Friday, February 25, 2011


I absolutely love British movies like "Snatch", "Lock Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels" and "Sexy Beast". One of the great things about them is just the Britishness of them. The SNL trailer above for "Don' You Go Rounin' Roun to Re Ro" is an absolutely spot on spoof of these movies.

What does that have to do with anything? Well, virtually nothing, just wanted to set the mood for the Britishness that is the documentary "Beertickers: Beyond the Ale". Never heard of 'beerticking'? I hadn't either, it's basically writing down the name and ABV of every beer you have and trying to collect 'em all. One of the characters in the movie is a seemingly normal older Brit who has 40,000 unique beers.

The American equivalent to the people featured in this movie can be found nightly at the Flying Saucer trying to get unique beers for their saucer on the wall. While the Saucer people are just fine, they're, for the most part, not British, therefore inferior for my viewing pleasure.

If you're interested in British beer culture and the wide array of beers they drink (and a large majority of them are cask or "real ale"). I really enjoyed the documentarian trying to get a Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown Ale at a beer fest for a beertick, one of only 4 American beers mentioned in the movie.

"Beertickers" isn't a real easy movie to find however. It's not available yet on Netflix or even more mainstream outlets to an old fogey like me. You can download it on your XBox or Playstation machines or on ITunes. I liked it much more than I thought I would. It took me a couple of weeks to give it a shot after I got the email with the free download code from Phil the documentarian and star of the show. But, it was definitely worth the little over an hour that I spent with it.


  1. There are plenty of beertickers on the Beer Advocate and RateBeer. I always like the one sentence review from a one ounce sample at a festival.

  2. Yeah not sure Flying Saucer counts as ticking because 200 is a small number. There are people on ratebeer doing that every week.

    Also at the Saucer people tend drink an entire serving. Definitely not ticking. That's just drinking.

  3. The movie and the information they sent me led me to believe that it's not really beerticking unless you're drinking real ale. But, it wasn't completely clear on that point. Since we don't have a ton of real ales here, I didn't think it would be a hobby that translated to the US. I was using the Flying Saucer people as an example to try and give people a relatable. Also, drinking an ounce is not beerticking and something like that would get your ass kicked by the beertickers in the movie.

  4. Most of the unique beers in the UK are real ale, I doubt that Tommyknocker was though.

    There are beer ticking cultures in a number of countries, not just the UK.

    As for the portion size, were these guys really getting half pints at the festivals?

  5. I'm fairly certain the Tommyknocker was going to be in a bottle.

    They were either sharing a pint or "bottling" half of it. Bottling was pouring half the pint into an empty water bottle and screwing the lid on. These guys took backpacks to beer festivals and came home with all these bottles. The 40,000 beertick guy had a closet full of "bottled" beer.

    I think we shouldn't have a war on bottled water in the United States. We should just send our empties to England for the beerticker bottling industry.

  6. I couldn't tell you the name of most of my first 200 beers at the Saucer, let alone their ABV. Getting your Saucer is less beerticking, more fame whoring.

  7. Here is a good example of a continental ticker:

    20K ticks in 8 years all accompanied by (nominal) reviews.

    American ticking is similar, but we tend to have access to less beer than on the continent.