bumped into people and chairs as I struggled to find my bearings in the dark, but gradually I saw the light and was able to read the extensive beer menu before me. Pages and pages of rich and delicious beers from Belgium, Scotland, Netherlands, Czech Republic and elsewhere. After much deliberation I ordered a 7.5% Belgian blonde called Nounnelle. As she arrived I began to see more and more details of the gloomy bar. The only lighting came from candles, and the decor was all Art Nouveau (lamps and framed prints, etc). The place was pure luxury. It reminded me of the Better Than Life interactive computer game from Red Dwarf; a game which burrows into your brain creating a perfect virtual reality world based on the gamers private idea of perfection. I had no memory of entering the game but this is a feature of the game; the very reason it is so addictive. The perfect essential bar has been extracted from my fantasy and exists in Altrincham.
As well as a massive selection of beer there is also a three quid cheese and German sausage snack board, and a 79% alcohol black absinthe. And this heaven amongst bars is also host to a bona fide omnipotent God. This god has not existed for ever, as proponents of other god mythologies may have you believe. This god is the result of a process. A process of brewing. To be more precise it is a quadruple Indian Pale Ale, with four times the hops, brewed in Scotland by the magnificent Brew Dog. This is not just your ordinary run-of-the-mill god. This god is a beer called Sink The Bismark and it weighs in at a staggering 41%.
I am a believer. I have seen god and god is an insanely bitter hoppy beer containing 41% alcohol. Sadly I have yet to taste god, because god costs £61 (at least it does in Mort Subite; on the Brew Dog website it is £40) for a tiny 33cl bottle.