Spreadable beer – yes, that thing you never knew you needed, is here. Well, it’s in Selfridges, at least – at £7.99 for a 280g jar. A Italian collaboration between brewer Emauela Laurenzi and chocolatier Pietro Napoleone, they essentially seem to have turned two sorts of beer (one light, one dark) into creamy pastes that can be then applied to toast, crackers – or anything else. It’s a gimmick, of course, but one that might do well in its native land – Italy gave Nutella to the world, after all (February 5th is World Nutella Day, hazelnut fans).
Over here, it’s doubtful anyone will really go for it – particularly given the price tag. Robertson’s Silver Shred it is not. Still, it raises an interesting point – is merely drinking your beer now passé? What other mechanisms are out there for conveyance of your beery needs? Is spreadable beer just the (sticky) tip of the iceberg?
Like the onetime-fashion for boutique Oxygen in jarring, multi-levelled 80’s clubs, trendy inhaling often catches a wave (only to fall flat soon afterwards, once the light-headed rush has gone). From their TV promo, BrewDog (who else?) look to have had a go at creating a literal interpretation of a steam beer whilst in California – will the future see more of this? Nights out in ‘Aroma Bars’, hunkering down over bowls of dark, swirling clouds of stout, or zingy grapefruity IPA vapour? ‘Steampunks’ taking the piss out of ‘LagerBreathers’ (the term becoming an insult), as they inhale their faint-smelling gas? Beer vapour would be great for the sinuses, if nothing else.
Ouch! Trypanophobics might not go for this in a hurry, but there’d be no need to sit down on a creaking pub stool listening to the usual bores, when you can mainline the stuff in seconds. Admittedly, the Daily Mail would probably have a field day with the idea, but one-time shots of monstrously-strong imperial stout straight into the bloodstream would certainly help you forget the long meeting with the accounts department. It would also shake up the RateBeer crowd, no longer requiring them to note a beer’s appearance, aroma, or flavour: ‘Rusty Plunger Brewing Company ‘Veinfiller’ (syringe-aged version): Pupil Dilation 6, Sudden Rush 8, Trackmarks 2, Tetanus 0′
Similar to the Aroma Bars (by then a predicted scourge on society), beer-containing deodorant simply combines this with your morning cleansing routine. Let’s face it, most of us end up smelling of beer towards the end of the evening anyway, so you may as well set off for the office as you mean to go on. It shouldn’t require a quantum leap to get from cornie kegs to underarm dispense. It would then present a tricky dilemma for CAMRA members – get a morning beery jolt, dispersed quickly into the bloodstream, yet have to purchase a pressurised container to deliver their hit?
Fast-forward five hundred years. As our descendents zip around on personal space-fairing rocket skateboards – the entire galaxy available at the flick of a hyperspace-enabling switch – who has time for five pints on a Friday night at the Rat & Cockroach? With breweries condensing their wares into handy capsule format, you don’t need to! Take part in the weekly beer ritual in seconds, wherever you are, by popping a few beer-flavoured pills. Carry a round back from the bar without the need for a slippery tray! Just be careful when programming hyperspace coordinates into the skateboard afterwards. Oh, and craft beer pills go in one end, macro lager pills, the other.
Maybe in the sparkling future there won’t be any physical beer to pour at all. Instead, ‘pub-goers’ will lie in their individual gloop-filled pods and simply download beer straight into the cortex, in nanoseconds. What would this be like? When every virtually-thrown dart hits the treble twenty? Your jukebox song comes on, instantly? Every beer that’s ever been made is available, all the time, served however you like? Paradise, my friends? Or a nightmare? There is an alternative, though. Take the blue beer pill – and remain in the beer matrix, or take the Watney’s Red Barrel pill, and be transported into the early 1970’s, to see what real beer really meant…