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!


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