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Thursday, July 17, 2014

This beer oughta be worth some poems

"Warning: Contains Fart and Horse Piss".

You have to admit that as a marketing strategy, Prince Edward County's Barley Days Brewery might have wanted to think about that label a bit.

At least that would be in the ordinary beer market. But Greg Landucci's market, for this beer at least, is not the ordinary light summer ale drinker. 'A Sensitive Man' beer will appeal to folks who 'get' the literary references - for people who know and love the poetry of one Al Purdy, a national icon who just happened to spend most of his writing years in Ameliasburgh, Prince Edward County.

The well-known Purdy poem 'At the Quinte Hotel' was the inspiration for the label. You know it. The one that begins:

"I am drinking
I am drinking beer with yellow flowers
in underground sunlight
and you can see that I am a sensitive man
And I notice that the bartender is a sensitive man too
so I tell him about his beer
I tell him the beer he draws
is half fart and half horse piss
and all wonderful yellow flowers..."

If you don't know (or can't recite) the poem in its entirety you might want to view the Bravo! production of Gord Downie's astonishing dramatization of the poem (warning: violence) which ends with Al Purdy's unforgettable voice intoning those familiar lines.

Barley Days owner Chris Rogers, brewer Alex Nichols and sales manager Greg Landucci were inspired to brew the beer and offer it as a fund-raiser to the Al Purdy A-frame Association, because, as Greg says, "Al had strong roots in the County and we want to help keep his legacy alive. And let's face it, he liked his beer." Admittedly, there is a nice resonance.

Barley Days Brewery will donate $1 for every six-pack sold, to the APAFA, to support ongoing A-frame restoration, and the writer in residence program. The beer will be ready by July 25; it will be available at Barley Days and on tap at select locations.

For more information - visit the Barley Days website to find out about 'A Sensitive Man' and the line-up of other fine ales, lagers and stout.

A note about Barley Days labels. I've always appreciated that Barley Days brewery uses images by local painter Manly Macdonald on many of their labels. For 'A Sensitive Man' Greg obtained permission to use that famous Krieger caricature of Al -  plaid pants, pocket protector, huge glasses and flying white hair.

Me, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens when folks approach the bar, and ask for Greg's new ale by name.

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