September 14th, 2005.

Strange brew.

With a name like 'Piddle in the hole', it might have sounded questionable to buy a bottle of this beer from the Wyre Piddle Brewery, but I was drawn by the comical value of the name and its predictably amusing label. The beer itself was actually quite nice, though I am reliably informed that the less popular 'Piddle in the dark' is a better beer, but what do I know, it's not like I am a serious beer drinker.

One online reviewer of the Wyre Piddle Brewery's 'Piddle in the hole' beer said it has "A distinctive rich burnt smell and crunchy burnt roast barley flavored belied by its middle-of-the-road bitter color, with a lingering malty caramel aftertaste." However, as if to prove that I am most certainly no connoisseur, I thought that it tasted like, well... beer.

The real humor of course comes from the name. Wyre Piddle is actually a real place in the county of Worcestershire, which is actually pronounced more like "woosta'sher" (although for the sake of a few laughs we don't tell Americans that until they've tried to pronounce it a few times). According to the 'Knowhere Guide', Wyre Piddle's hot hookup place is "the lonely bus shelter" which probably gives you some indication of the pace of life one might expect to find in this Worcestershire village.

So I wonder, if making beer in places with funny names turns out to be a big hit, will we see the creation of other such quirky named brews? There could be all kinds of amusing bottles to collect. 'Lost Beer' from Scotland, along with 'Petting Beer' and 'Kissing Beer' from Germany, and even 'Intercourse Beer' from Pennsylvania, USA. Though such a tactic could well backfire for some places. For example who would drink 'Pussy Beer' from France, or 'Wank Beer' from Germany?

Austrian marketing companies would have their work cut out trying to bring 'Windpassing Beer' to the market. However 'Fucking Beer' could well become very popular. Though in reality, it's unlikely that the 104 residents of the traditional rural village near Salzburg would relish the attention of who knows how many intoxicated foreign visitors intent on knocking back vast quantities of Fucking beer and stealing Fucking signs.

Indeed, the Fucking police chief, Kommandant Schmidtberger, says that the village already suffers from too much unwelcome attention with signs being stolen and tourists asking local store owners if they sell Fucking postcards. "Fucking is simply Fucking to us," he says. And on a continent famed for its liberal ways, few would argue with that.