This is entry #1 in the series “Nom de Bier” – good beer reviewed by famous authors (as emulated by me). I do not claim to speak for these authors, nor am I an expert scholar in their particular style, so please feel free to correct/admonish as you see fit.
Beer Review – Samuel Smith Yorkshire Stingo (barrel aged)
Style: English Strong Ale
By: William Shakespeare
From bottom where Eros did spring his Sting,
Through much bubbly affair rose sweet head, O;
But focus nay on bubbles should the tale sing,
Instead in oaken planks dark fruits do grow.
A Smith named Sam, a hero born into
Malten cavalcades proceeding to tun;
Man and Nature together set to brew,
And what yeast embark may ne’er be undone.
An odd thing though this, partly tongues note sour –
By work of raisins and spry, teeming wood –
It dances reliquary, somber, dour;
As if mourning a time long passed, lost good.
A tribute, nay, an homage aged old,
Captured in glass, for you to pour, to hold.
That god not settled with simple ale bliss
Sought more beyond what tradition limits,
As sailors once set eyes on ambergris,
So too did Smith on the cooper’s habit.
And O! How the amber flowed from slick steel,
Down and round bent staves to beer bellies bound,
And here it stayed, a year, flavor made real:
The hold of a ship, full of beer, run ‘ground.
That year much did swirl for yeast finds sleep rare,
And what once was beer in tree’s brace did find
Notes, smells unfettered now but palate fair,
And bitter music played in time with rind.
If one sought brown or pale or stout sweet woe
For neither, nor, and none, this strong ale show.
Elements conjured forth through Water pure
A tincture; Fire’s bane and Earth’s lament.
On Air life gulped sweet life shy of demure,
And found in liquid our Spirit’s repent.
Ask one now, she, ‘should imbibe or abstain?’
‘All depends’ answer they, ‘what dost thou seek?’
From life from this place, melodic refrain?
Or days left unfulfilled, the same, so weak?
If the latter, fly now, Smith wants you not;
Much rather he’d have a soul gilded bold.
So into your life cast Gambler’s lot
A chance you should take, on true Yorkshire gold.
But also weigh Eros, mission love born,
And weigh too, ones headache come morrow, come morn.
Grammarian’s note: I went with sonnets over a play for brevity’s sake, and because I prefer rhymed iambic pentameter to blank verse. I started with CLV (155) as Shakespeare’s final sonnet was CLIV (154). The structure for a sonnet is 12 rhyming quatrains (ABAB CDCD EFEF) with a single rhyming (GG) couplet as the closing. For more information, check out the basics of his style: http://www.shakespeare-online.com/faq/writingstyle.html