Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

I can't stomach it

Beer flavoured with private parts?!! Enough is enough!

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Now that Thanksgiving is just a fading memory, I'm starting to experience mysterious gnawing pains in the pit of my stomach.

It may be intestinal parasites from underdone turkey, or it could be something far more significant, such as the painful empty feeling spawned by the realization my life is lacking purpose.

Just in case it's that second thing, today I have decided to give my life new meaning by taking a courageous journalistic stand on a vital issue of the day.

What I am trying to say is I am bravely drawing a line in the sand in a sincere and humanitarian effort to stop what I consider one of the most dangerous trends in modern times -- brewers putting stupid ingredients in beer.

If you happen to be a beer-drinking guy of the male gender, you know what I'm talking about. If your tastes run more to white wine spritzers, I will explain.

The problem began innocently enough a few years back when brewers, without even asking me, started adding lime flavouring to their beer. I am not a medical expert, but there is no legitimate reason to add lime to beer unless you are planning a long sea voyage and are worried about coming down with a bad case of scurvy.

As it turns out, lime was just the tip of a gigantic beer iceberg, which, if we flipped it over, would reveal a bunch of other stupid ingredients beer-makers are now inserting in their suds, such as lemon flavouring.

Not content with citrus flavours, the makers of our favorite refreshing summertime beverage decided the next logical step was to reinvigorate their sagging market share by infusing beer with (why not?) iced tea. That's like trying to infuse Stephen Harper with human feelings or Ben Affleck with acting talent.

I know what you are thinking. You are thinking: "Iced tea? That is the dumbest thing you could put in a tasty beverage like beer!" Well, let me just say, and I mean this in the best possible way, you are a blockhead. I make that bold assessment based on several news stories I have just read stating a Colorado brewery is launching a beer flavoured with (if you are currently eating breakfast, you may wish to stop) bull testicles.

You probably think I am kidding around in a lighthearted manner, but this is not the sort of column that makes light of serious issues such as beer.

According to these news reports, earlier this month, the Wynkoop Brewing Company in Denver tapped into its first keg of Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout, made with local malts, barley, hops, sea salt, and (cough) 25 pounds of roasted bull gonads, which are sliced by hand before being added to the beer's mash.

The odd truth is the brewery first announced it was making a testicle-flavoured beer as an April Fool's Day stunt, but the reaction was so overwhelmingly positive it decided to whip some up for real.

Call me a crusader with fire in his eyes, but this is wrong on many levels. We realize deep-fried bull bits are a popular prank food on the Prairies, but beer has always been the beverage you consume to get that (bad word) taste OUT of your mouth.

What does this beer taste like? Head brewer Andy Brown is quoted as saying: "We've been making ballsy beer for the past few years. It has equally deep flavours of chocolate syrup, Kahlua, and espresso, along with a palpable level of alcohol and a savoury umami-like note."

Umami? Really? If we wanted "savoury umami-like notes" in our beer we would darn well look up umami in the nearest dictionary to find out what the heck it is in the first place.

Anyway, we sincerely wish we could tell you this alarming trend in alcohol flavoured with private parts ends here, but we would be lying. It is our sad duty to inform you that a German liquor company is launching a line of spirits it pledges were poured over a glamorous model's naked breasts before being bottled.

A news story I am holding in my hands states G-Spirits' founders, two former bartenders, dreamed up the concept for their limited-edition booze when they heard about a vodka filtered through diamonds. "To create the perfect taste, we let every single drop of our spirits run over the breasts of a special woman, one whose characteristics we saw reflected in the liquor," the company's website boasts of the bottles, which will sell for about $152 to $177.

Sure, the company claims medical personnel are on hand to ensure their products comply with health requirements, but I am finding all of this hard to swallow.

It's time to stand up and say enough is enough! It won't be easy. Stopping this trend will require serious gonads on our part. Fortunately, I know where we can find some.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 12, 2012 A2

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