Holy adjuncts! The Canadian version of this ale - found by surprise at the LCBO this weekend - has to have ingredient listings in English and French plastered on the neck with a bubble jet quality label. And what secrets it reveals: water (ok), malt (of course), hops (fine), yeast (sure, sure), chicory (well, that is its name), coffee (huh?), st. john's wort (whaat?), licorice root (wow). Me thinks these Delawariarian guys are up to something.
The beer pours a deep mahogany under a quickly dissipating mocha head. It is fairly light bodied for the style. The first thing you notice is a pronounced acidic lemoniness, then multi-layered roasty coffee huskiness underneath. Below that is creamy yeast. It is not unlike the idea of a black forest cake with lemon rather than cherry. Yes, that makes it a bit weird. The brewery says this. The beer advocates say this. They are having a hard time describing what I am calling the lemon. It could well be the st. john's wort - some say "astringent", some "fruitiness". It is balanced and I don't think this is an off bottle - but just don't expect what you have thought was a stout before. Should you?
Later: ...you know...if they had called with chicory old style porter I think it would make more sense.
I have been away for about half a week on short notice as some of you might know but on the road I had a moment to check in with Knut in Norway and thought "good Lord, he's a great beer blogger!"
Go read Knut.
Risking braggery, I suppose it is because we are ranked #1 on that new Google Blog search all the kids are talking about (not to mention #29 today just for the word "beer" on Lord Goog itself) but sometimes I get some slightly odd emails from very nice people working hard at doing their PR jobs. Consider this one:
...Baltimore resident, Sean McCreary was named the three millionth visitor to the Guinness Storehouse, home of Guinness, located in the heart of St. James' Gate Brewery in Dublin, Ireland. McCreary is the first American ever to be written into the famed Guinness Storehouse archive - a carefully kept record of Guinness employees since 1759... Below is a news release with more details. If you would like to set up an interview with Sean to chat about his experience as the three millionth visitor, please don’t hesitate to contact me at...I can't think of a single question I might ask Sean McCreary so if you can maybe I will send them on.
Apparently those zany Japanese inventors of useful things failed to check with the foreign language dictionaries:
At the Toyo Motor Show, Nissan is showing the Pivo, a vehicle that can turn on the drop of a hat - literally. Instead of having to resort to 3-point-turns, the actual cabin in the car turns around, and you can speed off in the other direction.Pivo is the word in Polish - and likely other Slavic languages - for beer. I just do not see that name holding. Maybe "Lil Bud" or something like that instead.
The LCBO has brought in a load of these little steel embottled mid-west brews and is selling them for $1.70 each. Kind of hard to photograph without making that metallic red look like bad lipstick. Lew Bryson has said of this beer
The fact is, this is a mainstream American lager that is not bad for what it is, has no overt off-flavors, and is loved by the local market. How can you argue with that?I am with Lew. I try to like a Rolling Rock or a High Life or a Genny Cream and there is always that tang or ting or twang. Sure it's snobbery and I know it but Iron City is all sweet and corn. Like a drink of corn flakes. There is a bit of edge of hops to give it some boudaries in the mouth and that is about it. Sometimes that is all you want.
I only paid half attention to the Polish elections this year, despite being there 14 years ago when the first democratic elections were held, when folks loved or hated Lech. But skimming through the parties vying for a place in the proportional representation of the Sejm, the lower house, I knew I would miss the old PPPP or Polska Partia Przyjaciól Piwa - the Polish Beer Lovers Party. In the October 27th election, they got 16 seats in the legislature. From this brief reference, the PPPP appears to have been a cross between the Canadian Rhino Party and simply a celebration that in democracy if you want a beer lovers party, well, you can have a beer lovers party.
Seeing as we are getting over 1,000 visits a day now...who the heck are you people?
Ever since I picked up a couple annual editions of the Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, I have been wondering why such a thing does not exist for beer. We know that beer is a massive economic phenomena and that it is a pervasive habit. Yet, as far as I can tell, there is little discussion on the cultural event as far as I can tell. Sure there are histories of brewing in a region or a nation but I have yet to come across anything as a general effort to define the sociological aspects of beer. A co-mingling of study and ale not necessarily like this but not necessarily unlike it. Could we do that? It would require:
- interest - I need a group to discuss and plan a level of achievable feasibility. Creation of a trust account and a steering committee.
- money - for awards to trigger academics and lay folk to prepare papers. This could start with donations to a trust but could also include larger sponsorships from brewers.
- a panel - to read and judge the papers.
- a medium - presenting the best papers requires a medium. Cooperstown is a gathering of baseball nerds at that magic place but that sort of expense and formality need not exist at the start.