Session #142: Funeral Beer


This is our con­tri­bu­tion to the final edi­tion of the Ses­sion host­ed by Stan Hierony­mus: “Pick a beer for the end of a life, an end of a meal, an end of a day, an end of a rela­tion­ship. So hap­py or sad, or some­thing between. Write about the beer. Write about the aro­ma, the fla­vor, and write about what you feel when it is gone.”

Funeral beer is whatever beer they have on at the pub near the crematorium, or the social club in town.

That usu­al­ly means big brand lager or smooth­flow bit­ter. Aun­tie Joan on the sher­ry, let’s raise a whisky in mem­o­ry, it’s what they would have want­ed.

Or Guin­ness.

And, let’s face it, Guin­ness fits a funer­al best of all, per­ma­nent­ly dressed in that old black suit.

It feels as if Ire­land owns funer­al drink­ing in some sense born of stereo­types and heavy lit­er­a­ture, so even if you aren’t even slight­ly Irish on your mother’s side, Guin­ness fits.

It is dark, slow, bit­ter.

And these days, a lit­tle sad, too.

A mono­chrome beer for a mono­chrome mood, sit­ting on your stom­ach like a rain­cloud.

2 thoughts on “Session #142: Funeral Beer”

  1. The near­est hotel to Stock­port Ceme­tery and Cre­ma­to­ri­um where I’ve been to quite a few funer­als used to have draught Mur­phy’s which I always enjoyed, but now just has cans of Guin­ness along with the usu­al keg beers. There are a cou­ple of Robin­sons pubs in the cen­tre of town which cater for wakes too. If you go to Man­ches­ter South­ern Ceme­tery and Cre­ma­to­ri­um, there are quite a few places along the Wilm­slow Road cor­ri­dor through With­ing­ton and Dids­bury which also do and have decent cask beer. At the last funer­al I went to a few weeks ago, we end­ed up in a social club in Stock­port which had one of the best, and cheap­est, pints of Holt’s Bit­ter I’ve drunk for a while.

  2. My dad was on com­mit­tee of his social club and had wit­tered on at length to me about his achieve­ment of get­ting cop­per drag­on on the bar . We man­aged to get cask of best on for the wake , we paid club what they did for the cask and had it on free. Bloody shame he did­n’t live longer :ilk­ley brew­ery opened half mile from his house a week or two after he died. For months after it felt like every bar i entered had cop­per drag­on best or gold­en pip­pin on (usu­al­ly I was get­ting either first or last pint from a bar­rel, con­clud­ed my old man’s ghost had noth­ing bet­ter to do ) cop­per drag­on had bit of a con­vo­lut­ed his­to­ry since then and rather stood still for the last decade whilst oth­er brew­ers devel­oped their art .

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