Small beer

I enjoy a nice bottle of Wifebeater just as much as anyone. I revere Patrick Stewart as a fine actor, the best captain of the Enterprise and the only person ever to make a Mirfield accent sound pleasant. But if I see that Stella advert one more time I may have to convert to whatever's on draught as my default beer and consider whether I can accept Scott Bakula as anyone other than Dr. Sam Beckett (not Kirk. Never Kirk).

"In the year 1366," booms our Pat, "people feared terrible dangers."

Well, yes, this is true. The first European attack of bubonic plague was within living memory. Up to a third of the population had been wiped out. Other diseases were common, life was brutal and short. Society was in the middle of an enormous upheaval that would see the end of serfdom. Excellent. This shows a solid understanding of the medieval experience.

"They believed the earth was flat…"

WHA-?! I… no. No. Really, no. Let's pit one weighty celeb against another, shall we? Calling Stephen Fry, and the QI elves, to give evidence against Mr Stewart: "Since around the fourth century BC, almost no one, anywhere, has believed that the earth is flat."* Plato taught that the earth is round, people in medieval Belgium did not think the earth was flat. You're talking bollocks, Patrick.

"..and the sun set into the sea."

Seriously. Are you on drugs, Patrick? Have you been back to the old neighbourhood and taken the opportunity to purchase some crack? Copernicus caused a stir in 1514 because his theory that the earth revolved around the sun conflicted with the very widely held, and very firmly believed, theory that the sun revolved round the earth. A theory that had been around for a lot longer than 150 years. All the way back to Aristotle, in fact. No sea-setting in sight. You'd have thought a Starfleet Captain would have known at least some of that.

"So when the citizens of Leuven set out to create the perfect beer, they risked all to gather the ingredients."

Yes, braving lands marked 'here be dragons' by the sound of it.

[Screen captions] "The finest hops. The purest water. Maize and malted barley."

Basic agricultural products? Those are the ingredients Tintin's ancestors are boldly gathering? What precisely are these dangers they were they facing in the journey from their shacks to their fields? A patch of mud? Was it a bit windy perchance? Did one of them lose their hat? I'm losing all respect for you here, Patrick.

"And today the beer still contains only the same four precious ingredients."

Hmm. You've made such a song and dance about this I'm only really going to be impressed if these precious ingredients are gold, rhodium, platinum and palladium. Oh no? Still hops, water, maize and barley? Didn't Becks run a campaign boasting about how it, too, has just four ingredients? You're fooling no one with your outlandish claims.

"Dare you brave the dangers they faced?"

What, do a bit of farming? I'm going to have to decline, with me being a city girl and all that, but I could probably turn my hand to a bit of hoeing more easily than, say, facing down a tank in Tiananmen Square in the name of freedom. I don't quite know what you're doing with your animations of besieged castles, sinking ships and ravaged landscapes. Doesn't look to have much to do with brewing to me.

"Take the challenge of 1366 at stellaartois.com"

Do you mind if I pass? It's just that virtually everything you've said up to now has been an enormous stinking pile of crap. I'm a bit concerned I'll get redirected to a pr0n site and my computer will get clogged up with malware. You disappoint me Patrick. You cut me deep.

* from The Book of General Ignorance

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