There are plenty of myths that exist about the invention of beer. I recall a story told to me by my grandfather about the nomads who invented the first form of beer. It was made from grain and water before an accident with yeast created the first loaf of bread.
How I love those stories. He used to tell me about walking to school uphill — both ways. He also used to tell me about portable bathrooms that were separated from the house. I didn’t believe him until I saw one with my own two eyes. Then, I never doubted him again.
So, I decided to ask him what life was like before beer. Oh, he laughed and then told me that he wasn’t that old. So, I was left to my own imagination. What would life have been like the day before beer was invented?
The guys woke up on a Sunday even though they didn’t have calendars. They just knew it was Sunday because they had the game to go to that day. Everyone dressed in their favorite animal skins representing their teams who would be playing in the first annual BC Gridiron Bowl.
One nomad named Ishbol, which stands for “one who picks teeth with saber-tooth claw,” grabbed flattery from his kitchen and placed marinated buffalo on for the tailgate. He was the first to come up with the tailgate, only he didn’t have a tail or a gate. He looked kind of weird sitting in a field all by himself.
So the other nomads joined him that day and thought the tailgate was the greatest idea known to man. That’s when they decided they needed a special event to celebrate. One year later, the BC Gridiron Bowl was born and Ishbol was ready. His tribe met at the field long before the other tribe came along. They enjoyed hot buffalo and mashed berries. Ah, the delicacies they shared back then!
They passed around the boar skin until the other tribe slowly meandered onto the field. They were sluggish and a little bit rude. It seems the night before, they dealt with transportation problems as their flight was delayed and the caves were just about all booked. But, they did manage to show. It was time for the biggest day of their lives.
But, they all knew deep down inside they were missing something. It’s the kind of feeling you get when you don’t know what you’re missing. But, you know there has to be something more to life than this.
Standing in the field, look around at each other, the two tribes stared for what seemed like hours. They didn’t know the answer. They didn’t know the question. They didn’t have a common language. To top it all off, Ashtwan, a nomad from the other tribe, pulled his tailgate surprise out of his pocket to find a messy heap of liquid in the bladder he had filled before his travels.
Unwilling to give up, Ishbol shared his marinated buffalo. They all feasted for a moment and their spirits were lifted. As family and kids poured from the mountains, the stadium filled and the two tribes decided to continue with the first annual BC Gridiron Bowl. Ashtwan discarded the bladder on the sidelines and went to battle with his tribe in the middle of Nomad Roughskin Stadium. “Roughskin, Where the Pride of the Hunt Becomes Designer!”
It was at halftime I do believe, when Farstrer, Ashtwan’s teammate managed to drink out of the wrong bladder. It wasn’t long before his behavior became noticeable. He was laughing. He was hugging his own teammates. It was like, he was happy.
Ashtwan soon realized Farstrer’s error and took a drink of his own concoction himself. It was nasty. It was warm and tasted like cardboard. But, it was intoxicating. He shared it among the two tribes and then recalled to them what he had put in it to make it so special.
Ah, they could have had some mead! They hit themselves on the head as if some great idea had finally fallen over them all. They realized what they had been missing for so long. Marinated buffalo never tasted so great at a tailgate party without the mead that had been missing from their lives for so long.
When Ishbol returned to his cave, he wrote that night in his diary on the wall that what he had tasted that day was an intervention of divinity. It was a recipe he would perfect and have ready for the second annual BC Gridiron Bowl. Then, he reflected on his life and I can imagine as he looked upon the stars contemplating the universe, he wondered why in the world mead had not been dropped in his lap one day earlier.