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"I don't drink any more... then again, I don't drink any less." - Mike Mullikins uncle
"I controlled my laughter and simple said "No,I am very busy,so I can't write any code for you". The moment they heard this all the smiling face turned into a sad looking face and one of them farted. So I had to leave the place as soon as possible." - Mr.Prakash One Fine Saturday. 24/04/2004
I read this note in the newspaper about a guy that had become violent in a pub after drinking about 25 half-liters of lager. My immediate thought was: Is that possible?
One of my friends is the son of a policeman. When I mentioned my doubts to my friend, he could tell that at the police station, they had similar doubts. However, a few of those guys are world class beer drinkers; one of them insisted that "25 half liters in a night? Of course!" The others told him to prove it on his next night off; if he couldn't do it, he would have to pay for all the beer he drank, if he succeeded, the other guys would share the bill.
Here comes what makes the story worth telling: He did pour down 25 half liters, but that is not what impressed the most. The really impressing part was that he did 16 of them before going to the bathroom for the first time.
I'm no spring chicken and it may well be that it's the contents of said cans that have fogged my memory, but I really can't remember the changeover (and yes, I'm sure the opportunity to screw us on the deal wasn't wasted!)
I can remember tobacco moving to metric (late '80s, I'd guess and I'm still moaning about it) but not beer. Any idea when it happened?
American goods sold here in Norway often go by imperial units, but much less now than a thirty years ago. It may be about that long ago when the "Sun-Maid Raisins" cardboard boxes got a shiny yellow banner over on a top corner, "Now: Metric Pack".
So the pack size was now 227 grams, rather than half a pound.
It took several years before they increased the pack size to 250 grams.
And: Most beer we import from GB come in half liter cans, but some of the more exclusive brands try to maintain their exclusiveness by coming in pint sized cans. If you complain about the price tag, they always point out that the can i larger.
Then, some beers are sold i US pint size, almost 10% smaller cans. Both alternatives makes it difficult to compare prices - except that nowadays, the stores always post the price per liter on the shelf. Maybe they are required by law to do that nowadays.
You might say "Who worries about a few pennies difference in price?" Then you haven't been to Norway, or at least you haven't considered beer prices here. Even when you buy the local beer in the grocery store, you won't find any cheaper than LBP 2.50 per half liter can. Import beers are typically twice that price, and may be three times as high. So you are probably not surprised that home brewing is not uncommon here. (Very few are experts, though - the great majority just buy a simple DYI kit with all ingrediens read: Add water to the syrup, add the enclosed yeast, and leave it fermenting for a couple of weeks.)
Everyone I know from the UK that has ever been to Scandinavia has always come back saying something to the effect of "My God! I thought that our beer was expensive but it's just ridiculous over there!"
I'd definitely be in the home-brew club at those prices!
Actually, the primary reason why I started home brewing myself was that thirty years ago, there was hardly any beer import at all, and all domestic beer was of the lager type. On trips to GB I acquired a taste for bitter, and since you couldn't buy it here (at least not in the grocery store on the corner), the only option was to brew it yourself.
It must be admitted that one thing that the North Sea Oil has given Norwegians is a much higher alcohol consumption. A significant part of our oil money goes to having others do what we once did ourselves. Like illegal moonshining - there is very left of that nowadays (earlier known as Norway's biggest home industry). Nowadays we import both spirits and beer, to avoid the hassle of making our own.
One of my colleagues, an American fellow, invited our entire department to participate in a home brewing project, for making special beers - he is on the hobby expert level. And he was very eager to have his own poultry operation, to get egg that tastes like egg rather than nothing, and hen that tastes like hen rather than chicken that tastes like whatever spice it is soaked in. I follow him a long way, although I haven't set up my own chicken house yet. Then, a couple weeks ago, another colleague revealed that the reason why he had developed such an expertise in making your own food is that his parents are so dirt poor that they would starve if they had to buy all their food. Their son, who is an excellent, highly educated professional thanks to academic grants, goes to Norway to earn money to send home to his parents in the USA for them to buy food...
I am offtracking a little bit here, but I would put in a recommendation for a really funny children's book that won a "Newbury Medal" (awarded by the American Library Asocciation). After reading (and chuckling throughout) this book, I wrote a letter to the author, Susan Patron, asking if the poverty really could be that bad, or if it was meant as sort of a dystopic world. She returned a very nice letter, telling that lots of people have that standard of living (or lack of...) in the desert districts of Cailfornia. If you read the book, you will understand why I bring it up here. And do read the book! It certainly deserves the medal!