A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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Craig -

I've always been amazed at the role food and drink played in Dutch art of the 17th century—from Vermeer to van der Helst and de Bray—all really incorporated food and drink and or eating and drinking into so many of their paintings. Really beautiful stuff.

Alan -

They certainly are homey folk and proud of how the Republic gave blessings of freedom and prosperity. One thing of interest that crosses in my reading is how pre-Revolutionary writings reference how the Dutch throw it away and "accept" a return to tyranny at a certain point in the 1700s.

Kyle -

I appreciate your summary of some key details, especially the inference of the "stark realities."

Speaking of which: did you notice the serving woman appears pregnant?

Alan -

Big hoopy dresses were the thing then and there. Not sure she is even serving when I think about it. Is this a family scene?

Frank McDonald -

I think it is a family scene. A familiar scene for a lot of us. Having a beer on the patio. The gentleman and his friend have just returned home with a take home beer. The glass is a shared one. It doesn't appear to be a tavern. There are no other tables and chairs. The vessel is very much like a dzban still used for take out beer in the Czech Republic.

Frank McDonald -

Maybe the little girl just returned from the pub? From the website linked above, "If the family wanted to drink beer at home, they would send one of the kids to the local hospoda to have their džbán filled up. Still today, in small town and villages, is common to send the children to the nearest pub to bring beer."

Kyle -

Good point about hoop dresses. Guess they could obfuscate what's going on beneath?

And color of the woman's dress is suggestive. So overall, hard for me to get a "family" vibe from the scene. I wonder if there are further clues within that open door.

Ron Pattinson -

That church tower looks familiar. Where the hell is it? I think it's the Domtoren in Utrecht.

Snickering Imp -

Some additional background (just a few sentences) on the painting here.

"the tower of the Oude Kerk in the background locates the scene in Delft"

That growler like vessel makes appearances in similar works and likely has the same purpose as a growler which makes sense with the assumption the single glass in the painting is communal. This aligns with the džbán mentioned above. One of the images there shows a woman and child passing this vessel between them raising a similar question as Frank raised above regarding the girl returning from the pub.

These are great paintings. They give a feeling of warmth and comfort that make you want to grab some friends to share a beer with.

Alan -

Interesting. Here is a less refined drinking scene by de Hooch and there is a jug and one glass depicted as well. So, you would have taken a turn, drunk your measure and passed it on.

Frank McDonald -

Just when my friends thought I couldn't get more boring, Alan has me talking about 17th century Dutch painters.

Have a look at this dzban, for sale today in the Czech Republic. Pretty close to the one in the painting.

Pivní Filosof -

One of the best beer drinking experiences this year was at Únětický Pivovar, sitting at the Brewmaster's table and drinking from his personal, 2l copper korbel. The thing would go around the table and whenever it looked it wouldn't make it through another round, this 70 y.o. Master Brewer would get up, go to the lagering cellar for a refill. Beer can't get better than that!

PS: The džban mentioned in the comment above by Frank is still decorating the kitchen, unfortunately...