How I Became Earth Ambassador to Krrrghbräu (Part One)
Tuesday 3rd December 2019 was a particularly cold day. I remember it clearly as it was during a particularly tough week. I was hungover from the night before and had no food in the house so I decided to pop to Aldi. Whilst I was there, I grabbed a bottle of Rheinbacher and a Cornish Pasty and decided to sit on a bench in the middle of Anderson's Meadow in Norwich to eat and drink.
I mean, it started as a relatively normal day as that's the kind of routine I used to live by when I had no food in the house and nothing better to do, but little did I know how crazy my day would get.
I sat down on the bench and I remember feeling absolutely bloody freezing and questioning why I didn't just go home to begin with. I rolled and lit a cigarette, took my bottle opener out of my coat pocket, popped the top off of my Rheinbacher, placed the opener and bottle cap in my pocket and took a swig as I would any normal day. Ah, delicious 11am Rheiny; refreshing.
I was about to open my Cornish pasty and take a bite when I heard a strange noise; it was like metallic screeching and I'd assumed it was a car on the road, but looking over to the road on the right, that wasn't the case.
And then it hit me; a blood orange glow coming from the river, the aura was amazing. Now I'm a curious person, so I walked over to the river, seemingly unconcerned in my hungover state but that seemed like a mistake. I was blinded. I could feel them dragging at my arms, pulling me into the depths of the river but not feeling wet. The sensation of confusion yet clarity was like nothing I'd ever felt before in my life.
I woke up in what appeared to be like an old medieval tavern, but it wasn't. It reminded me of something you'll see in a medieval movie... wood cladding on the walls, wooden flooring, booths around the room, dining tables in the middle, yet it wasn't. The actual bar stood out as being solid gold and shiny with silver keg taps and a strange looking three eyed creature with long hair, four arms and a slightly square face.
Waking up in a dream like state, I heard whispers of "he's here. He has arrived. Get the man a beer" and thinking "OK, what the actual fuck?!". This is when I first noticed the different sizes, shapes and dare I say, races, of the clientele.
A large being that looked like they'd literally been made of camouflage shouted me over, "Nate, what are you having?" and I sceptically stumbled across to the bar, still in a daze. "Who the fuck are you and where am I?" I said as I glanced at him. "Oh Nate, you know us. I'm Justin and that's Clarence behind the bar. C'mon, I'll get you a drink and explain why we've brought you here again".
"Again? What the fuck, man? I've never been here before." I said, confusingly and fearful. Justin seemed to ignore me as Clarence was pouring a beer "Here's your usual, Nate, Krrrrghbräu Pilsner" and as he slid it across to me I was confused and in awe that it was literally glowing from all sides, perfectly carbonated, in a handled pint glass. "Go on, drink up, we've got a lot to discuss since your last visit!" urged Justin; "What. Fucking. Last Visit?" i replied whilst rubbing my brow and lifting my pint glass.
I was sceptical but I took a sip and it almost floored me; the aromas, the flavours and the sensations of what appeared to be a German Pilsner were like nothing I had experienced before. I mean, I've been to Germany and Czechia tons of times and had delicious lager but what the fuck did they do to this to make so magical?
"Justin, just how did you manage to brew something quite so... erm, perfect?" I say, with my eyes glowing in awe. "Oh so you do remember that I'm the brewer then?" he replied. I nodded, but I did not remember.
As I was introduced to all of the other beings in the room, really nice people by the way, I felt a sense of familiarity. Had I been here before? It feels like I know these people but I don't... or do I?
"Right, Nate" said Justin, "We need to talk about your last visit. When we brought you here, you got a bit drunk and said you were going to tell everyone so I'm afraid we had to erase your memory but we're ready. We're ready for you to talk about us, but you will never know the location. You won't find us. We choose who we bring here." ... "OK" I replied, "so what do you want me to do and why am I so special?"
Justin let out a heavy sigh; "You're a beer blogger, Nate. You're well respected up here and you're the only one we trust. We brought some others here, but it's OK, they won't remember and they were too - what's the English word for Hrhnnnngggg? - anyway, we want to offer you the job of Earth Ambassador to Krrrrghbräu. We want you to spread the message of what we're doing up here in preparation for the Earth trade agreement we're going to propose"
I sit on my gold bar stool, not quite knowing how to respond. I chugged the rest of my beer; I didn't want to, I wanted to savour it but I couldn't process it. By the time I'd finished, Clarence had already poured me another and joked "Bet you didn't expect liquid in space, huh?" but I was too confused to even laugh.
After necking my second pint with another promptly in front of me, I finally had the confidence to respond "Propose to whom, exactly, Justin? Nobody is going to believe that some..." I choose my words carefully so I don't offend, "erm, beings from elsewhere are real let alone want to trade beer with wherever this is. That's fucking nuts". Justin took a physical step back and glared at me "But don't you see it Nate? This is where you come in. We've been studying you for years and you seem to have some kind of bizarre influence over people because you're not like the rest. We've looked at all sorts... Matt Curtis, Adrian Tierney-Jones, Pete Brown. None of those are suitable. We need someone they won't expect"
I finished my pint and you guessed it, Clarence poured me another. "Got a bigger glass, chap? I need to go and think for a while" but he just poured me another. I took my two pints and sat where I woke up, surveying the room, trying my hardest to wake up from the dream or come to terms with what Justin had told me. I sat with my eyes closed, thinking, only occasionally opening them to grab my drink and take a sip... every sip was so magical that it couldn't be real. I kept telling myself to snap out of it. As I was drifting away from my thoughts, I felt something nudge my leg. I kept them closed and felt something heavy land on my lap "Jefforb, down boy" I heard in the distance before opening my eyes to find what appeared to by a tiny blue camel sitting on my lap. I couldn't move. One of the beings came over "I think he likes you. You can take him home, if you'd like" ... "Erm, thanks but how would I explain this?" I replied. She laughed.
I'd finished both of my beers and sauntered back to the bar for another, where Justin had presumably been staring at me the whole time. Clarence poured me a pint of which I took a sip and sighed because I was feeling the booze a bit by then, "What's the strength of this, Clarence?" ... "Oh, it's only 8%, so one of our weaker ones" he replied. Startled I said "Oh you guys must have a different ABV scale here then". "Nah, it's just that earth people are weak and can't handle it", and the entire bar let out a chuckle.
I turned to face Justin again; "So?" he said "Thoughts?". I let out a deep breath and asked the question "What do I need to do?"
Part two will be available next week. Thanks for reading!