SIMCOE’S CHRISTMAS BALL FOR 2019
As only a few days remain before 2018 flips over into 2019, tradition dictates that we consult a very special oracle. Our sooth-hound Simcoe appears around this time each year to gently nose his festive crystal ball into life and take a look at what might be on the horizon – for him, us and you. So let’s tiptoe past the empty Subwoofer IPA bottles and gently rouse our sleeping brewhouse guard-pup. As he awakes and his oracle glimmers, what does he see inside?
The first thing Simcoe sights as the mists of time clear is a big crowd of people – bigger than he has ever seen before. But they are not throwing sticks for their pups, or in a pet supermarket buying treats for their pups (he has a one-track mind, as you know). The people are enjoying themselves with beer, music and…sniff…barbecue. But then the picture doubles up. Big Ben is in the background. That’s not in Aberdeen, is it? What gives, Simcoe?
Roll Over (the Atlantic)
Next, the clouds swim back into view and stay there. His brow furrows a little. Before too long, a rumbling noise appears like when he has waited too long before treats. But it’s not his stomach, it’s an aeroplane! He ducks as the plane appears to shoot over his head, on the way somewhere far distant. Simcoe’s not a fan of planes as he has to eat a strange-tasting biscuit before waking with a headache – but at least he saw James and Martin at the controls! Or so he thinks.
The third thing that pops into view in the middle of his crystal ball is a single can of beer. Now our hop-pup can identify every BrewDog can simply by the sound each one makes on opening, but this one he doesn’t recognise. It’s a silver can. He knows silver as it’s the same colour as that Schnauzer that yipped at him yesterday. But this beer is very cold. It is also moving really, really quickly. And then it’s gone. Very strange. And yet, intriguing
Next he sees his third-favourite human in all the world – Jason Pond! His brewhouse buddy is, as ever, beavering away at the mash tun (likely with biscuits in his pocket). But what is he making? The beer is very foamy. It looks delicious. Simcoe can also see other beers already kegged in the background. One might be a lager, maybe? Oh and what are those letters on that keg? He squints – reading isn’t his forte. S – I – E – R – R – A – N – E – V
James and Martin pop into view next and Simcoe gives a yelp of joyful recognition as they walk towards him. Maybe they are coming to take him for a walk! But it doesn’t seem like they are in the brewery – they are on a tall brick thing that looks like a wall you can walk on. Only it can’t be as it moves into the distance as far as he can see, and Simcoe can see very far (you know, for squirrels). In fact they are so far away they must be on the other side of the world or something?
Bottles! He knows bottles. They rattle around and make lots of noise. Sometimes he likes that, and sometimes he doesn’t. These look like new ones, although some are covered in dust. How can they be new AND old? As he watches, Richard Kilcullen appears – and he gives an approving woof. Richard quietly slides a bottle back into the shelf and walks away, the view panning out…and out…and out. So many bottles? Why are they being kept there? What is inside?
At least there isn’t time for his annual Geography quiz this year, so he’s thankful…oh no! He groans as the map of the world appears yet again. Every. Year. So he barks what he sees as the images flash past. A Mountie. An Airport. A Kangaroo (are they related to dogs?). A hamburger. Some very pointy mountains. A Scottish fishing boat. Hull city centre. What could it all mean?
There’s no time for Simcoe to answer though; the crystal ball fades and dies into nothing but a sphere of glass. He sighs and paws it gently back into his kennel for another twelve months, before reaching for another bottle of Subwoofer and a bag of biscuits. He bet Jason did have them in his pockets when he saw him just then. He always does.