Friday, January 4, 2013

January 4th, 2013 - A Welcome Beer For The Troops

Good evening troops!  The Meista here with another pairing for you!  I'm listening to The Boomtown Rats and their 1978 album, "A Tonic For The Troops" and drinking a Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith's Old Brewery, Tadcaster, England ("Yorkshire's oldest brewery.")

A "New Wave," post-punk band from Dún Laoghaire, Ireland, the Boomtown Rats were known for their dark themes and upbeat, power-pop style.  And they definitely deliver that sound on "A Tonic For The Troops."  Best known from their hit song "I Don't Like Mondays" from the album "The Fine Art of Surfacing" and for frontman, Bob Geldof (who later organized Live Aid and starred in the Pink Floyd movie "The Wall"), the Boomtown Rats were a musical monster of underrated talent, precision, and irony.  One of the great things about this band is the duality of  Geldof's often dark and twisted lyrics and the band's sound.  They deliver a fast-paced, poppy powerhouse that makes you want to get up and dance while Geldof sings about heartache, suffering, and death.  Songs like "Rat Trap," "Like Clockwork," "Mary On The 4th Floor," and "She's So Modern" are perfect examples of this duality... and all just plain kick ass!  And the song "(I Never Loved) Eva Braun" was once described by one music critic as "the happiest, cheeriest, best upbeat song about Hitler ever written." Funniest line in that song: "Are you really going out with Adolf?"  Along with bands like the Cars, the Police, and Cheap Trick, the Boomtown Rats helped define the post-punk, New Wave sound of the mid to late 1970s with integrity, musicianship, and intelligence.  There's even a bit of old Bruce Springsteen's rock and roll sensibility in their sound.  (Just listen to the sax playing on "Rat Trap.")

For such fast-paced, engaging, and fun music I decided I needed a beer of equal character.  The Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale is a limited edition, seasonal ale brewed for the winter months.  It tastes great and goes down easy.  It pours a deep copper amber with a thin, off-white head.  The nose is rather mild with subtle notes of malt and mellow spice... maybe clove?  The Winter Welcome has a nice balance of malt, caramel, and biscuit flavors against whole-dried Fuggle and Golding hops.  It has a nice, "warm" flavor that is smooth and satisfying and finishes with a nice toffee note.  As Mr. Will Shakespeare said and as printed on the bottle of the Winter Welcome Ale, "Blessing of your heart... you brew good ale."


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