Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Emperor's New Beer

Once upon a time there lived an emperor. The emperor was much loved by his people and would hold great parties in the grounds of his castle, where all the people would come to eat, drink and be merry. At his parties the people would eat the finest foods, drink the very best beer and dance until the sweat poured down their backs.

One day a pair of travelling brewers came to the emperor's castle looking for work. With another party being planned, the emperor asked them about the beer they made. The brewers told him that they brewed a special beer unlike anything he had ever drunk, a beer so new and innovative that it was fit only for kings and lords, not for the common man. The emperor was sad to hear this because he loved his people and loved his parties with them, but decided to hire the brewers to make their new beer for his next party anyway. The beer would be only for the emperor and his nobles, since only they could appreciate it.

The brewers set to work, using the malt and hops that were kept in the castle storehouse, and taking water from the castle well. When the liquid was ready they poured it into a barrel and added yeast taken from a barrel used for the most recent party, and so the new beer was almost ready. The day before the party, the brewers went to see the emperor and told him how the beer they brewed was the best they had ever made and that on no condition should the common people be allowed to drink it. The brewers talked about how the common people would not understand the complexity of flavours, or appreciate the wonderful aroma of the beer. The emperor paid the brewers for their work and the brewers presented him with special glasses, telling him that the glasses made the beer a better experience. That night the brewers left the castle and nothing was heard from them again.

The next day, the emperor's servants prepared for the party. Tables groaned under the weight of food, pigs roasted on spits, filling the air with the smell of sizzling meat. The castle bakery was working overtime making bread. Barrels of wine, beer and mead were stacked ready to be drunk. In one corner of the castle courtyard the emperor ordered a special table, with a bright white cloth, for the beer made by the brewers. Next to the barrel were the glasses and on the table a sign saying 'Nobles Only', a guard stood next to the barrel to keep the common men from trying the beer.

The people came to the party, they ate, the drank and they made merry. The emperor and the nobles gathered around the barrel of special beer and poured some into the glasses. The air was filled with gasps of delight as the nobles nosed their beer, 'such fine aromas' was heard more than once, they all agreed that this beer was singularly the best they had ever experienced. As the emperor and his coterie celebrated the wonderful success of their beer, a servant boy took a glass of the beer, drank it and asked the emperor 'why does this taste just like the normal beer?'.

1 comment:

  1. And at the end of the party the emperor was still an emperor and the servant boy was still a servant boy.