St. John's Wort Beery Musings And Amusing Beers

Tag Archives: Doggerel

The Fermentation of David MacEwan

(Ed. Note: About once a year the family doggerel gene takes over. I try to fight it. Believe me. This is a cautionary tale in the style of Robert Service’s Songs of Sourdough. It is meant to be a warning about putting too much of yourself into your work. I hope it doesn’t offend.)


Odd deeds are committed in breweries fitted by men who don’t know what they’re doin’.

A rookie mistake is all it might take to bring a craft brewer to ruin.

Ontario’s shores have seen overpriced pours and cans that are not fit for SKUin’.

But none were so rank as we found in the tank of a brewer named David MacEwan.


Now David was placed in a job he thought wasted his talent (although he had little).

An accounting degree led to KPMG but he knew he was stuck in the middle.

He never wore jeans and he stared at a screen, it was pushing him over the deep end.

He discovered craft beer and for nearly a year he got drunker each subsequent weekend.


On a boxing day spree, he purchased with glee a bucket and carboy for home.

He scrounged swing top bottles and hoses and throttles and tubing to blow off the foam.

He waited two weeks to show off to beer geeks the ale that he’d made in his kitchen.

Anyone who had taste couldn’t look in his face when they said, “Uh, yeah, Dave… It’s bitchin'”


No one had the heart to say at the start that David should not have persisted.

His palate was bad, his skills less than mad and his talent had never existed.

He hated his job and they thought the poor slob would continue to brew as a hobby.

Their mildest of praise ignited a blaze. David became increasingly snobby.


It’s a familiar story of striving for glory when craft brewing becomes the fashion.

Now Dave had no skill, but developed a will: His only attribute was passion.

Passion is great, but it doesn’t equate to knowledge or skill or ability.

The passionate can, when absent a plan, become a severe liability.


The development board of a backwater ward was looking for brewers and pronto.

They’d pay half a mil if a brewer could fill in a spot just outside Deseronto.

David resigned, left accounting behind, said goodbye to a life of security

The poor ignoramus thought his ale would be famous and escape historic obscurity.


Now five hundred grand isn’t much for a man who knows nothing of buying equipment.

He purchased new steel that he thought was a deal and waited a year for the shipment.

The shipping container did a half gainer and sank somewhere in the pacific.

With each perceived failure he’d sit in his trailer using beer as a mild soporific.


The concrete was poured and drainage was bored and the brewhouse was finally ready,

But the money was gone and the bank overdrawn; his hands and his actions unsteady.

Circumstances were dire with no money to hire a receptionist or an assistant

Some men would give up, but Dave, in his cups, found the passion that made him persistent.


He worked, at his prime, three shifts at a time. His back ached from mashing and raking.

He’d facebook and tweet (while soaking his feet) to promote this, his new undertaking.

He’d jump in his jeep on two hours of sleep, delivering coasters and glasses.

He thought that his ale was unlikely to fail to bring kudos and coin from the masses.


It must have been hell when the beer didn’t sell. The public reception was dodgy.

They’d sip at his beer and say with a sneer “it’s boring and terribly stodgy.”

He increased the BU’s and cranked up the booze and added in brettanomyces.

The brewing defects made his projects rejects even under six layers of spices.


The bankrupted dope, at the end of his rope, still believed in his talent for brewing

Although if you asked any customers past, they’d have questioned just what he was doing

Then one fateful night, in the depth of his plight, defeated and visibly ashen

He climbed in the hatch and brewed up a batch with his secret ingredient: passion.


I arrived the next day, quite unsure what to say when no one was present to greet me

I’d come to review his penultimate brew and I thought that he’d be happy to meet me.

With no one around, the prevalent sound was the hum from the largest fermenter

As I drew near, I trembled with fear as a voice seemed to come from its center.


“I’ve found my home, down amongst the foam. I find carbonation just tickles.

It’s comfortable here, in these barrels of beer, if nobody opens the zwickels.”

For David McEwan, No talent for brewing, but some for transubstantiation.

He died for the sins of your firkins and pins in a beery transmogrification.


Odd deeds are committed in breweries fitted by men who don’t know what they’re doin’.

A rookie mistake is all it might take to bring a craft brewer to ruin.

Ontario’s shores have seen overpriced pours and cans that are not fit for SKUin’.

But none were so rank as we found in the tank of a brewer named David MacEwan.

The Craft Beer Advent Calendar

I would like to apologize in advance. 


‘Twas the month before Christmas and in my apartment,

The beers overflowed from the storage compartment

The fridge had no room left for soy sauce or jelly

On the bright side, no leftovers rendered it smelly


This infrequently happens to your beer reporter,

But sometimes with packages sent from importers

And brewers who’ve got a new product who think

That a bottle of this beer is what you should drink


They usually email to say that it’s coming

And this month the igoogle inbox was humming

The PR releases could choke a small camel

Or some lesser species of quadruped mammal


You usually know what the beer’s going to be

They list malts and hops and if it’s on lees

And although the packages come in all sizes

There frequently aren’t very many surprises


But one day an email arrived from out west

Craft Beer Importers, in a fit of beau geste,

were sending a package, a Christmassy present

I wasn’t to open until it was advent.


The concept is simple: December progresses;

Each day there’s a beer and with hope it impresses.

Not one of the beers have been sold here before.

There’s promise and wonder with each opened door.


With a chime of the buzzer and a knock on the door,

My package arrived and was set on the floor,

The man who delivered was nervous and wary,

That comes with the job, if the job is Beer Fairy.


His coveralls stank of a spilled pint of lager

His belly was proof that he wasn’t a jogger

Decorum was naught to this drunken old elf.

He burped and he farted and scratched at himself.


His cheeks, how they flushed! His stare it was glassy!

The Beer Fairy’s never mistaken for classy.

He thrust out a waybill and lent me his pen.

I signed, and he staggered back off to his van.


As I unwrapped the package I heard a small hubbub

“Sod this for a laugh, now I’m off down the pub, bub.

Now Blotto! Now Shaky! Now Wobbles and Stankey!

On Gulper! On Stumbles! On Pukey  and Jankey!”


(I love when he visits, please don’t get me wrong.

It’s just that I’m glad that he never stays long.

When he stands in the hallway the neighbours all stare.

They must not appreciate his savoir faire.)


I addressed myself back to the package and gripping

The handle could swear that the cardboard was ripping

In moments, the contents had covered the floor

And sadly, there are no surprises in store.


There are beers that have hops and some have seen barrels,

Some are probably worthy of new Christmas carols

“Oh my giddy aunt” I exclaimed in alarum,

“Beers featuring saccharomyces uvarum!”


They sit in my fridge and I cannot review’em

I don’t want to spoil the surprises for you’m

Who actually purchased this big box of beer.

At least I can say there’ll be reason for cheer.


The selection is worthy of waiting for advent!

It’s on shelves in Alberta! Buy one if you haven’t!

Stock’s running low now, so mind you don’t tarry

And watch out on the road if you see The Beer Fairy.