Friday, February 25, 2005

Don't call it an import

Well, son, why don't you just sit right back there with an oddly-shaped pilsner glass and let me tell you a tale that begins all the way back in Salzburg, Austria... wiggly fade... Back to a time when the Reinheitsgebot really meant something (or not)...
Truth is, fine continental pilsners are a rarity in the US, with most European imports arriving a little over-the-hill and generally lacking that fresh bite that makes them so special in the first place. (It certainly doesn't help that they persist in using green glass bottles that promote the cardboardy, skunky flavors , but I digress...) Thankfully, the beergods have presented us in the Bay Area another option. Put together the miracles of modern engineering, an eagerly thirsty drinking market, Gambrinus - the same company that owns Corona and Pete's Wicked Ale (who's now known, quite oddly, I might add, as Cocoa Pete) - a pinch of Weihenstephan Germany W-34 lager yeast, and squibbly-flabbily-doo! Behold - Brauerei Trumer goes and opens a second, sister brewery in Berkeley, and our soon-to-be summer thirsts are nearly quenched. The sales rep, pleasantly plying me with complimentary pints (note to brewery-owning readers - I'll gladly pimp your beer if you comp me drinks) over lunch put it quite simply: When it came down to the line, it was just cheaper to open up the second location rather than to ship the product out from the Salzburg's brewery. So, the upside to having to say goodbye to the Golden Pacific Brewery is that we get another yummy local pils that's worthy of the name. Having good water doesn't hurt, either.

It's like fantasy football for beer geeks

Play along at home!

And then it dawned on me...

Saturday done come and gone. I left my local brewstore with a bounce in my step, a promise to return with great tales of barleywine joy, and a glint in my eye from the samples I'd tasted two days previously as the first draughts were being tapped. (One if which was the Deschutes double pale ale Mirror Mirror, which, despite repeat emails, I haven't been able to glean much info about from the brewery. Maybe in a later post?) But as I arrived, dark clouds gathered, and a cold winter's rain began to fall. Two blocks in the distance I could see my friend dejectedly shaking his head, surrounded by throngs of teetering, shaggy souls. The truth was, it was 12:15 in the afternoon on the first day of the Toronado barleywine festival, and that was just too late.
Maybe it was the Belgians and the Brits, what with the time change on their side, who had an unfair advantage, showing up at 9am on a Saturday to start making their way through glasses of 12% beers and taking up all the seats in the joint. Or maybe I'm just getting old, and that I think about drinking barleywine that early and I feel like I need to lie down. But when we decided to go across the street and nurse our wounds with a nice Fuller's ESB at the Mad Dog in the Fog, the truth finally came to me: We probably could have beaten our way to the bar within half an hour and placed an order for some obscure old stock ale - but I don't think we really wanted to. Sure, the crowd had its rubberneck effect - hey look at all those people, let's go join them! - but in the end, I had to admit to myself, my friend, the strangers at the table next to me, and the beergods, that I just don't really like barleywine that much. Maybe it's been my experience - a recent bottle of Lagunitas Brown Shugga didn't do much to help, with its overwhelming bitterness and overt alcohol taste (no disrespect to the Lagunitas folks - don't even get me started on the joy of their IPA). But honestly, unless I'm already sacked in for the night and there aren't any obstacles between me and my bed, barleywine just isn't going to be in my drinking regimen. I'm sorry! Forgive me! But, thankfully, good man John made it in on Sunday afternoon (while I was enjoying my first Hoegaarden of the year at a charming little cafe, thanks to unseasonably warm weather - it's kinda like Groundhog's Day that way) and his report's over here, now that he remembered what happened. Or made it up, or whatever. With kittens.

Memoirs of an amnesiac, pt. 2

John's harrowing account of the 12th annual Toronado barleywine festival, spruced up with pictures of kittens:
Here it is! Virtually info-free, I'm afraid, because I left my notes and the menu there. Stupid alcohol!
Barleywine festival, Sunday 2/20. Toronado's second room was open, beer-hall style. Many people with at least three dozen wine glasses in front of them. Maybe some of them still had their eyes open. The better-equipped had water bottles, or jugs. One skinny man had a water buffalo. That might not have been real. Somebody broke a glass on our table, and then claimed he knew the owners, but I don't believe him, he didn't look like he'd ever heard Motorhead [aren't there some umlauts in there somewhere? - ed.] in his life.
The three of us tried the large, 11-oz glasses at first. No real recollection of what we had. One dark and bitter, one lighter and less bitter, the third right in the middle. One was Drake's Barleywine, no recollection which one. Drank. Ate sausage. Excellent with merguez, but no so excellent as a good hand-pumped ale. (A side note: Venison sausage. Must return soon) [an entire post on the joys of Rosemunde and pairing beer with sausage is a must - ed.].
Second round: I'm fairly sure involved Hair Of The Dog Doggy Claws, Russian River Old Gubbillygotch 2001, and the Uinta X. Gubbillygotch was fairly light one, a little sweet and mellow. I liked it. Hair of Dog was also good, darker maybe. I don't trust any memories. Drank.
Third round: Smaller glasses this time, and Aimee came to visit, so there were four. They were Nos. 14, 15, 24, and 33. Anybody who took their menu home can help. No. 33 [help! please! - ed.] was my favorite of the night, very dark and very sweet. Candy in a glass. Drank. Yum. Drunk.
Fourth round: Two drivers stop drinking. Aimee and I try another round. No idea what they were. Luckily they were out of the 21 percent one. Or No. 21 that was 15 percent? Memory fails. Drank. People are leaving. We're intoxicated. Home. Pizza. Sleep. Woke up sweating at 7am with somebody pounding a nail into in my head. Ouch. Drunk. Yum. [Sadly, he didn't follow the thongs over to Tommy's for tequila tasting. 'Nuff said. - ed.]

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Notes from an anonymous beer jerk

Lots of beer snobs out there want to recruit you - the casual aficionado - to do their snobby bidding and annoyingly harass bartenders and restaurant staff who don't treat beer with the same snobby snobbishness that they do. As someone who deals with the public on an *ahem* customer service level, however, my stomach wrenches at the thought of bothering anyone who I know is handling more than their fair share of "feedback". So it was with a heavy heart that I found myself finally speaking up about a really bad pour I encountered at dinner last night. (Frankly, the phrase "really bad pour" should set off all kinds of bells and whistles with anyone who's dealt with a beer snob.)
Let me say two things: 1) I probably wouldn't have done it if it weren't one of my favorite restaurants and 2) I only felt like a jerk when I brought it up - my waitress was very nice and at least pretended to agree with me after pouring a me a new glass.
The culprit? An especially chunky bottle of Augustijn Ale, which even after a nice, smooth pour looked like a snow globe for all the yeast flakes floating about in the glass. Needless to say, the first time it was rigorously dumped into the glass, it came along with a mighty pile of vicious-looking sediment. Let's be honest - in the vast majority of refermented bottled beers, not only do you generally not want to drink the collected dead yeast cells and their waste products because they look nasty in your glass and add such a sharp, harsh bitterness to the taste, but - and is this breaking news? - it makes you fart. For this reason alone, is it unthinkable that I may want to spare the comfort of those around me?
And as a result, I think they'll pour a more delicious beer now, enlivening the experience of dining in such a nice joint and spreading the all-important warm fuzzy that is presenting me with the almost-empty bottle, leaving it up to me alone to decide if I want to party that way.
While I'm on the subject... If you're really into the whole yeast-drinking thing (to go with what, I don't know - your Marmite and Twiglet obsession, maybe?) you ought to make a pilgrimage out to a bar specializing in De Koninck, where you can indulge yourself in an invigorating shot of - you guessed it! - pure yeast. Yu-u-u-u-ummy.
And... One last word on Ti Couz joy. Cidre. It's just pure delight drinking fine French cider from the traditional pitcher and earthenware bols that they provide. Get your hands on a bottle of the Eric Bordelet Doux or Poiré before you dig into that galette, yehed mad!

Terrifying beer marketing genius terror

Here's a nice example of modern marketing at its creepiest. It was one thing to have fakey article headings in the advertising banner section of the Onion to make them look like links to internal articles, which in fact only pushed you on to some sponsors site, but this is viral placement in its pure, icky glory. Look! A funny article about beer!

Onion ad sales execs discuss conning readers into spreading the link to their friends.
Above: Onion ad sales execs discuss conning readers into spreading the link to their friends.

And then you get to the bottom of the "article": "Miller Brewing Company is the second-largest brewery in the U.S., with seven major breweries located across America. Principal beer brands include Miller Lite, Miller Genuine Draft, Miller Genuine Draft Light, Miller High Life, and Milwaukee's Best. More information is available at"
See? The folks at Miller (yeah, High Life!) are so damned cool that they'll even pay the Onion to place an article that makes fun of their own policies regarding alcohol abuse education and outreach. Hilarious! Go buy a case of MGD to show how knowing and sarcastic you are! Wink wink!
It a disturbing trend in that it shows not only how smarmy the megabrewers' hacks are getting in the face of a snowballing craft brewing scene, but also how lame even the Onion's gotten in hopes for more click-through revenue. Poop.

Friday, February 18, 2005

It's no wine section, but it's a start

It's nice to see beer enthusiasm gaining footholds in standard media outlets, and a brand spankin' new monthly column in my local rag only adds to the warm fuzzies.

Maybe the market is ready for a blush ale

"Just ask Christine Jump who is the pub manager for Rouge Brewery in Eugene."

The London Drinker Beer & Cider Festival (March 16-18) does not have penis emblems.

You can decide whether or not it's worth adding this event to your springtime beer drinkage.

"It does, however, have such quality quaffs as Acorn South Yorkshire Barnsley Gold, Blanchfield Raging Bull, and Daleside North Yorkshire Shrimpers Bitter. For those of you who are familiar only with the warm, stale beer of college fame, a London drinker will be waiting to indoctrinate you into the ways of British ales. A special feminine line of drinks is also an option, with gentler names: Fine Soft Day, Gold, Raspberry Wheat and Lemon Dream, among others."

On the other hand, I'm not quite sure I need to be "indoctrinated" by a London drinker...

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Preaching to the converted

Like anyone needs further proof that beer has its advantages over wine, here's yet another article that details the joy of beer and cheese pairing. Sparing no expense, they've pulled out big guns Garrett Oliver and Lucy Saunders to put the final nail in the coffin of the wine and cheese party scene. Not that I don't like my wine, don't get me wrong. Beer's just... better. That goes for pairing with chocolate, too, you know.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

John Barleycorn must die.

Unless your dream job is being a maltster and you've got a few acres to spare, you probably ought to draw the DIY line at growing your own barley. But if you have some time and a little space to spare, you needn't stop at hops if you want to claim full responsibility for the awe or disgust you inspire in your guests when they sip your latest experiment. And in case you think spices are only used in weird brews (grains of paradise in Ommegang? Who said that?), it's worth considering how they could work in your favor, from adding spruce tips to your pale ale for that colonial touch, or cacao nibs to that winter warmer for that dessert-in-a-glass experience.
Brewer Randy Mosher, in his exquisitely-detailed if unfortunately-titled Radical Brewing, points out that there's an extreme quality difference between ingredients sold at brewing supply shops *ahem* and those which were personally crafted. Dried, pre-packaged Curaçao orange peel and coriander are two perfect examples. The nasty bitter pith from the orange - the one flavor you don't want in your beer - seems to be the predominant characteristic of the packaged version. That makes sense when you realize you're just getting huge chunks of chopped-up rind for your $1.79.
I'm not suggesting that everyone go out and start growing their own bitter oranges, but consider this: most all the citrus trees you buy at your local nursery are grafted to Seville orange rootstock. When trees are left unattended for a few years, it's not uncommon for growth from the rootstock to aggressively extend itself as a branch from the base of the tree, at which point it begins to compete with the other branch for the resources of the roots. If my experience is any indication, the bitter orange often wins out. I've met dozens of people who talk about the mysterious "lemon tree" in their backyard that gives them these sour little orange fruits. If you know anyone like that, offer to help take all that inedible fruit off their hands. Take them home, scrub them down, zest them with a microplane peeler into a mason jar topped off with vodka, and voilá! You've just gone and made yourself some darn fancy flavorin' for that next batch of witbier...
Wow, that was a hell of a tangent. But I digress.

Coriander's another one that bears mention. At one point, while we were growing our own coriander (well, it started as cilantro, but I'll get to that) we pulled out a couple spice bags from the cupboard to compare them. What confused us immediately was that the contents of the bag from the *ahem* brewing supply shop varied so much in appearance and flavor from the bulk spices we'd bought at the hippie health food store. Again, brewer Randy Mosher:

"Much of the available coriander reeks strongly of celery seed, which I find very obtrusive in a beer. The type sold at Indian groceries is far superior... This larger, paler type has a softer, fruitier flavor and is better for beer than the ordinary kind, which can taste somewhat vegetal in beer."

And don't even get me started on the difference between both of those and the fresh coriander we collected from the garden. When our cute little culinary cilantro plant went ahead and bolted on us, we decided to skip the Thai meals for a little while and wait to see what we got. The result from one small plant was about 4 oz. of coriander, which we promptly dried and bagged for our next Belgian special. The quality of the aroma so far surpassed that of the packaged version that I'd strongly advise anyone who regularly brews Belgian style ales with even the smallest windowsill garden to splurge on 40 cents worth of seeds to grow their own and compare with what they've been buying.
One last word on spices. I've seen a number of different techniques for adding flavoring, but this one has worked very well for us in the past. Go forth and infuse!

Let the hangover... begin!

Gee, where will I be on Saturday? At the dry cleaners? At the florist? At the dairy farm? Hmm!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Man, grow your own. Man.

Man. As we seem to be having a little bit of a Spring tease here in the Bay Area, it's natural that one's thoughts gravitate towards outdoors activities. For the lazier of us, "activity" can often mean "gardening". And, in the land of the beer nerd, that can only mean one thing. If you're between the 35º and 55º latitude and have about 20' of vertical outdoor sunny space, you might consider growing your own little hop harvest this summer.
Hop rhizomes - root cuttings from female plants related to the mother variety, be it Cascade or Saaz or Fuggles - are usually available from hop sellers and homebrew supply shops in mid- to late March. Whether you plan on brewing with the flowers or not, hop bines make for beautiful ornamental summer plants similar in appearance and growth pattern to grapevines. Unlike grapes, however, hop bines don't last through the winter. Rather, they die down to the crown, just at the soil's surface, and appear mostly dormant until spring while they form winding root systems called "crowns", from which new shoots appear the following season (meaning, don't be surprised when next year you find hop shoots coming up dozens of feet away from where you originally planted them).
As tempting as it may be to use your homegrown hops for all your brewing needs, there are two things worth taking into consideration. For one, the alpha acid levels in your hops are going to be a mystery unless you decide to pay a chemist to do analyses on samples of your crop. Since most people aren't likely to send their strobiles to the lab, you're probably better off growing aroma and finishing varieties instead. Since the acid utilization of late-kettle or dry-hopped additions is so low, all that matters is that your hops are prepared to deliver the stinky goods. Which brings me to the second concern: drying your hops. Considering that a healthy hop plant will produce up to 2 lbs of cones in its first year, you'll want to pay close attention to the drying and storing of your preciously bitter buddies, lest you want to impart nasty grassy (read hay) notes to the sweat of your labor. Or, you can just wait until the hops look about ready to pick, fire up the kettle, and toss them in fresh off the bine. Green hops can lean towards the grassy side, but in something like an Imperial Pilsner or saison may be just the aroma you want.
Retailers usually have good instructions for how to maximize your hop harvest, but if you want more in-depth information, this book covers the subject quite well. Even if you don't end up brewing with them, I guarantee you'll enjoy picking them off the bine and rubbing them between your hands to release the lupulin oils. Yummy!

Monday, February 14, 2005

Beer for dorks for beer

The gauntlet has been thrown... As a response, I bring you:
Beers to Drink Whilst Playing D&D for +3 Booziness:
Skullsplitter Orkney Ale
Dragon's Milk
Hobgoblin Strong Dark Ale
Copper Dragon Best Bitter
Druid's Fluid
And, last but not least:
Very Bad Elf Ale
(Of course, they also work for playing a role-playing game online as well.)

Saturday, February 12, 2005

"No, you're not dreaming................."

Gross! "Upon finishing your first glass of rich, vibrant brew you’ll look at your Beer Machine, look at your beer, and thank goodness there’s somebody out there that’s still thinking." Thinking evil things, no less. Icko!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Mommy, can beer really bring Fluffy back?

This is going a bit far. While I appreciate any opportunity to delude myself that beer is health food, this website goes to the point where you'd think you could reanimate your dead cat with the stuff.

The website is financed by the professional federation the Belgian Brewers, eager to inform visitors about the health benefits of a moderate beer consumption, without neglecting to warn against the negative consequences of excessive beer drinking. In this sense the website wholeheartedly supports the philosophy of the Belgian Brewers and the Arnoldus Group: "Beer brewed with love should be drunk with good sense".

Which leads me to my next thought: the Belgian brewing industry is a truly baffling Janus of the beer world. Consider on one hand their awesome marketing power, and the sheer size of their market share (thanks to Interbrew). Consider on the other hand the unbelievably goofy (dare I say homebrewish?) labeling and marketing style of the small breweries, and the stunning variety of styles made in small amounts locally throughout the country. How do they maintain such a balance between big industry and local yokel? Why hasn't Leffe or Stella Artois eaten up all the Piraats and Deleriums? While the major players love to use the visages of smiling monks and barns with grain silos in their branding, those things still actually exist - in large numbers, in fact - and that strange intertwining seems integral to the whole paradox.
However they've managed to avoid a Starbucks-like black hole of homogeneity, it's hard to complain too much on this side of the Atlantic. After all, consider all the joy the Duvel Moortgat people have brought us - not only through their flagship beers, but through their work with Brewery Ommegang. Or what about the synthesis between Boon and New Belgium?

The wedding tasting

The subject: my best friend's wedding this coming June, and his need to fill approximately 200 of his closest friends and family with freshly-brewed beer.
The job: to brew said beer, to the enjoyment and thirst-quenchingness of all, even those from Hawaii.
The test: eight good friends, eight different palates, 14 beers, but only four finalists.
The competition: We only served ales we thought could be successfully brewed within a few months with a minimum amount of lagering, and ones that come in below 6% alcohol by volume (with one notable exception). Sorry, no eisbock or Imperial pilsners!
Why you'd even care to read this: I imagine that a number of brewers out there are being asked this very minute if they could brew up some bride-ale for their summer wedding. We were quite surprised by which brews almost unanimously came out on top, so maybe it'll give other brewers some uncommon alternatives to consider.
Coming into the competition, I thought I had their choices pegged from the start - American hefeweizen, West Coast pale ale or IPA, Dusseldorf-style alt, and stout. Wrong on all counts, and not for lack of pouring high-quality examples. The judging panel thought the American hefe was nice, but lacking in character. While they enjoyed the West Coast pale and the IPA, it was the beer that followed them in the tasting order that got everyone excited. Lastly, while the alt and the stout got everyone's attention (the oatmeal stout garnering special praise) it was agreed that neither of them really fit the mood of an outdoor wedding on a hot summer day in the country.
The winners: After the tasting opener (De Koninck, a Belgian pale ale) received a lackluster response from the panel, the second beer on the roster immediately made the grade:
Ross Valley's Kölsch got everyone's attention with it's spicy, floral notes, slight acidic tang, and overall refreshing quality. While maybe not the perfect quaff for a winter's afternoon by the fire, it struck everyone as perfect for a warm evening of celebrating. It's a relic, actually, of a brewery that no longer exists - but as my first choice is off the tap lines until Valentine's Day, it was an acceptable substitution.
Pauläner Hefeweizen came on the heels of the American hefe, and nailed its bid for number two out of the four we'll be cloning come summertime. Like the kölsch, the combination of a light, easily drinkable body with a heady aroma (in this case, the banana and clove phenolic scents so prized by Bavarian yeast farmers) screamed "summer's day bevvy" to the group. The tinge of lemony tartness only added to the appeal.
Rogue American Amber Ale won the third spot on the roster by doing what Rogue does best. While both the West Coast pale ale and the IPA left the tasters wondering what level of hoppy goodness would be appropriate for the group, this amber ale left no question. It's a perfect, fresh, clean, aggressively bittered American ale that reminds you exactly where all this craft brewing madness spawned from in the first place. I think this one elicited the greatest single response from the group out of all the samples we tasted.
The last one is kind of a cheater. We went through the amber and brown ales, into porters and stouts, and the response was generally the same. Yum, but not for this event. Then came the dessert beer. Without question, the final wedding beer was chosen...
Schneider Weisse Aventinus. So maybe I cheated by serving it with pieces of Scharffen Berger semisweet chocolate. But that was precisely the point: when the time comes for the cake to come out, some kids will be looking for their champagne flute, but some of us are going to be looking for their boot. And sure, it comes in at 8%, but I think with a little bit of tinkering, we can knock a point or two off without sacrificing too much. And, although it's a dark, caramelly brew with a ton of rich flavor, it also has a clean, silky texture and a moderate enough body that doesn't seem to dominate the palate in the same way that stouts and porters can.
So there you have it. I'll probably post the results of the various batches, so check back in over the next couple of months to see if I'll be shelling out for that pony of Sierra Nevada after all...

Monday, February 07, 2005

Saison sighting

As if I needed more proof that Belgian farmhouse ales are poised to be the next big thing (think West Coast pale ales in the '80s or hefeweizen in the 90's), I recently found myself making my way through a couple saisons at none other than the Marin Brewing Company. Coming in less tart and with a less complex profile than one might find in other farmhouse ales, it nevertheless had many of the qualities you'd want in such a style: very pale, hazy appearance, slightly fruity aftertaste, elevated alcohol content, and unmistakable peppery yeast aroma. All in all, pretty impressive for your standard Californian brewpub, better known for their piney, grapefruity-bitter pale ales and fruit-infused wheat beers than anything with the terms "earthy" or "sour" in the description.
And to top it all off, Des found out that the saison is the perfect beer outside of the pilsner for a refreshing shandy. Nice! I'll be curious to see if saisons will find their way onto standard pub menus as the weather warms up and people are looking for an alternative to rasberryweizen ick.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Slubberdegullions! Een Hopduvel!

(At least that's what Captain Haddock might say.) With a name like "the hop devil", this bar has got to be on the top of the destination list of all Ghent-bound ale aficionados. But whither the hop devil? Hops are especially susceptible to disease and pests. And what does our good friend the internet have to say about hop devils? A typically humorous Altavista translation gleaned this jewel: "The hop farmers fear especially the hopduvel. The hopduvel stand especially for a storm which generally by the end of prevents august and entire hop fields can fall down." This Flemish bogeyman referred to every farmer's fear: an aberration in the usual seasonal changes, a storm, a drought, pests, disease... Thankfully, the hop gardener had some weapons at his disposal: "The hopduvel let tease its separately on the fields: the hop farmer defends himself with the speech and by the use of sproeimiddelen." (That last word translates literally to "spray resources", so I guess the farmer would say it and then spray it? I'm guessing it means "brutally uncompromising fertilizer attack".)
The drama continues into the summer, as we see: "One leaves the hopduvel separately and smacks one's lips the hoppevelden [hop fields] against the ground. The hop farmer is desperate." Before you get too worried, though, autumn arrives - and with it, the happy hop harvest: "The hopduvel have been caught. Now the hoppluk can start, whereupon is celebrated there. The hopduvel stand especially for a storm which generally by the end of prevents august and entire hop fields can fall down. These hopduvel not only wind, but also symbolize developments such as zwammen and insects (such as the red spider)." You gots to know that devil don't stand no chance when you've got this guy on your side.
That's about as much fun as it gets, though (with the notable exception of its appearance in the world of 20-sided dice). I'm guessing the hop devil, like so many other things these days, is less of a historical curiosity and gem of local mythology than an artifact of modern marketing and image-branding.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


Ah, February. If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, this month isn't just for love lovers, but beer lovers as well. Check it out.
There are a lot of "official" events tied to Beerapalooza, but more fun yet are the smaller tasting events being hosted by the breweries that are headed into town for the main event. Call it niche marketing, I call it Bahl Hornin'.
Honestly, it makes sense: when Celebrator linked a few Febrewary events under the Beerapalooza label, they managed to get the ball rolling for something akin to San Francisco's very own craft brewing conference (I mean, c'mon - they even have a link on the site for The Cathedral Hill Hotel. Oh, I'm sorry, I meant *ahem* Beerapalooza HQ), which is truly needed, considering that the West Coast is the seat of the American craft brewing empire. Not sure? Consider the amazing variety of breweries that make their home here - then sit down, relax, and have yourself a craftbrew.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Poor rooster needs new PR hacks

But, really, isn't every year? Funny that this would crop up right after I posted that blurb on the Belgian beer marketing monster. And yes, I am ready to honor the stuff with a year of salutations. But where to start?

Czech news first

First, from the land that brought you the triple decoction mash, we bring you another harrowing tale of bitter survival (Thanks, John!)

And in "oh like you wouldn't do that yourself if you lived in a country where pilsner tasted that good" category, we get this gem. (I think the best part of that one is the url - what a screen name!)

czech-beer-love_x: hello!
man_ locks_himself_in_pizzeria_for_beer: hi!

But, alas, we can only make so many jokes. After all, they rule.