Tim recently gave me a copy of the documentary “BEERTICKERS – beyond the ale” which was sent to him courtesy of Phil Parkin the creative catalysts behind the venture. Being the lazy fucker that I am, it has sat idle on my coffee table for several weeks – well until last night when I was bored and had given YouPorn a good run for its money. Below is my half arsed attempt of a review.
Ticking – I never really understood tickers. When I lived in London I didn’t mind a pint of the old pongy ale, but I worked on the Sarf side of the river at London’s biggest lager factory. I always had a fridge full of free piss that I squandered from work…. shhh! please don’t tell Mr Busch I stole his beer.
To me tickers where the mob who I encountered most often at CAMRA (vista social club) beer festivals. These are events where basically a whole load of old codgers sit around in a tent drinking halves of warm flat beer and writing notes, or ticking the festival program. I saw it as a futile endeavour, a bit like bodybuilding – there is just no point. How do you appreciate something if all you are doing is having a couple of mouthfuls and then moving onto something else?
Anyhow back to the movie, basically it’s about this Northern chap called Phil, who decided that he wanted to make a movie to document some eccentric British behaviour. Phil decides that he wants to explore “Ticking” and inadvertently picks up a bit of a habit after hanging around with the worlds best tickers (including Piss It Up The Wall’s own Gazza Prescott who features heavily throughout the film). The ticking leads Phil to an enlightenment which highlights the importance of beer in modern and historical British culture. This includes a guided tour by Pete Brown through the Brewing Museum in Burton, and making a special batch of Jaipur with the Kiwi chap at Thornbridge. Oh and that bruiser chick – (Melissa Cole?) is in it too.
I’ll be honest and say that I found parts of the movie slightly repetitive, but I also managed to stay awake for the whole hour or so it runs. Some highlights/odd behaviour include watching desperate weirdo’s pour beer from pint glasses into sterilised bottles so they can drink them later and still get the tick, weird old men in general, and Gazza’s sidekick Dave (from Steel City Brewing) lose his cool when Phil quiz’s him over his ban from the Fat Duck or some other Sheffield pub.
Overall, this docco is worth checking out even if you only have a passing interest in beer and beer culture. I think I have in my possession the only copy in Australia at the moment. I’m not sure if Australian distribution has been organised, but you can order it through the website http://www.beertickersfilm.com.