Saturday 10 November 2012

We want Cookie!

Back in July 2009, Cooking Lager burst onto the beer blogging scene like a fart in a lift. Beneath the laddish veneer, he in fact succeeded in puncturing many of the pretensions of the genre in an amusing and inconoclastic way. Some of the terms he popularised, such as “lout”, “pong” and “the beard club”, entered into the beer blogging vocabulary. All good things come to an end, though, and he seemed to start suffering from Stockholm Syndrome and going native a bit. So in October last year, he brought his blog to an abrupt end.

Yet he’s still around and recently seems to have posted more words in the comments on mine and Tandleman’s blogs than were included in the original posts. He’s also active on Twitter as @CarpeZytha. (Incidentally, that’s one fit German bird on his profile).

So I thought I would run a poll as to whether it’s time for him to resume his blogging activities. Out of an impressive 70 responses, 55, or just short of 80%, said yes. And who can say that the other 15 don’t simply prove that he knows how to delete, er, cookies on his computer?

So come back Cookie, all is forgiven! Give us the benefit of your piercing insights once again!

Some may wonder whether I know his true identity. Maybe this Kursaal Flyers song from the 1970s will give you a clue.


  1. Professor Pie-Tin10 November 2012 at 10:52

    Cookie's problem was that there's only so many ways you can describe buying cheap lager,getting pissed and pissing off your oul' doll.

    He'd backed himself rather than her into a corner.

    Ultimately Cookie became a one-trick pony - the Orville the Duck of beer bloggers.

    Things got more interesting after he allowed himself to be seduced by a packet of pork scratchings and some erudite pong perchants but such was his shame he upped sticks and left us.

    I for one would love to see him back as well as Jeff from The Gunmakers who was also highly entertaining.

    Just not with the same of schtick.

  2. I'm still none the wiser after having watched the You-Tube clip!

  3. The song is "I know that she knows..."


    1. I know who Cookie is.
    2. He knows that I know who he is.
    3. I know that he knows that I know who he is.

    And so on ad infinitum

  4. I can only say it is flattering to be a subject of a blog post, and for the record only 5 of the “No it’s a load of Toss” were from me. The rest being from your more intelligent and discerning readership.

    Of course you do not know cookie, though of course you know his author. Cookie is a fictional character based partly on my younger student self and partly on characteristics I had noticed within beer geekery. He is a troll, but I hope not a nasty or unkind one. The reason he left the CAMRA forum was a post that was edited by a moderator to contain “offensive post removed”. The offence was to call someone by the name “Dicky”. The character was never intended to be offensive, only slightly cheeky and a little bit rude.

    By creating a beer enthusiast that was enthusiastic about those beers derided by other beer enthusiasts (an anti-beer geek, like an anti-Christ) I hoped to mock beer geekery. Not out if spite or a desire to be unkind, but out of desire to amuse myself and if anyone else read it maybe others. I find beer geekery to be amusing despite being a bit of a beer geek myself. Like train spotting or other harmless obsessions there is an amusing and ridiculous element.

    I also wanted to express an opinion than many often repeated assertions in the beer blogosphere were untrue. Not only untrue but clearly ridiculous. That mainstream products were awful, consumed only by the ignorant and the price of these products the root of an evil. I read a post on Melissa Cole’s blog that I remember equated the crime of rape with cheap supermarket booze. The logic being the victims of rape were often young women who get drunk. Of course drunks preload on cheap booze, so Tesco are directly to blame for incidences of rape. An argument I found utterly fallacious but not contradicted by any commentator.

    It wasn’t that one post but eventually I was motivated to create a blog that made a simple point. A cheap box of Stella is not awful and nor am I likely to get violent if I drink a few cans. It grew from there. I think it is human nature to hold on to assertions that suit an existing point of view, and repetition creates a reinforcing of that view until it becomes widely accepted as the truth.

    The term” squeeze” came from “main squeeze” a term used in a Beach Boys song. “Lout” I had heard in common usage. “Pongy ale” was a term a work colleague had used when instead of the usual lads night out I suggested attending a CAMRA beer festival I had seen an advert for. “What? Drink pongy ale with twigs in surrounded by old codgers with beards?” I first heard the term “cooking lager” when another work colleague described his weekend on going out and being able to drink “nothing but cooking lager”

    I stopped blogging because I ran out of steam. My intention was to create a new character that poked people’s opinions with a stick. I have had a few ideas but realised that those characters would run out of steam even sooner.

    I always suffered from Stockholm syndrome; I loved what I mocked from the start. My intention was never to be nasty even if I was pointing out that someone was talking rubbish. Carpa Zytha was a name I chose when I was considering reinventing the character as a beer geek. Someone who accused others of being ignorami because they were not as discerning as me, with no basis to back it up other than ridiculous assertion. A beer bore that took being a beer bore to a self-defeating end. I got bored with it and gave up before even taking the twitter character into the blogosphere.

    If you look at the early posts the first commentator to get it, to realise that is was a piss take, was none other than Mr John Clarke.

  5. Thank you for the detailed explanation :-)

    Cookie is still around in the comments sections, though, and sometimes he posts considered, preconception-challenging analysis, whereas at other times he posts blatant trollery...

  6. Yes Cookie was fun but all credit to him for realisng that he had nothing more useful to say (if only that were true of the wider beer blogosphere).

    I rather enjoy his latter day trollery - there are some blogs he haunts that thoroughy deserve it from time to time. I think his finest hour (when he was still blogging) was picking apart the sums and assertions bnehind the Brew Dog share issues (not that it disssuaded some suckers from "investing").

  7. When the blog started I remember a few odd types appeared to adopt it as part of their ill conceived "war" against beer blogging. If in anyway it encouraged them then I would say that was a cause of regret. Some more nasty trolls posted very unkind and personal comments on blogs I would disassociate myself from.

    My favourite moment was the warm welcome I received when I went along on a twissup and the good humour with people took my trollery. That and all the free grog.

  8. Well I voted for him to keep away from blogging. There's enough competition as it is!

  9. Actually the amount of beer blogging seems to have markedly fallen off, so maybe a bit more stimulation is needed.

  10. There are definitely more now but, like me, you probably don't track as many. However, there does seem a natural shelf life to beer blogging and the novelty does wear off for some. Full marks to Cookie for knowing when to quit.

  11. Carpe Zytha, I'm afraid I don't remember writing that post & would appreciate it if you'd provide a link, I can't find what you're talking about & I'd be horrified if I'd unthinkingly made light of rape in such a way.


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