It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man who has motored sixty two miles must be in want of a beer, a large cold one. Preferably it is served in an iced stein of a glass, so cold a film of ice delaminates from the inside and floats slowly to the surface and modifying the taste to a degree of unparalleled perfection. Sadly the Captain had to wait two days for the experience here. On our arrival we headed into the Gaudi inspired cocktail bar set in lush gardens across the street. Big mistake. He was tempted to order the local beer, but his turned out to be a small bottle, beautifully decorated with hippy flowers and CND logos of quite a hoppy brew. I swapped him for my small draught San Miguel, but that was a bit meager. The Club Nautica bar serves beer in elegant tulip shaped glasses, but they did not really hit the spot either. Then we called into the little pavement side restaurant opposite the marina for lunch and he finally found Nirvana in the form of a magnificent glass of Estrella. Even my small beer came in an iced glass. It set us talking about the great beer drinking moments of cinema, though we concluded there were insufficient to make one of those top twenty charts favoured by TV, which take two hours and an irritating number of commercial breaks to reach a forgone conclusion.
Our forgone conclusion, and indeed the only truly outstanding beer drinking moment of cinema history we could come up with, happens at the end of Ice Cold in Alex. John Mills downs a much anticipated cold beer after slogging through over an hours worth of desert misadventures, sweatily evading Nazis, quicksand and engineering meltdown. By the time he gets his beer we the audience feel we all deserve one and can taste it with him. In a cinematic triumph of monochrome, the beads of sweat on John’s upturned face and the condensation on his raised glass are illuminated in the same rapturous light. After that nothing else comes anywhere close. There is a joyous Foster-fest at the start of Crocodile Dundee, a sort of tribute to the genesis of the Paul Hogan character. One or both of the big convict movies, Shawshank Redemption or Cool Hand Luke, has a cold beer in bottles moment and there is a lot of bottle waggling in Top Gun, as Tom Cruise turns karaoke. On the small screen first Morse and now Lewis do a bit to support the Campaign for Real Ale, but most of the time beer in pubs is just another prop. Nominations for any other great beer drinking moments we may have missed will be seriously considered and this entry amended accordingly. The Captain ended his day with a pint of black stuff in the Guinness bar he just happened to notice as we wandered along the front.