The bomb squad turned up at our bar on Saturday. We share the building with a museum. It seems a long time ago people had donated mining memorabilia to the museum and amongst the stuff was a stick of dynamite. Just to make things worse, as the dynamite was at least 50 years old, it had turned crystalline, and so risked spontaneous detonation with the slightest knock. The museum staff quite rightly contacted the authorities. A couple of nice blokes in fatigues, and a van full of very expensive toys turned up.
The dynamite was moved to the school field and a controlled explosion was carried out. Unluckily for the school kids the school was undamaged, even so I have the song "We break up, we break up, we don't care if the school blows up" running through my head.
More seriously, and by complete coincidence, we are releasing a beer today. It is called Nuclear Sunset and is 4.7% ABV. It is a wheat beer that was inspired by a Japanese beer. It is made not only with orange peel and coriander, but also has orange juice and nutmeg in it. Unlike european wheat beers this one is fermented with our house yeast1, which is an American ale yeast.
The rather troubling thing for me is that I now worry people will believe I planted that stick of dynamite to further the launch of this beer. If only I were that clever, and devious. But no, trust me, I had this all thought through well before the weekend.
There is a bit of a story to this beer. Scott came up with the name Nuclear Sunset, which I instantly liked. However, whilst putting together the backstory to the beer I realised that this week is the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 6th and 9th August to be precise. This could not be ignored.
I've already written quite a lot about the topic, for our press release, as covering emails to go out with the press release, our website and for a comment piece to go on Roger Protz's1 website, so I'm not going to put too much down here. But what I will say is that the power of the atomic explosions is something that genuinely moves me. The suffering that the people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki must have gone through is incredible. It is humbling to me to know that science can bring both great technological achievements, but not without great dichotomies for humanity to consider.
Couple this with the fact that I am where I am today partly due to a previous career in the nuclear industry. But even more importantly, I live in a community that depends upon nuclear technology for its very existence, the importance of this fact can not be under estimated.
I hope you will all understand my genuine need to honour the people of Japan on this anniversary. This need for me is all the more acute as I am in favour of peaceful uses of nuclear technology, but at no time do I ever underestimate it's dangers if mankind misuses the technology in the future. I truly hope we continue to take seriously our responsibilities and hold precious the thought that the errors should never be repeated.
1As I type this the piece it is yet to go up on his site. He's in the middle of finalising the Good Beer Guide and we're just getting the final copy agreed before it goes up.