Ask Us Anything
We know what it’s like: You can’t get your work done or enjoy your day off because you’re consumed with the need for answers to big questions. How is IPA different from APA? Why is Ottawa Canada’s capital city? Is there actually string in quantum string theory?
Go ahead, ask us anything. We’ll answer here, and beer drinkers everywhere will be a little bit smarter. (Results not guaranteed.)
Dear Flora Hall Brewing,
What is the disaster recovery plan for Flora Hall when the zombie apocalypse happens?
Dear George Gill,
That is an excellent question and we wish we had asked it of ourselves.
The Zombie Apocalypse is like the next flu season, in that just as we don’t know which strain of flu will sweep through and, ergo, which vaccine would save us, we can only guess whether the zombies will be plodders or runners. As with any threat, you can’t prepare a defence when you don’t know what you’re defending against. Nonetheless, Flora Hall is always prepared for any invasion, be it natural (locusts) or supernatural (zombies).
Though planning for the Zombie Apocalypse has never been easy, it once was easier, before movies and television muddied the waters. At one time, we all knew zombies as slow creatures, like mummies without bandages, always lumbering about and tottering drunkenly.
There had been fleeting appearances of more limber zombies, which, despite continuing challenges with motor control and balance, were fast indeed. They even, sometimes, had rhythm, as witnessed in the video for Michael Jackson’s Thriller, which featured zombies dancing in sync, and which won the 1982 Grammy Award for Best Undead Video.
Overall, however, zombies remained slower than service at the DMV. That is, until some genius in Hollywood asked, “Hey, zombies are so slow, it’s like being chased by a tortoise. Why don’t we speed them up?”
Our Research & Canning Department reports that the big bang for fast zombies was Danny Boyle’s 2002 movie 28 Days Later, in which zippy zombies beset a character played by Cillian Murphy. (Today, as Thomas Shelby in the TV series Peaky Blinders, Murphy would blind the zombies with a slash with his deadly cap, leaving them to stagger about and step on rakes and such.)
Speeding up zombies was one of the great innovations in cinema, the biggest leap forward since the introduction of colour film. It led to a great resurgence in zombie culture and industry. Great fortunes were earned by those who had invested in zombie futures before the zombie bonanza arrived.
Nowadays, zombies are everywhere, in movies, in video games and, most notably, in the long-running TV show The Walking Dead, with its multi-season plot line that, some critics say, lumbers along like the teetery villains at its core. (Also, had none of the millions of people who turned into Walking Dead zombies seen 28 Days Later, and gotten the speed idea? It’s like that Far Side cartoon of a flock of geese walking along and one looks up and sees other geese flying and he says, “Hey, look what they’re doing!”)
Anyhow, there are now so many zombies about that one wonders if the apocalypse is already upon us, or at least the pieces in their positions. Yet we can only guess which type of zombies will attack: Will there be trundling hordes, or a few speedy strikers?
At Flora Hall Brewing, we regularly run drills with all staff for our Zombie Apocalypse Prevention Strategy (ZAPS), and the drills always begin with our Zombie Intervention Protocol Supervisor (ZIPS) roaring a hearty, “To the barrels!”
On the back wall of Flora Hall is a raised platform, and on it are a dozen large wine barrels full of special beers, which will continue aging for another few months and more. Upon hearing the ZIPS’ ZAPS command, a trio of highly trained staff fetches the ladder and installs it on the back wall, and any other staff on site when the zombies attack climb the ladder to the barrel platform, and then pull up the ladder. It is crowded up there, and some staff have to sit astride the barrels, as if riding them.
Zombies can’t climb, and if they try to jump too vigorously their limbs will fall off. A zombie, with sufficient thrust, can jump right off its own legs, a condition known as leglessness.
So, George Gill, our “discovery recovery plan” is to climb up on that platform and pull up the ladder and stay there as necessary. We will then roll barrels onto any zombies that approach. The Research & Canning Department’s computer models show that, properly rolled, one barrel can take out as many as two zombies, or three if the undead are particularly dimwitted.
As for any zombies that get too close, we’ll drop 50-pound bags of malt on their bobbling heads.
Note that after the Zombie Apocalypse, Flora Hall Brewing will be open for business as usual, 3 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and at noon Friday to Sunday. If need be, we’ll fill more barrels.