The Purple Heart

I’ve always wanted a tattoo. Correction, I’ve always wanted to want, to have a tattoo. Let me explain, just in case that sounded a bit weird.

Being Christian, Catholic to be more precise, the whole notion of tattoos is a very muddy topic. Many Christians will reference scripture in opposition to tattoos. I’m not about to try and do the same but, loosely quoting from some phrases that lead to the argument against, well your body is a temple of god and you ought to keep it clean. Especially from tattoos. If you grew up in a Christian community, then you already know of the stigma that surrounds the topic.

They have been labelled demonic and so many other ‘bad’ things, but so too were Pokemon tazos. And then on the flip side you have Catholic priests with tattoos and I’m like, hold up! Are you serving two masters now Father? Have you not damned your soul by doing this? But then the tattoo is of Christ, our redeemer on the cross, so surely this must be right. How then can wrong be right? What is right?

And that ladies and gentlespoons, is the great dilemma I must live with. I cannot want a tattoo without feeling like I’m betraying the faith, because the faith is a part of my identity. I was raised in it and choose to live by it as much as possible. Many other aspects of my identity also come into play as well and, one of them is okay with a tattoo. Again I will hang my moral code high close to the priests/religious individuals who have tattoos. Surely if God is okay with his representatives on earth getting tattoos, then maybe he might forgive me too and love the one I get.

The tattoo I would get, has to have meaning, so as to be spared from the fiery pits. And that is the major goal, finding a design or better yet, a good enough reason to get a tattoo. Maybe add a tattoo on my ring finger to celebrate the union, but society has made me ever more weary of such a commitment (for further reference, see ‘indoda must’ and ‘DNA’ related stories and viewpoints).

That brings us to the ‘Purple Heart.’ If you’re a fan of jelly babies then you’ll know that the purple ones are the bomb diggidy, but that’s not why I’m fond of purple, nor is it my favourite colour. Wait, do people still have favourite colours or that’s just a topic for puppy-love? I don’t have a favourite colour, life’s too short to limit myself to adoring one colour.

That being said, I’ve grown attached to the colour purple and it has replaced the colour red in hearts for me. Red hearts are the global symbol for love, but purple just carries more of my spirit with it. Looking at the colour psychology scale, purple symbolises royalty, grandeur, wisdom, independence, devotion, pride and creativity. And aren’t these some of the values love is rooted in?

Most importantly for me, the colour purple symbolises healing. I get this from the Purple Heart Medal that is awarded to servicemen/women in the US Army who get wounded in battle. According to Wikipedia (my lecturers would kill me for this), it was first awarded on February 22, 1932. There is more history behind it but, that’s a story for another day. Sacrificing oneself for country and countryfolk is an honour, that is what any army leader would teach their new recruits. And it is only right that your country honours this with the Purple Heart. I’m sure such an honour goes a long way in their healing process.

Purple Hearts were initially awarded to recognized meritorious service, but during World War II, the medal was changed into a recognition of combat injuries and deaths.

I have not been to war, nor am I a solider, but I do believe as a human I have fought and will continue to fight a lot of battles. Some I will win and some I will lose. The purple heart therefore is a symbol of healing from all these battles. Losing a loved one, losing in the game of love, having a dream fail and so much more. Healing and fighting on. A gesture similar to the ‘Semi-colon’ tattoo.

Therefore my Purple Heart tattoo (if I can find a spot light enough on my body for this to be detailed ever so clearly), will have a few stitches on it and maybe a band-aid, to represent the blows it has taken and subsequently healed from. And as an extra touch, veins running from the heart into my body. I think it should be placed on my upper arm, so I can wear my heart on my sleeve.

We heal and we keep moving.

Photocred: The Google search algorithm just seems to know what I need.

Smile and wave.

Tambirai masoja awina muhondo! Tambirai masoja awina muhondo! (Dance for the soldiers, who have won the war).

I wasn’t even a thought in 1980 but, maybe a distant dream somewhere in the depths of my parents’ mind. Part of a larger dream with infinite possibilities now that peace terms had been agreed upon and Southern Rhodesia was no more. A new flag was to be raised. A new nation emerged out of the smoke of gun barrels and cries of our ancestors. Zimbabwe, a House of Stone, the latest jewel to be polished and placed on the crown of the African continent. What a gem she was.

See I wasn’t there when the young men and women were taken to the wilderness to train to fight. I wasn’t there when the children were taught to sing the songs of victory. Yet these same songs, we would later sing as we ran and played free in the yards of houses our parents could now afford to live in, without fear or discrimination, because they finally belonged in the towns and cities that once had signs that read “No Africans/Blacks Allowed!”

Thing is I could not know the pain of being born into a land that did not allow the majority of it’s people to be free in a land they called their own. No! It wasn’t a land they could call their own because even though they were sons and daughters of the soil, they owned nothing and and were prisoners on soil that was ingrained in their complexions.

Now they were free. Free to dream and build this land into a nation. Singing along joyously with Bob Marley:

Mash it up inna (Zimbabwe)
Natty trash it inna (Zimbabwe)

Africans a liberate Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe)
Africans a liberate Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe).

What a spectacle it must have been. One can only imagine the hope and zeal that filled the air. I wasn’t there to experience this, but the revolutionary songs haven’t stopped playing and now I cannot forget a time I never lived through. I share the pain and joy of those that made it possible for me to raise a flag in which my identity is rooted. I carry my flag with me wherever I go, both physically and symbolically for I am, in my entity, a symbol of the flag!

Forty one years on, we are younger than the now late British Monarch, Prince Philip. What this means to you and I is a story for another day. The important thing is we focus on how far we have come, for now. On the 18th of April we as a Zimbabwean nation would have gone a year longer in the wilderness than the Israelites. It has always been a story of hope amongst many a countryfolk that after Forty years, we too shall see the promised land. After the coup that was not a coup in 2017, there was a renewed hope but just like the economics in the country, one day of happiness is negated by months of strife.

Everyday we are told to remember the struggle that brought about freedom for the land and to be honest I could not forget it even if I wanted to. I know more songs of struggle than I know of freedom. We are stuck in a scratched record loop. A scratch so deep, the DJ doesn’t know how to move the pin to the next song.

Independence day draws near. Time to join the other patients of Arkham, don our colours with pride and sing along to the victorious tunes. Hopefully they won’t ban us from carrying our flags again.

Tambirai masoja awina muhondo! Tambirai masoja awina muhondo!

Photocred: Well even Zimbabwe can’t survive without Google.

Ba Ba Black Sheep

Let’s take a moment to toast to all the “black sheep” of the family, without you the family would be boring. There’d be nothing to talk about really. Most of the family members would have to deal with their own inadequacies, without having to project them onto you. If you’re a normie (normal member of the family), take a deep breath, I’m not coming after you today.

Today, we celebrate the odd balls, the larger than life individuals whose lives are as free, as that of black folks in this world.

I feel like you’re ready to fight me but I come in peace๐Ÿ˜‡. For many years the term black sheep has always been associated with the bad behaviour of a certain individual in the family. We all have that one person we’re told we should not be like and yes there is a lot of concrete reasoning behind this. They could be raging alcoholics, drug addicts, abusers, pathological liars… I could go on and on but you get where I’m going with this. The bad apples, not rotten to the core, but have lost their way and a lot of what is on the surface is rotten.

Obviously I have an issue with the negativity that is associated with the term black sheep. I choose to celebrate it, more so because I would call myself and in some situations I guess I have been viewed as the black sheep. Hey, I’m the last of the herd (Mhofu squad what-what, gang signs and all) and in many situations, the last kids are different. Also, we get a lot of flack for just being the last kids whether we’re being good or bad, we unwittingly inherit the term.

Let’s take it back to my end of year play in the first or second grade. Hard to put a finger when exactly, grey hair started sprouting from my head at a tender age. I can’t really remember the name of the play too but, I do remember my character was Karacool (like Karakul but cooler) the black sheep who saves all the other sheep from the big bad wolf. After this, there was no convincing me that the black sheep was bad and I have always fought against the societal narrative.

I have always been different as compared to my siblings and yes, I have pushed more to standout in this role as the different one. It can be viewed as bad because we are afraid of anything different and yes I did get a lot of stick from my elder brothers. I was the hockey playing kid. I was a black kid playing hockey and cricket and trying to get on the swim team. Trust me, life would have been much easier for me had I played soccer or rugby or even basketball. Did I care, yes I did, and it fuelled my drive to be different, but in a cool way. I still followed most of the rules and tried to be as disciplined as possible, but I took on the role as the black sheep and I’ve never looked back.

Being an odd ball sometimes being the most expressive one.

I’ve broken both my arms, not at the same time though. I’ve jumped out of a moving vehicle and tried chasing it to jump back in, yea that earned me a day in hospital. Been hit in the head with a hockey stick and had it been two centimetres closer to my eye, I would have lost it (thanks a lot Psycho, funny enough that was my teammate’s nickname he later adopted in high school๐Ÿ˜). There are many stories of my crazy life but these are the stories I can share without giving my mum a heart attack lol. Also thank God we had medical aid ๐Ÿค•๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿš‘!

It’s all part of being Karacool The Black Sheep and no, not all my life has been this crazy and dangerous. My parents gave me freedom of expression, lots of it and my siblings did try even when they did not understand me much. No fault of their own, they only got to spend the holidays trying to run away from me before going back to boarding school. No 17 year old really should be forced to take his 5 year old little brother on missions๐Ÿฅด. So I had to carve my own legacy whilst trying to live up to that of my siblings with the little knowledge of their lives I had.

For what it’s worth, I think I turned out pretty decent. I still will do somethings out of the norm and push my black sheep agenda. Heck I’ve already set a new record for being so old without a spouse, let alone an offspring, not even in the forest, I think ๐Ÿ˜œ. And that’s just how it is. I’m the odd ball but, I still identify as one of the clan. Nothing is more important to me than the clan and bringing pride to it. I’ll just do it in a not so conventional way. The black sheep way.

So again, a toast ๐Ÿป to the black sheep. Stay cool ๐Ÿ˜Ž!

Photocred: When you can’t go out and take the pics, Google always has your back.

The Callow Palate: The Last Brewer.

Cupcake’s rage struck again because his children could not behave accordingly and for the first time we had to spend New Year’s Eve indoors. Not like that was much of a problem and lucky for me I could still enjoy a good brew each day leading up to New Year’s Eve. Who knows when we’ll be allowed to buy beer again, well there is a date but just like how lockdown was extended, the alcohol ban might be extended too. Now how will I buy some of these awesome beers that I’ve had the pleasure of tasting ๐Ÿ˜ญ?

I’m not complaining too much, it was inevitable that we would get a ban during festive season. Everyone just wants to have fun but we can’t forget that we need to be safe.

Oh well, here are the 5 beers that created the heart breaking sight of an empty crate:

Erdinger Weibbier (5.3%)

{Wheat Beer}

It’s a German brew, whoop whoop. I’m excited because I’ve been told the Germans make some really good beer and also this is a beer with wheat in it. It’s different. Let’s call this my Oktoberfest initiation.

Here’s another brew with it’s own set of rules, first by adding wheat to the barely and hops, but also its alcohol content isn’t our standard or norm. 5.3% it is. Like we want to be potent but not too potent and yet we have to stick out from the rest, so let’s settle at 5.3%.

What does this beer offer in taste then, well firstly I think they overdid it with the carbonation. The first thing you get with each sip is the taste of beer foam, bubbles popping at the tip of your tongue. Not that having them is a bad thing, no. It’s just that with this one, it’s too much. And that soda fizz foam like taste lasts through each sip.

Once you get over the carbonation, you get to taste all the other flavours of the beer. The wheat certainly gives it a different vibe to your mouth. An aftertaste that seems to last longer than the sip. It’s actually kind of addictive and has you wanting to take another sip. But beware the carbonation, you’re going to burp a lot.

I’m on the ropes about this one. Certainly getting over all the burping will help in enjoying it more but that sounds like a lot of work.

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Jack Black’s Cape Pale Ale (4.4%)

First sip and there I was saying ‘ooooooow’ to myself. Like when you see something fancy and you just can’t stop yourself from exclaiming in awe and excitement.

The blurb on the back of the bottle (I know blurbs are for books but it will work here too ๐Ÿ˜‰) states that the this pale ale has loads of citrus, pine and tropical aroma in it. And I kid you not, they are very present in the taste. The additions give it a craft beer feel and taste. It almost tastes like one of the craft beers I had that was full of fruity flavour. The difference with this one is it’s lighter. Pale ale I would say has similarities to a pilsner only because it’s light but not to the point of a Lite beer and what CPA has going for it more, is the flavour. Quite enjoyable yes.

Unlike some of the craft beers, CPA gives you that reassurance that you won’t be signing into the hangover ward tomorrow morning. So you can get with it and enjoy the different flavours.

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Corona Extra (4.5%)

Corona aka the Roro, the Rona, CocoV, man there are so many names from the current Corona Virus pandemic that have been associated with this beer because of its name. At some point sales of the beer took a dip at the beginning of the pandemic as the Marketing and PR teams from Corona had to work tirelessly to dissociate their brand from the virus and pandemic.

For their sake, I sure hope they’ve bounced back. Also not all publicity is bad.

The lighter golden colour of the beer gives it an almost cider look and that explains why a lot of people seem to call it the ‘Slay King’ beer. For the Divos or gents that are just trying too hard and you’d most probably find them drinking a cider amongst other gents. Yea clearly the brand has been through a lot.

Whatever perception of the beer you might have, it’s not that. It’s a bitter brew, like I would rank this towards the top in the bitter taste category. It’s Mexican and like the other Mexican beers I’ve had, they carry the same signature feel to them. The Corona is much like the Sol in that you can taste a lot more of the water and as that passes swiftly on, the dominate hops bitterness kick into action and take control.

I kind of like the bitter taste, it’s not terrible and with the water like taste, everything works together. Not harsh on the carbonation, so you won’t be caught burping your first sip all through the bottle ๐Ÿคฃ.

It is a good looking bottle and brew, and yes I have stockpiled some in my fridge. I actually think it’s a beer not many mind drinking here and there but for the social stigma it carries.

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Bad Moon (4.25%)

{Weiss – Wheat beer}

Crystal Weiss makes me think crystal meth, only because I loved Breaking Bad and not that I’ve tried it, let alone seen it ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ.

Another wheat beer but this time it’s from Belgium. I am a bit skeptical after the German one.

It has a delightful scent to it when you open it. Almost similar to like fresh grain.

My fears about this wheat beer have come true. It’s a burp fest, sigh. It is heavily reliant on carbonation or maybe the wheat adds this component to the beer. You cannot go more than three sips without belching like a pubescent teenager showing off his new found talent ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿพโ€โ™‚๏ธ.

It has a tangy bitterness to it. The front of your tongue dissolves all the bubbles and the first hint of flavour hits, and then you get a full on bitter experience on the rear corners of your tongue. It’s not a bad taste though after you sort out the bubbly bubbles.

And what’s with the 4.25% alcohol content ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿพโ€โ™‚๏ธ? These brewers are really trying to standout. I really like the labelling on this beer. The moon and the lone wolf make for a good brand image. I feel let down by it though. I had high expectations but I think with how intense the carbonation has been in the last two wheat beers, it’s clearly not for me.

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Stella Artois (5%)

Every single time I see a Stella, I think to shout out Stella like Stanley in Tennessee William’s “A Streetcar Name Desire.” Difference is I’m not violent like Stanley was and I know how to show my affection towards Stella.

It’s got a smooth bitterness to it that you get to taste at the tip of your tongue and then swoosh the rest of the golden liquid gets to the back of your mouth and you get a lasting semi-sweetness with it. It has a good balance to it between the sweetness and the bitterness.

A Belgium lager of which the South Africans were entrusted with the recipe to brew and no note has been missed.

Amongst the drinking circles, Stella carries the same prestige as a Heineken although it doesn’t have the same fame or gives the same sponsorship as Heineken.

I tried my best not to be biased whilst writing this because Stella is my beer of choice. It has been my preferred brew since Christmas 2018, when a case was randomly presented in the kitchen by one of my cousins insisting we have. It would have taken me longer to try it and fall in love with it had it not been for that Christmas.

Where the other beers miss the spot, Stella rules. Especially when it comes to the morning after. The hangover is less wicked. What more can you ask for from a great tasting beer.

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Drink responsibly always!

The Beer Scale โ€“๐Ÿบย 1 andย ๐Ÿปย ยฝ. All rating are out of 10.

NB: Don’t let your beers freeze, chill them like these were for the perfect drinking experience.

Photocred: My Samsung hasn’t failed me yet!

The Callow Palate: Return Of The Brew Master

All through this awesome journey, one video and song have been echoing in my head. It’s a song that lives rent free in my mind and has been a beer fan favourite over the years.

The video is of a group of gentlemen called the Ottakring Boys Choir, who are seated together and express their unrequited love for beer in the most melodious harmony, that is as good as a beer going down your throat. I will attempt to type out a bit of it. It basically starts with one of the gents singing and the other three responding;

Leader: Do you want a beer?

Group: Yeeeeeeeees!

L: Do you want a beer/

G: Yes we want a beer, coz a beer makes me laugh with everybooodddy.

All: Beer I love you, don’t tell somebody. Beer I love you, don’t tell somebody ๐Ÿ™‚.

It really is a greet drinking song. Search for it on Youtube. Just type in “Do you want a beer.”

Sadly I am getting closer to the end of my journey with each sip and each bottle. Show isn’t over just yet, so here are the 5 after 20:

Heineken (5%)

I chuckle every time I say Heineken and I can never pronounce it the proper way all because of my one good friend who happens to be from a Francophone country. And you know French speakers don’t pronounce the letter ‘H’ if it is at the beginning of a word. So it ends up being Eineken ๐Ÿ˜‚. It shouldn’t be funny but it also ‘appens’ to be his favourite beer that makes him ‘appy’ ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚.

It’s a fan favourite beer and I’m not even talking about the sports sponsorships. It’s slightly sweeter than your average beer. You only get the bitter taste as an aftertaste and not in a harsh way either but smoothing out.

I understand why so many people like it and it’s not just about the prestige it ‘carries’. I can drink a Heineken but the problem is the hangover the next morning ๐Ÿ˜‘. Combined with the fact that I’ve always wanted to be different and Heineken isn’t all that different. It isn’t my first choice beer.

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Darling Brew, Slow Brew (4%)

Slow lager, I can only imagine that the process of brewing this beer was a really slow one, hence the name.

On the label it states that it is “inspired by the Geometric Tortoise, exceptionally rare.” So I guess they tried to use the most unconventional process to brew this beer. Major selling point I guess.

It’s a light beer but very heavy on the carbonation, to a point where it’s overwhelming and overpowering the taste of the beer. The aftertaste though, that’s where it’s all at. The flavour of the beer is richest there and that’s when you start enjoying it.

Again it’s light so feels like something you could drink all day or even all night. I really like the bottle and the branding is simple and cool. I’m a sucker for simple designs.

I could drink more than one but it’s beer you have to buy and put in your cooler box because I don’t think you’d find it in many establishments.

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Ukhamba Lager (5%)

‘A sharing beer, just as the Nguni people of Southern Africa shared umqombothi (traditional beer)’. It’s in this spirit that this beer was made. A beer to share with the people and something I can get with.

The closest beer I can think of that could be similar in taste with Ukhamba is the Heineken. Same alcohol content too. It has a bit of a sweet nature to it but not a heavy one that makes you think it’s a cider. It still has the hops bitterness to it that makes it a lager. It carries more of the sweetness through the aftertaste than the bitterness which is quite pleasing to the palate.

I like the African tribal artwork on the branding. And the tagline at the bottom is the best thing since sliced bread; “Expropriation of land lager.”

It’s a lets take back the beer and make it our own kind of fill. Makes you want to shout out revolutionary slogans as you drink it lol. Hence why it’s the sharing beer, sit with the crew and have a few then go and take back the land/lager ๐Ÿ˜‰.

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Grolsch Lager (5%)

Man, was I not excited about this beer๐Ÿ˜. It has one of the most interesting bottles of the crate with its very different top that’s kind of like a cork. So when you open it, you get the same effect as when you open a bottle of bubbly minus the spillage. The Dutch pushed the boundaries here by bringing back a rather old design with the cork top but you know how history repeats itself.

It’s got an above subtle sweetness to it. I can’t really say it’s sweet but it isn’t overly bitter too. It’s got a good balance between the two tastes and it works well for the beer. That balance is carried on through the aftertaste until just at the very end where the bitterness takes over and it’s your last memory of the taste. I’m not complaining though, it works well.

And the carbonation isn’t all that heavy. It’s like everything is midway with this beer in taste but they hit a big six out into the parking lot with the packaging design. Also having little branding and keeping it to the neck of the bottle works really well.

I’d definitely keep this one in my bar, because it carries a lot of presence to it and would be something you’d want to impress the lads with.

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Desperados (5.9%)

First thing that comes to mind when I look at this bottle is Bell Biv Devoe’s track Poison. And after I take the first sip, the song plays louder and louder in my head. This beer has tequila in it! Like what level of alcoholism do you have to reach to add death to a beer ๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿพโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ.

The alcohol content in it is a weird 5.9% but it definitely doesn’t taste like that. Tastes like a wild night lol. Okay maybe I’m exaggerating a bit but how else am I meant to react to tequila in a beer?

I remember drinking the Sol and thinking you can take tequila shots while enjoying this beer. Clearly someone in the Netherlands (yes it’s a Dutch production ๐Ÿ˜ฏ) called up their homies in Mexico and said, ‘Let us make a beer that could really get the party started.’ They’ve killed two stones with one bird here.

Desperados is in that Mexican beer league though, in terms of it being almost a cider but still being a beer. This one leans a lot more to the cider side of life. They’ve found a way of turning all the normal beer ingredients (barley and hops) into a cider. And you know what? It tastes really good. It’s actually way better than a lot of the much acclaimed “dry ciders.”

It has got a crisp, sweetened beer taste and texture to it. Very easy on the bitterness of the hops. And the carbonation carries the sweeter part of the beer as opposed to the bitterness. It’s a party beer that would most probably have you dancing on tables, so I’d be wary of the number of beers I drink. I think I need to do a full on investigation into how many of these I can drink ๐Ÿ˜ฌ.

I have a feeling this is one of those beers that will make you want to quit beer the next morning. Well here’s to tequila in a beer ๐ŸคŸ๐Ÿพ

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The Beer Scale โ€“ ๐Ÿบ1 and  ๐Ÿปยฝ. All rating are out of 10.

NB: A lot of food had to be taken out of the fridge to give the beers all the space they need to get to the perfect drinking temperature!

Photocred: The award for visual image of 2020 goes to my Samsung๐Ÿ†.

The Callow Palate: Dry Throats Tell No Tales.

This crate has given me purpose. I mean I have always wanted to travel the world and taste different types of beers. The Oktoberfest in Germany is definitely a must and is high up on my makeshift bucket list. Well since we have the Rona to ground most planes and dry up the ink on immigration stamp pads, the beer came to me and everyday has been an interesting journey of taste.

Here is the tale of the 5 to 20:

Cederberg Lager (4.5%)

Beer with attitude.

It’s got a sombre texture and taste to it. Definitely doesn’t have that heavy carbonation, which means less bubbles on your tongue. This drives the flavour of the beer more, thus you don’t have to wait for the flavour to come through as an aftertaste.

I’m not sure if this is a craft beer but it certainly has a craft beer vibe to it. Doesn’t have that Ford production line taste to it. But then I could be wrong and they just were able to master the craft taste. Fool the enemy kind of vibes.

It’s smooth and I guess this comes from the mountain water used to make it. Or maybe that water washes down the taste more. The branding labels are very hippie like, but that also add character to the experience of the beer.

More of the barley and less of the hops. Thus the bitterness is subdued. Oh and it has a 2019 National Beer Trophy.

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CBC Lager (Capetown Brewing Co) (5.1%)

“The Years of youth at CBC.” First time I ever saw a CBC Lager in a shop, I thought wait my former high school have decided to be even more awesome and make beer ๐Ÿ˜. Sadly it’s not by them but I’m still going to enjoy it as if it were. Weird quirky smile too as I’m sent back on a nostalgia path.

But this is about the craft lager and this is another one with a weird alcohol content rating to it at 5.1%. I mean I get trying to be different and I’m sure that added 0.1% gives it an extra kick and a half ๐Ÿ˜.

A fine blend I must say. Crisp, smooth around the edges with a lasting bitterness that carries through on the bubbles. Definitely used a fair bit more hops and it works well. A good craft lager that does a lot not to disappoint.

It won a National Beer Trophy in 2018 and I can taste why. Could I spend my day drinking this? Hmmm I think so yea.

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Fokof Lager (4%)

Passion, Liberation, Independence.

It’s in the name of the beer. The branding. It’s a beer for the rebels, for those who are against the capitalist constraints of life. Hey I’m just echoing what’s on the branding but yes Fokof to everything else and all other beers. Jokes on the other beers part lol. I’m sure if Captain Jack Sparrow was a beer drinker, he’d have a stockpile of Fokof.

Okay now about the taste, it’s a cool light lager. Good balance of the hops and carbonation. A good bitter lasting aftertaste. I think the branding and the back story get you super amped for the beer and the taste doesn’t disappoint.

Overall, it’s a beer you can have with the lads all day and all night long. And you won’t break a leg. Heck One tag on the label states; ‘Friends don’t let friends drink alone.’ This beer just puts a smile on my face.

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Pilsner Urquell (4.4%)

Brewed in Plzeh, Czech.

According to the brewers, it is the original Pilsner. The very first pilsner was made in 1842 by the Citizens Brewery in Plzen. So they made the first pilsner, like the first first first pilsner and all the other ones are minions of this. Of course I’m taking this with a pinch of salt but still it’s a whole wow!

So I used to think Golden Pilsner, the one in Zimbabwe was like the only pilsner and Pilsner was the name of the brand. Not a whole beer type. Growing up and learning is fun.

I like a pilsner when I don’t want a hard beer and just want to drink on a super chilled vibe. It’s like drinking a lite because it’s really light and smooth around the edges. Difference between this and a lite is that a lite still retains all the hints of a lager but the pilsner is like in a league of it’s own.

It’s not too bitter and in a way you could say craft lager took some serious tips from it. Although this pilsner isn’t flavoured, it feels like it could be. You don’t get super bitter notes when it first enters your mouth, all the flavours and the water and carbonation just flow perfectly together. And then, much to your surprise, you get a strong bitter aftertaste that’s just awesome. I could have more of this pilsner.

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The Impala: American Pale Ale (4.5%)

I have a thing for simplicity and the brew ticks all the boxes in terms of design. Beautiful layout with the branding, the white space isn’t too much. It actually takes a genius to use less and make it work ever so well. Good start then.

Karoo Craft Breweries in Paarl, South Africa in their description of beer say that ‘just like the impala, this fruity ale is as adaptable to any beer lover’s taste.’ Well it definitely seems to keep setting up high expectations because with that design and that description, they better be hitting a home run (a six for us with less complicated sports).

The first thing I got when I opened the beer is an interesting fruity scent that filled my nostrils and right there I knew this would be craft royalty. I say this because craft beers are always trying to push the limits of flavour and taste and this one doesn’t disappoint.

The taste is definitely more than just the malted barley and hops. There is that fruity flavour which is so strong, you’d think it’s the forbidden fruit from the Garden of Eden that was used in it. I can’t put my tongue to what fruits were added but they definitely work well with everything else. There definitely was a lot of emphasis on the flavour as opposed to just the normal ingredients of a beer. The carbonation is a bit too much for it wrestles more with the flavour instead of playing a supporting act, like the bitter co-star that wanted the lead role.

Apart from that, and it being American-African (I had my doubts about it because of it’s half and half origin), It’s a pretty good beer and gets a thumbs up from the Greater Antelope Clan ๐Ÿ˜Ž.

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The Beer Scale โ€“ ๐Ÿบ1 and ๐Ÿป ยฝ. All rating are out of 10.

NB: All beers played with Frosty the fridge to get them to the optimum temperature for the finest drinking pleasure.

Photocred: Go Samsung, you’re my Samsung ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿฝ

The Callow Palate: The Chalice of Thirst

I kind of wanted to stop drinking from the crate because I loved the look of the full crate. Itโ€™s just a really cool sight but it wasnโ€™t bought as an ornament and we must continue the good fight against the thirst. Down with the thirst! Down with the thirst!

Five more, takes me halfway through:

Hansa Pilsner (4.5%)

Itโ€™s a pilsner, so you know itโ€™s already a different breed. A pilsner is the lite beer before lite beer was a thing. Easier on the palate with softer notes.

Bitter still yes but a pleasant bitterness. The bitter bubbles are the first thing you get with each swig of the beer. And then you get the rest of the ingredients that make a beer a beer following after, and they stick to the end.

Great aftertaste. It wonโ€™t put you off drinking and because itโ€™s a pilsner, thereโ€™s no harsh hangover tomorrow.

So again, itโ€™s the lite beer before lite beer.

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Miller Draft (4.7%)

Itโ€™s an American beer for Africa. That explains why it has a strange alcohol content of 4.7%. Itโ€™s as if someone at the brewery was stopped midday to making moonshine.

I compare draught beer to diesel because itโ€™s a heavier fuel. The Miller doesnโ€™t look like a heavily laden beer with its lighter golden colour. Itโ€™s crisper than what youโ€™d expect from a draught. If you didnโ€™t know better, you could almost put it in the same league as Mexican beers, like the Sol or a Corona.

The lighter notes give it that โ€œI was almost Mexicanโ€ character, but it seems to have all its paperwork and social security in check, so itโ€™s American.

Itโ€™s a light draught, not too harsh on the palate with sombre bitterness. I liked it once upon a time when I was still learning my drinking trade because it was different to a lot that was on offer. It is different and looks like a cider but way more beer like. I guess a draft isnโ€™t really a draught. Itโ€™s in more than just how you spell it.

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Three Oaks Craft Lager (5%)

From the Franschhoek Beer Co.

Itโ€™s a craft lager wait, a hand crafted lager. Got to start off fancy although in appearance it looks simple, itโ€™s in its simplicity that it gains a certain level of elegance. Ever heard of the phrase, โ€œsimplicity is the mark of a genius?โ€ Well it applies here.

The back story to this beer by the creators; โ€˜an American, a Scotsman and a South African walked into a bar and couldnโ€™t find a beer they liked, so they decided to make their own in Franschhoek.โ€™ Three Oaks because of three oak trees at the distillery and because of the three okes who made it.

Yea the story got me, also talk about mad swag. Just to be like, โ€˜I donโ€™t like the beer here, screw it gents letโ€™s make our own beerโ€™ and might I add itโ€™s not a bad one too.

You can taste that itโ€™s a craft lager because it somehow feels like this was made from a small batch and all the flavours are more in tune. Like each bottle could differ slightly in taste but you wouldnโ€™t mind it at all.

I read on the blurb that they used different varieties of hops and Iโ€™m not saying I know exactly what or how but it should taste but it certainly gives the beer a unique taste. Itโ€™s light on the tongue, flavour definitely hangs over the bitterness and lasts a while. Quite pleasant actually. The carbonation (a term I knew but learnt to use) isnโ€™t too heavy that it has searching your mouth for flavour of the beer.

Itโ€™s a Sunday โ€œletโ€™s take a stroll and sit by the lakeโ€ kind of beer. Iโ€™d want to try a whole 6 pack and see how it goes.

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Peroni (5.1%)

I canโ€™t read Italian but I guess itโ€™s a lager. Google says itโ€™s a pale lager and my taste buds agree.

Thereโ€™s a funny story about my first chance encounter with Peroni and because of that it will forever be known as Pissoni ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚. Not that it tastes like piss. Far from that.

Okay so many moons ago a friend of mine pissed in a bottle of Peroni and sealed the bottle and hid it, only for one of our juniors to find it and take a swig of it ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿพโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜‚.

Anyway, another beer with a weird alcohol composition with 5.1%, like we know itโ€™s already different because itโ€™s Italian.

Itโ€™s crisp and oddly delightful. No harsh tones to kick your palate all over the place. Itโ€™s almost like a craft beer but like a mass produced craft beer and therefore carries the collective taste of a whole brewery.

The carbonation is lighter but the taste of it lasts long. Itโ€™s a sophisticated beer, like a beer made by wine makers. It doesnโ€™t have that rugged โ€œI am a manโ€™s manโ€ taste and drinking experience. You could walk in an art gallery sipping on one and you would fit right in with the champagne flutes.

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Windhoek Draught (4%)

Aaaaah tastes like home, well my second home. Windhoek the city was good to me and of course one had to indulge in the pride of the Land of the Brave.

Now youโ€™d expect a draught to be hard and rugged but not Windhoek Draught no. it certainly doesnโ€™t give that notion. It is a lighter beer even with its alcohol content, so you can go the whole night drinking it like a lite beer but it will catch you off guard somehow. The same way Russian Bear gets the people ๐Ÿคฃ.

The bubbles from the carbonation carries the bitterness with it and it is the first thing you taste when it hits your tongue and lingers way after the liquid has gone down your throat. It kind of overpowers everything else.

One could be forgiven to think something is missing in its composition but I guess this works for the brewers. Iโ€™m going to go out on a limb here and say change the name to draft and not draught.

I was never too keen on it as my first choice beer but I wouldnโ€™t turn it down if offered.

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The Beer Scale โ€“ย ๐Ÿบ1 andย ย ๐Ÿปยฝ. All rating are out of 10.

NB: All beers were treated with the respect they deserve and refrigerated for the best drinking pleasure.

Photocred: If only you knew how old my Samsung was, and it still shows up ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Callow Palate: High Five

The show goes on and the beer continues to go down. Let’s play 5 aside with another five beers:

Amstel Lager (5%)

It’s been a while since I last had an Amstel even though once upon a time one of my friend’s strongly campaigned for it to be everyone’s beer of choice because he had fallen fond of it. Come to think of it, one of my cousin’s did the same too and now that I’m really putting some thought into it, it’s the chaps that were in South Africa that wanted us to change to Amstel. Hmmmmm, I wonder what incentives they were being offered for their campaigning.

Being in Zimbabwe, Amstel at some point in time was one of those beers that wasn’t easily available for purchase when I was learning the drinking ropes whilst growing up. I kind of stumbled upon it when it was in short supply and pricy too.

Amstel tastes like a lager. Weirdly I can tell from the first sip which beer is going to give me a hangover and which won’t. This one falls halfway into the latter category. Although the alcohol contained in it is 5%, it tastes like it’s gone through the refinery an extra time. It’s smooth but still maintains the bitter harshness of a lager. Guess that’s why it’s ‘slow brewed and extra matured’. Not the first beer I’d go for but I wouldn’t turn away a 6 pack either.

Oh and it has maize in it.

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Stellenbrau Craven Craft Lager (4.5%)

When I think Stellenbosch, beer isn’t the first thing that I’d expect to come from there. Mostly because of all the vineyards. It’s wine land and brewing beer there is like being that family member who’s hell bent on being different and go against the grain. And guess what, the hops and malt seem to be the right grains to go for.

And just when you got excited that there is a beer from Stellies, a curve ball is thrown and you learn it’s actually brewed in Namibia. Oh well, still a rather interesting partnership. It’s another lager in the series of lagers. A craft lager that’s lighter and hits the back of the tongue with that malty aftertaste.

Not too bitter as well but not all that memorable. Maybe I’ll remember it more for the branding on the bottle with it’s barley and hops insignia. Colour combos are dope.

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Sol Cerveza (4.5%)

The cider beer or the pink beer because it’s almost a pink drink lol. You could almost be mistaken for drinking a Savannah but where the Savannah is a cider that wants to be a beer, the Sol Cerveza is a beer that carries itself as a cider. Only that it doesn’t have the sweetness.

One could almost say it has too much water in it’s composition because you get the taste of watered down beer first and then all the flavours kick in after. And you know what, it works well.

It’s a chill by the beach in your open summer shirt, with a hat and sunglasses type of beer. Take some tequila shots too whilst drinking it and you’ll most probably be fit enough for the club later in the evening. Also I think it would be a good beer to have after consuming harder liquor. We’re always looking for a beer to end the night with that won’t get you too drunk but also won’t bore you. I’ll put this one up as a sure contender.

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Urban Legends by Mad Giant (5.5%)

According to the ingredients, it’s a fruity beer with mango, guava and papaya extracts. Hmmm a fruit cocktail of a beer. As soon as you open it, you get a whiff of flavour. This is what craft beer is all about.

With the first sip I expected a lot more flavour as per the label hype. The flavour is the first thing you get on your tongue and then the bubbles hit the back of your tongue with that bitter aftertaste. It’s a good brew but the bitter aftertaste is a bit harsh. Like it’s fighting for dominance over the rest of the taste of the beer.

Could I have more than one in a sitting? I doubt it. Okay maybe a second but I think it stops there. It’s a good beer for when you want to try something different and then get back to your normal brew. Also it has the same alcohol content as a Black Label, so yea ne.

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Frasers Folly: Moer Koffie Stout (Coffee Milk Stout) (5%)

I’ve tried a Milk Stout before, like a long time ago and it was good. Now I hadn’t read the label of this beer proper seeing as the actual bottle is as bare as newborn baby, but as soon as I opened it, I got a strong whiff of coffee and that’s when I knew this wouldn’t be a normal milk stout.

You need to understand that I love coffee and having it infused into a beer is like the wildest thing ever!

It’s not too heavy on the tongue that a non-beer drinker who loves coffee might frown upon. After the initial taste of dark coffee beans, you get a smooth bitter beer (hops) taste and then a coffee aftertaste that holds on long like lovers in deep embrace.

I don’t know how many of these I could drink in a sitting but it’s safe to say I’m in love. I’d definitely keep a couple in the fridge and have every fortnight or so.

Oh plus the packaging is ingenious. The paper wrap to mimic an actual milk bottle๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿพ.

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The Beer Scale โ€“๐Ÿบย 1 andย ย ๐Ÿปยฝ. All rating are out of 10.

NB: All beers were put in the fridge and told to chill for the finest drinking pleasure.

Photocred: My Samsung reigneth๐Ÿคด๐Ÿพ

The Callow Palate

This year I turned 30! I know not the best of years for such a grand milestone and as such the celebrations were watered down. Admist all the pandemonium, I received the best gift ever, apart from the gift of life. It’s something I really wanted and made me smile from butt cheek to ear (yes that’s how wide my smile was).

So the gift, well it was a crate with 30 beers. Like how awesome is that! And I decided to have one beer each day during the last 30 days of the year. Therefore since the 2nd of December I’ve had a beer and I’ve also done a little review on each different beer that I had.

Cheers to the first 5 beers:

Castle Free (Alcohol Free Lager)

I guess you have to start somewhere and I started with the lockdown favourite. For months we had to live without the sale of alcohol and it seemed alcohol free beers and ciders were thriving.

The Castle Free tastes like a beer, but is not really a beer. I guess alcohol or better yet beer is bitter because this doesn’t have that super bitter beer taste but it tastes like a beer. This is one of those confuse the enemies kind of moment.

Basically it’s made from the same ingredients as a normal Castle Lager, just that they decided to remove the alcohol. So it’s a Lite Lite, lol.

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Carling Black Label (5.5%)

The wife beater, yet some call it the champion’s beer.

I have always been afraid of a Carling Black Label. It’s basically the beer equivalent of a Smirnoff Storm (The ORIGINAL). Deadly but tastes good. It will knock you and the person sitting next to you out. And you still have the hangover to contend with the next morning.

It has an airy taste to it. Like bubbles of flavour form the barely and hops that sit on top of that golden liquid in your mouth. I’d say it has a spirit quality to it and thus not just a beer. No wonder it’s alcohol content is 5.5%. Not for the faint at heart. Also my friends and I always believed that the Black Label produced in Zimbabwe and the one Produced in South Africa were different. The Zim version certainly throws a harder punch and I doubt it stops a 5.5%.

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Drifter – The Stranded Coconut (4.5%)

The first of the flavoured beers and guess what, it’s coconut flavoured. By show of hands, who’s really excited about coconut? Like you really like it and will go out of your way to drink the water and eat one in a landlocked city?

Anyway, I can taste the coconut and the beer has a darker colour than most lagers. So not the golden beer colour but more bronze like.

It’s not as bitter as the normal beer, I guess that’s because of the coconut. Weird because coconuts aren’t all that sweet. I must say though, I enjoy it. It’s not hard on the palate and at 4.5% it could be a beer enjoyed at the dinner table. It’s certainly not going to mess up the great taste of your meal.

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Duuel: The Belgian Golden Ale (8.5%)

First and foremost this beer contains 8.5% alcohol. Like I was on Black Label’s case but this, this is a spirit! The Stroh 80 of beer ๐Ÿ˜€ .

Beautifully crafted bottle with curves, and this gives it that exotic feel. It’s kind of sweet, but has that bitter beer (it’s the hops but we’ll stick to calling it beer) aftertaste and it really is an aftertaste. The sweetness comes from the glucose syrup I read in the ingredients.

This is definitely that “let’s get wasted” kind of beer. And it’s not one to drink with the lads at speed. You know when you’re drinking together and you’re being forced to catch up for the next round. Yea don’t do it unless if you don’t respect your liver and also you’re like a pro drinker. Like Oktoberfest trained.

Duuel won the Style award at the World Beer Awards and a Gold medal at the 2018 Brussels Beer Challenge ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ. It’s the style of the bottle for me.

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The Stripped Horse Lager (5%)

Tastes like something I’ve had before. Oh yes I’ve had one before when Doug and I were trying out some new beers in Victoria Falls. I didn’t mind it then, I don’t mind it now.

It’s a got a lighter texture to it as compared to your more hardened lagers, even if its alcohol composition is 5%. It tastes like something you should be drinking all night and because the taste is much lighter, you won’t get tired of drinking it nor will you get sick of the taste.

Certainly a beer to try but I doubt it’s a beer I can classify as my ‘go to beer.’

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The Beer Scale – ๐Ÿบ1 and ๐Ÿป ยฝ. All rating are out of 10.

Photocred: My Samsung finally returns to the fold!

NB: All beers were chilled to optimum temperature for the finest drinking pleasure.

It’s not the network!

Ring, ring, as I twirl and dance to my ringtone.

It’s a song I love and won’t ever get tired off.

Hence why I can’t answer my phone,

I can’t bear to cut the song off.

Ring, ring, why do you want to talk to me?

You’re a persistent one I must say.

10 missed calls on the first day,

And now 3 everyday since.

Morning, afternoon and one before bed,

Like pills for the ill.

But I’m not sick,

Although I dance to the ringtone each time.

Like a drug I need to keep me happy and unwind.

Ring, ring, I promise I’ll answer this time.

I know you must be hurting,

But I’m not sure what I’d say when I answer.

I’ve told you my past,

And you said it does not matter.

But it does matter, at least to me!

I don’t want to poison your well.

I could see that you were falling.

I guess that’s why you keep calling.

Ring, ring, I think I’ll make you wait a little more.

The heart is willing, but the flesh won’t give in no!

My brain has created defence walls,

That only seem to let my body dance.

Ring, ring, this is not all by choice.

I know if I told you what was going on,

You’d understand and I’d be absolved.

I’ll tell you one thing though.

The song I dance to,

Is the same song we sung to.

On our chance meet,

Drinking our spirits neat.

Ring, ring, let not your spirit wean.

I can hold my phone now.

So please don’t stop calling!

Photocred: The world wide web is a wonderful place to be ๐Ÿ˜‰