If only there was a magical balm to soothe the fractious and febrile atmosphere of the Referendum. There is and it's called beer - Britain's national tipple. How fortuitous then that Beer Day Britain, national beer day, happens on June 15th. This means that the Brexiteers and the Remains can sit down together, in a pub, and have a jolly time united by their love of the world's favourite alcoholic drink - beer.
Beer has a supernatural ability to calm, to reconcile, to bond people, to unify and it has been doing that for millennia. Beer is also full of nutrition, has proven health benefits when consumed moderately, and measure for measure has fewer calories than any other alcoholic drink (it's a burger belly not a beer belly!) In Britain, seven out of ten drinks served in a pub are beer so without our national drink we would have no pubs.
I am the instigator of Beer Day Britain. Last year was the inaugural event and I chose the date of June 15th because that is also the date of the sealing of Magna Carta. Ale is mentioned in clause 35 of the Great Charter. Magna Carta was a peace treaty to end a civil war. Judging by the viciousness of the Referendum campaign we will need a peace treaty to end the internecine battles that both sides of the argument have stoked. So here is my suggestion. On June 24th gather both sides together at the Jewel House opposite the Palace of Westminster. This is where in the late 19th century the Weights & Measures Office was situated and is also where the imperial pint became the legal measure for draft beer in Britain (note to the Brexiteers - we do not drink draught beer in milliliters. The pint is another opt out the British Government negotiated with the EU). With a pint of British ale in hand, the opposing factions will sing together 'Cheers To Beer' - the anthem to beer that I co-wrote - and they will be reunited over beer. The song will serve as the peace treaty and every time the hostility and snide remarks start from either side, the peace envoy (me) will enter the room, pulling a crate of beer bottles to hand out, and I will lead the singing.
These are the lyrics to the verse of Cheers To Beer.
What drink forever will bring us together: Let's raise a glass of beer!
What drink elates us and exhilarates us: Let's raise a glass of beer!
Nature's gift water, hops, malt and yeast - a wholesome panacea
And the whole world unites with our favourite pint: Let's raise a glass of beer!
So here is a plea to the politicians. Call a truce on June 15th and join people around the country in the National Cheers To Beer at 7pm by raising a glass, singing the song, and posting a message on social media using the hashtag #CheersToBeer. Singing together bonds us, is good for physical and mental health, and makes us happy. So does beer. Download the anthem by clicking here, learn the song, go to the pub, and join the national party to celebrate Beer Day Britain.
Cheers To Beer!