With Next Session, Say “I Made This”

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For our 92nd Session, our host is Jeremy Short, who writes Pintwell, along with Chris Jensen. For his topic, he’s chosen I Made This. When Jeremy first offered to host this session, his topic was “Homebrewing and How Homebrewing Impacts Your Relationship with Beer,” which he’s now markedly simplified down to it’s essence, the joy which every homebrewer feels as he or she takes their first sip of their homebrew: I Made This! But even if you’ve never homebrewed, or have not intention of ever doing so, he’s included a way for everybody to participate:

For the homebrewer:

- How did homebrewing change your view of beer? Do you like beers now that you didn’t before? Do you taste beer differently? Does homebrewing turn you into a pretentious asshole?

For the I only homebrewed once crowd:

- What was the experience like? Did you enjoy it? Hate it? Did you think about beer differently afterwards.

For the I have never homebrewed crowd:

- Maybe you had an experience at a brewery you would like to share? Maybe your toured a brewery and learned and experienced the making of beer that impacted the way you think of beer? Or maybe you’ve brewed in a professional setting?

For the I hate homebrewing crowd:

- Why? Why do you hate us so?

So there’s really no excuse for not participating.

Homebrewing

So put on your DIY cap and write about your relationship to homebrewing next Friday, October 3. To contribute, leave a comment at the announcement or send Jeremy an email: jeremy (a) pintwell (.) com.

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Goodnight Brew

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Oh, how I wish I had this book when my kids were younger. I read the classic Goodnight Moon so many times that I had it memorized and didn’t even need the book to read it to them. But if I strayed from the text — which, I confess, I enjoyed doing just to mess with them — they’d invariably correct me, as they knew the story inside and out, as well. But now author Ann E. Briated (not her real name; it’s actually Aldo Zelnick) has written a beer-soaked parody of the children’s classic and re-tapped it as Goodnight Brew. It’s written for adults, with tongues firmly in cheeks, as part of their “pitcher book for grown-ups” series. The publisher’s website describes it with this introduction:

It’s closing time at the brewery. While the moon rises, the happy brewery crew—including three little otters (in charge of the water), a wort hog, and a hops wildebeest— sing and dance as they wind down for the day. Join them in saying goodnight to the brew kettle, barley and yeast, hops and mash, saison, porter, IPA, and much more.

Befuddled about beer ingredients? Puzzled about the brew process? Can’t remember the difference between an ale and a lager? Don’t miss the brew infographics that follow the story!

This humorous parody of a children’s literature classic is a “pitcher book” for grown-ups. It’s a besotted bedtime story for beer lovers everywhere!

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Even though my kids are too old for it now, I ordered one anyway. I am hoping someday to have grandchildren, and I should be prepared.

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It’s wonderfully illustrated by Allie Ogg. and here are a few pages from the book.

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Beer Pipeline To Be Built In Bruges

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The West Flanders town of Bruges, in Belgium, is one of the most picturesque cities I’ve ever visited. Sadly, I’ve only been there twice, and one of those times was at night. The town center is a World Heritage Site, and it’s medieval architecture makes you think you’ve stepped back in time. In a way, it’s similar to our Colonial Williamsburg, where residents must agree to keep the colonial facade intact, so must people who live in downtown Bruges keep its exterior medieval.

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There’s only one brewery in the ancient downtown, De Halve Maan, which can trace its root as far back as 1564, and has been owned by the Maes family since the 19th century. BUt according to an article in the UK newspaper, The Telegraph, neighbors haven’t been thrilled by the rumbling of beer trucks in and out of the cobblestoned streets, and officials worried it could be damaging local infrastructure. The Maes family wants to keep their historic brewery in the city, so they came up with a unique solution to please everybody, including the city government, which approved the project. The plan is to “‘build a two-mile underground pipeline will link the De Halve Maan brewery … to an industrial park where the beer will be bottled and shipped to drinkers worldwide,’ company director Xavier Vanneste said.”

Construction is set to begin in 2015, and will be Belgium’s first beer pipeline, paid for by the brewery. The pipeline is expected to keep around 500 trucks off Bruges’ street every year, which currently is estimated to be about 85% of current truck traffic in the historic downtown area. The Telegraph article also claims that “to avoid harming the city’s gothic facades and medieval belfry, pipeline construction will use some of the latest technologies perfected for the transport of oil and gas.”

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What Beer Contains, Circa 1897

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Here’s another classic. This book is entitled Applied Physiology, which is subtitled “including the effects of alcohol and narcotics.” It was published by the American Book Company in 1897. It was written by a Dr. Frank Overton and apparently was intended for primary grades, according to the title page. Today those are usually grades 1-3, and sometimes include kindergarten. But given the subject matter, I can’t imagine that was true in 1897, but who knows. But then again, in the “Preface,” they state that they’ve included “only those subjects which are directly concerned in the growth and development of children,” adding this.

The value of a primary book depends largely upon the language used. In bringing the truths within the comprehension of children, the author has made sparing use of the complex sentence. He has made the sentences short and simple in form, and logical in arrangement.

In 21 short chapters, totaling 144 pages, they tackled such subjects for children as “Living Bodies and Cells,” “Elements of the Body,” “Oxidation,” “Fermentation and Alcohol,” “Digestion of Food in the Mouth,” “Alcohol and Digestion,” “Narcotics,” “Drugs and Poisons,” and even “The Flow of Blood in the Body” and “Regulation of the Flow of Blood.”

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Here’s some highlights from:


CHAPTER VII

FERMENTATION

61. How yeast makes alcohol. — Yeast will grow only where sugar is. When it has grown for some time there is no more sugar, and instead of a sweet taste there is a sharp or sour taste. The yeast has changed the sugar to alcohol. All alcohol is made from sugar by yeast.

AP-yeast

64. Alcohol. — Alcohol is a clear liquid and looks like water. It has a sharp taste and smell. It burns very easily and makes a very hot flame. Its smoke cannot be seen, and its flame will not make anything black, as a match flame will do.

65. Use of alcohol. — Alcohol will dissolve more things than water will dissolve. It is used to dissolve drugs, varnishes, perfumery, and many other things. It will dissolve even oil and fat. Tailors clean grease spots from clothes with it. It takes water away from flesh and makes it dry, hard, and tough. It will keep anything from rotting. In museums we pour alcohol over pieces of flesh or [Pg 40] plants in glass jars. Then they will keep and we can look at them at any time. Thus alcohol is a very useful thing, and we could hardly do without it.

66. Strong drink. — Some men use alcohol in a wrong way. They swallow it as a drink. But men cannot drink pure alcohol, for it would burn their mouths. They always drink it mixed with some water. Alcohol in water is called strong drink.

67. Why men use strong drink. — Some men take strong drink to make themselves warm, and some to make themselves cool. Some drink to keep themselves awake, and some to make themselves sleep. Some drink to keep themselves still, and some to make themselves stir around faster. Men use strong drink really because it seems to make them feel strong for a while. It does not make them stronger, but it harms the body and the mind. Its alcohol does the harm.


CHAPTER VIII

KINDS OF STRONG DRINK

68. Wine. — All strong drink is alcohol and water. There may be other things to give it taste, but alcohol and water are always in it. No strong drink is over one half alcohol.

In olden times wine was the only strong drink. Men used to crush out the juice of grapes and let it ferment. This made wine. But very often they used the juice before it fermented. Then it had no alcohol and could do no harm, but was a good food. We read of wine in the Bible. Some of it was fresh fruit juice.

In wine, the sugar is changed to alcohol. The rest of the juice stays the same. All wine is made by the yeast plant growing in fruit juice. No yeast is put in, for there is always enough on the outside of the fruit. Wine is about one tenth alcohol.

69. Homemade wine. — Cider is a kind of wine. It is made from apple juice. It has alcohol a day or two after it is made. All homemade wines have alcohol. Any of them can make a person drunk. Using weak homemade wine and cider often makes an appetite for stronger drinks. The alcohol in any of them is enough to harm the body.

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70. Beer. — After man had made wine for a long time, some one found out how to cultivate yeast. Then men could make sugar and water ferment whenever they wanted to. So men boiled grain to take out its sugar. Then they poured off the liquor and added yeast and let it ferment. This made beer and ale. Now millions of bushels of grain are used every year in making beer. Men call beer a light drink. But it has alcohol and is a strong drink, and can make men drunk.

So much misinformation, it’s starting to make me think that Doc Overton might be a prohibitionist. Beyond getting the history so utterly wrong, there are also these little judgmental statements peppered throughout the text.

74. Habit. — Some strong drinks have only a little alcohol and some have a great deal. No one begins to drink the strong liquors. He begins with wine or beer. When he has once learned, he has a hard time to stop drinking. It is dangerous to drink even weak drinks.

75. Strong drink and thirst. — When a man is thirsty, water will satisfy him but strong drink will not. Sometimes the mouth is dry and dirty and then a man feels thirsty. Rinsing the mouth [Pg 45] with water, and rubbing the tongue and teeth clean will help the dryness and stop the thirst. At any rate, strong drink will only make the mouth dryer.

Some men drink only when they are tired. Then a cup of strong and hot tea or coffee will make them feel much better than a glass of strong drink, and will not harm them so much.

When strong drink is swallowed, its alcohol takes water from the mouth. When your mouth is dry, you feel thirsty. Strong drink makes the mouth dry, and so a drink makes a man more thirsty. The alcohol also makes the mouth smart. Men need another drink to cool the mouth after the first one. So one drink leads to another. All the while a person drinks water with the alcohol until he has too much water. But his mouth is dry and he feels as thirsty as ever.


CHAPTER X

BREATHING, HEAT, AND CLOTHING

117. What becomes of alcohol in the body. — When alcohol is taken up by the blood, it is carried to the liver. The liver tries to get rid of it by taking some air from the blood and burning it up, just as it burns the real food of the body. But this takes some air from the cells of the body. Then they do not burn as they should.

When a stove gets too little air through its draft, it makes an unpleasant smoke, and cools off. Just so, when the cells of the body do not burn as they should, they produce the wrong kind of smoke and ashes. This poisons the body and makes men sick. The most of the poisoning of alcohol is due to these new poisons.

When alcohol takes air from the cells of the body, they do not get enough air. Then they are like a short-winded boy, and do not do their work well. In this way alcohol makes the body weak.

Alcohol does not cease to be harmful because it is burned up in the body. It is harmful just because it burns so quickly. Using alcohol in the body is like trying to burn kerosene in a coal stove. The body is not made to burn alcohol any more than a coal stove is made to burn kerosene. You can burn a little kerosene in a coal stove if you are very careful. Just so, men can burn alcohol in their bodies. But kerosene will always smoke and clog up the stove, and may explode and kill some one. So alcohol in the body burns quickly and forms poisons. It always harms the body and may destroy life at once.

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118. Alcohol and the lungs. — If you run a long race, your lungs will need a great deal of air. If you take strong drink, the alcohol will use up much of the air, and you will not have enough to use on your run. So you will feel short of breath, and will surely lose the race. You cannot drink and be long-winded.

Two drinks of whisky will use up as much air as the body uses in an hour. It would be easy to smother a person with strong drink. Drunken persons are really smothered; they often die because of the failure of their breathing, even while their heart is able to beat well.

Alcohol often causes the lungs to become thickened. Then air cannot easily pass through their sides, and a person suffers from shortness of breath. Sometimes these persons cannot lie down at all, but must sit up to catch their breath.

119. Drinking and taking cold. — A strong, healthy man can stand a great deal of cold and wet. If he breathes deeply in his work, all the cells of his body get plenty of air, and if he eats good food, the cells get plenty to eat. Then it will take a great deal to harm them. But alcohol hinders the digestion of their food, and also takes away their air. So the cells are both starved and smothered, and are easily hurt. Then a little cold and wet may do great harm to his body, for a drinker cannot stand bad weather or hard work so well as he could if he should leave drink alone.

Men often drink to keep themselves from taking cold. The alcohol really makes them more liable to take cold. It causes the blood to flow near the surface of the skin; there it is easily cooled, and the drinker soon becomes chilled; then he feels colder than ever. The cold harms the cells of his body, and then the white blood cells cannot easily fight disease germs. For this reason a drinker easily takes cold and other diseases.

120. Alcohol lessens the warmth of the body. — Alcohol causes the blood tubes in the skin to become larger. Then more blood will touch the cool air, and the body will become cooler. But because more warm blood flows through the skin, a man feels warmer. But he is really colder. Alcohol makes men less able to stand the cold. Travelers in cold lands know this and do not use it.


CHAPTER XI

THE SKIN AND KIDNEYS

135. Alcohol and the skin. — Alcohol interferes with digestion and causes biliousness. This makes the skin rough and pimply. A drinker seldom has a clear skin.

Alcohol causes the arteries of the face to become enlarged. Then the face is red. A red nose is one of the signs of drinking. When a person uses strong drink he is often uncleanly. He does not care for the bad looks of his clothes and skin, and so he lets them stay dirty. This harms the skin and makes it look bad. The dirt also poisons the skin and may itself be a cause of sickness.

Because alcohol poisons the whole body and often produces kidney diseases, the drinker is apt to catch other diseases. Drinkers are the first to catch such diseases as smallpox and yellow fever. Where there are great numbers of cases, the drinkers are the first and often the only persons to die. This is because their skin and kidneys [Pg 82] have been harmed by the alcohol and cannot throw off the poisons of the disease. Any kind of sickness will be worse in a drinker. Surgeons do not like to operate on drinkers, for their wounds do not heal so quickly as in other people.

When there is too little air, a fire burns slower, and makes a blacker smoke and more ashes. Alcohol takes some air from the cells of the body. So they burn with smoke and ashes of the wrong kind. The skin has to work harder to get rid of these, and sometimes it cannot do it well. Then the body is poisoned. The alcohol is burned and cannot poison the body any more. But it causes the body to make poisons, and so it is to blame. The poisons do great harm to the skin and kidneys. Alcohol causes more kidney disease than all other things put together.


CHAPTER XII

THE NERVES, SPINAL CORD, AND BRAIN

154. Alcohol takes away thought. — Alcohol affects and weakens the cells of the brain sooner than it does those of any other part of the body. It first makes the thought cells weak. Then a person does not think how he acts. He lights his pipe in the barn and throws the match in the hay. He drives his horse on a run through a crowded street. He swears and uses bad language. He gets angry at little things and wants to fight. He seems to think of himself, and of no one else. He is happy, for he does not think of the bad effects of the drink. He has a good time, and does not care for its cost. He likes to drink, because it makes him feel happy.

155. Alcohol spoils motion. — Some cells of the brain cause the arms and legs, and all other parts of the body, to move. Alcohol next makes these weak. Then a person cannot move his legs right, but he staggers when he walks. He cannot carry a full cup to his lips. His hands tremble, and he cannot take care of himself. He is now really drunk.

156. Alcohol takes away feeling. — After a man is drunk, he loses the sense of feeling. He does not [Pg 96] feel cuts and blows. Because he does not feel tired, he feels very strong. He often sees two things for one, and hears strange noises. The whole brain at last gets weak, and cannot act. Then the drinker lies down in a drunken sleep, and cannot be waked up. Some die in this state.

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157. Insanity. — When the brain is misused by alcohol for some time, it cannot get over it. Then the person becomes insane. Drink sends more persons to the insane asylum than all other causes put together.

158. Delirium tremens. — If a drinker gets hurt, or becomes sick, he sometimes has terrible dreams. In them he sees dirty and savage animals coming to harm him. These dreams seem very real to him, and he cries out in his fright. This is called delirium tremens. A person is liable to die from it.

159. Alcohol harms a drinker’s children.—The children of drinkers are apt to be weak in body and mind. A drinker hurts his children even more than he hurts himself. They are liable to catch diseases, and are often cross and nervous, or weak-minded. It is a terrible thing for a man to make his children weak and nervous.

160. Other bad things about drink. — There are many other terrible things about drink, besides the harm it does a man’s body. Many a man has made himself drunk so as to steal or kill. No man can drink long without becoming a worse man for it. Men will not trust him, and he loses the respect of his friends.

Making strong drink takes thousands of men away from good work. They might work at building houses, or raising grain, or teaching school. As it is, their work is wasted.

A great deal of money is wasted on strong drink. All the mines of the world cannot produce enough gold and silver to pay the drink bill. The people of the United States pay more for strong drink than for bread.

The price of two or three drinks a day would amount to enough, in ten years, to buy a small home.

The cost of strong drink is made much greater if we count the cost of jails and insane asylums. Over one half of all crimes and cases of insanity are caused by strong drink.

We must also add the misery and suffering of most children of drunken fathers. This loss cannot be counted in money. Numbers of children become truants from school and learn theft and falsehoods from lack of a father’s care. When all the cost is counted, nothing will be found so expensive as strong drink.

On the other hand, what do people get for their money and suffering? They get only a little pleasure, and then they are ashamed of it. Men use strong drink only because they like it more than they dislike its bad effects.

Since drink does a great deal of harm, with no good to any one, it is right to make laws to control its sale.


CHAPTER XIII

THE SENSES

171. Alcohol and the eyes. — Alcohol makes the eyes red. It weakens the eyes and may produce blindness. A drunken person often sees double.

179. Taste. — We taste with the tongue. Dry food has no taste, but it must first dissolve in the mouth. Spoiled food tastes bad. Bad-tasting food is not fit to eat. Taste tells us whether food is good or bad.

We can learn to like the taste of harmful things. At first no one likes tobacco or strong drink, but the liking is formed the more one uses these. We ought to be careful not to begin to use such things.

Alcohol and tobacco burn the mouth and harm the taste. Food does not taste so good and we may eat spoiled food and not know it.


CHAPTER XV

MUSCLES

194. Alcohol and the muscles. — Men use alcohol to make themselves strong. It dulls their weak feelings, and then they think themselves strong. They are really weaker. The alcohol hinders digestion and keeps food from the cells. Then the fires in the body burn low, and there is little strength.

Alcohol sometimes causes muscle cells to change to fat. This weakens the muscles.

Men sometimes have to do hard work in cold countries; and at other times they must make long marches across hot deserts. Neither the Eskimos in the cold north, nor the Arabs in the hot desert, use strong drink. Alcohol does not help a man in either place. It really weakens the body. The government used to give out liquor to its soldiers; but soldiers can do more work and have better health without liquor and it is no longer given out.

A few years ago men were ashamed to refuse to drink. Even when a new church building was raised, rum was bought by the church and given to the workmen. Farmers used to give their men a jug of rum when they went to work. Farm hands would not work without it.

Now all this has changed. Men do not want drinkers to work for them. A railroad company will discharge a man at once if he is known to drink at all. A man can now refuse to drink anywhere and men will not think any less of him.

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You can read the whole thing online either at Project Gutenburg or you can read a scanned version of the original at the Internet Archive.

Where Can You Buy Beer In Grocery Stores?

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Late last month, the Huffington Post, of all place, actually had an interesting series of charts detailing the availability of different kinds of alcohol in each state. In Here Are The Rules To Buying Alcohol In Each State’s Grocery Stores they have charts for beer, wine, spirits and where you can but alcohol on Sundays. Check out the post for all of the charts, although the beer chart is below, which used data provided by Legal Beer.

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How To Drink Beer, Circa 1623

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Here’s a fun little account from the annals of history, the 17th century to be precise. This description of “How To Drink Beer” comes from “Via recta ad vitam longam,” by Tobias Venner, published in 1623.

“Beere that is too bitter of the hop… hurteth the sinewes, offendeth the sight, and causeth the head-ach, by filling the ventricles of the braine with troublesome vapors… Here some may demand, Whether it be better to drink their Beere cold, or a little warmed, especially in the Winter season? Whereto I answer, that I see no good reason to approve the drinking thereof warme, as I know some to do, not only in the Winter, but almost all the yeere: for it is nauceous and fulsome to the stomack… Moreover, it doth not so well quench the thirst, temper the naturall heat, and coole the inward parts, as if it be taken cold.”

I guess they had some back then, too, who didn’t care for overly hoppy beers.

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Book Burning & Beer

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This week is Banned Book Week, a week-long “annual event celebrating the freedom to read,” a subject near and dear to my heart. It’s sponsored by the American Library Association, along with a number of related organizations, such as the ASJA (of which I’m a member). I was reading an article about this on the Daily Kos tonight, and here’s a portion of what author Doctor RJ wrote about how censorship happens:

Invariably, some parents somewhere are going to find a book on a list that offends them, and will decide they need to protect not only their child but all of the children in the community by marching down to the school and library to demand it be removed from the shelf. Since there is never anything too stupid if it allows certain government officials to get before a camera or send out a press release claiming they’re “protecting children” from the horrors of the world, you end up with school boards and administrators that give in to pressure. And since no one wants to be against protecting children, that leads to the other set of government officials: those too chicken shit to speak up and oppose something they know is wrong.

In his dissenting opinion in Ginzburg v. United States, Justice Potter Stewart wrote that censorship reflects “a society’s lack of confidence in itself,” and is the “hallmark of an authoritarian regime.” All censorship is done in the name of protecting and defending society from ideas or truth that are deemed dangerous, harmful, or inconvenient.

Here’s what struck me about this. Change the word “book” to “beer,” and “school and library” to “local politician” — along with a few other obvious changes — and it’s every bit as relevant for prohibition and the modern prohibitionists. I certainly agree with Justice Stewart that prohibition reflects “a society’s lack of confidence in itself,” and is the “hallmark of an authoritarian regime.” Look at the nations that still have outright bans on alcohol. And the notion that “all prohibition is done in the name of protecting and defending society from alcohol that is deemed dangerous, harmful, or inconvenient” also rings true. The banning of books seems every bit as sinister as the banning of alcohol, and uses the same rhetoric for its justification. Scary.

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Zwanze Day 2014

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Yesterday was Zwanze Day, an annual holiday deliciously made up by Jean Van Roy of Brasserie Cantillon. Cantillon made the first Zwanze beer in 2008, which that year was a rhubarb beer. In subsequent years they’ve made beers with elderflowers, pineau d’aunis (a red wine grape) and a sour witbier, made with the traditional coriander and orange peel. This year’s beer, Cuvée Florian, is essentially Iris Grand Cru blended with cherries, a new version of a beer Van Roy made for his son to celebrate his 18th birthday.

Each year, the beer is tapped at the very same time at locations around the world, regardless of times zone. This year the Zwanze Day beer was available at 56 beer bars or breweries in sixteen countries. One of those was Russian River Brewing, one of my local breweries, so I spent the afternoon there with owners Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo, along with Rich and Tammy Norgrove (owners of Bear Republic Brewing) and a few of their friends.

But before we get to the beer, here’s a little history of Zwanze Day. Belgium has essentially two separate regions, with the northern half known as Flanders. The language spoken there is a dialect of Dutch, known by the same name as the people of Flanders: Flemish. The word “zwanze” is unique to Flemish, has its origins in Yiddish, and essentially means a self-deprecating type of humor that’s typified by sharp-edged, playful jokes, usually good-natured. It’s said that this type of humor has become “a characteristic, defining trait” of the Flemish themselves, and for some a way of life. A “zwanze” is a joke, a “zwanzer” a joker. It was with that same playful spirit that Cantillon approached the concept of making a Zwanze beer. The goal was to create a fun beer; something a little unusual, using non-traditional ingredients.

And here’s Jean Van Roy writing his explanation of this year’s Zwanze beer:

Some of you have already had the opportunity to taste Iris Grand Cru aged 3 years in a 400-litre cask. This product was sold without having been blended with a younger beer and so there was no possibility of secondary fermentation. As a result, Iris Grand Cru is a non-sparkling beer and it is meant to be drunk like cereal wine. Without cold hopping, its fragrances tend more towards the characteristic acidity of a spontaneous fermentation product associated with a slight caramel taste.

In other news, my eldest son, Florian, turned 18 on 3 May. To duly celebrate his transition to adulthood, and as the worthy son of a lambic brewer, Flo received a rather original birthday gift: an entire cask filled with “Cuvée Florian”.

Admittedly, finding the name was easy, but it was another matter to come up with the actual beer we were going to produce on this occasion. When I first tasted the Iris Grand Cru, I immediately thought that adding a touch of fruitiness to the caramel accent could be very complementary. And since my son’s favourite beer is kriek, I based myself on a mix of these two products to create his birthday present.

As my goal was not to create some kind of kriek clone, I reduced the amount of fruit by 40% in this blend with the Iris Grand Cru. After all, the core idea was to contribute fruitiness and mellowness to the base beer, not recreate a beer that tasted like sour cherries. Although cold-hopping with the same quantities used for “traditional” Iris would probably have masked the blend’s very subtle fragrances, I still wanted to add a touch of bitterness to this birthday present and decided to opt for a small dose of superb and very delicate Bramling Cross hops. The linger on the palate is very complex while the fruity fragrances of the hops play a subtle role without throwing off balance the beer’s range of flavours and bouquet.

For this Zwanze 2014 I had originally planned on using the spontaneous fermentation stout brewed at the beginning of 2013, but despite the fact that this beer is already very good I have the feeling that another year of maturing in a cask will give it more delicateness and character. In light of this we needed another beer to replace our “wild” stout so as to be able to organise our Zwanze Day, and as you will undoubtedly have understood by now, the success of “Cuvée Florian” meant that it did not take very long for us to make a decision.

I did ask the kid if he was OK with me making a new version of his birthday present, and since this was not a problem for him, it was only logical to call this Zwanze 2014 “Cuvée Florian”!

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Natalie Cilurzo announcing that the Zwanze Day beer was tapped and explaining how each person would get their pour in an orderly fashion, in an effort to avoid the day devolving into chaos. Happily, everything ran smoothly.

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The first pour of Cuvée Florian for Zwanze Day 2014.

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In order to insure that everyone got a pour of the Cuvée Florian in the order that they arrived, Russian River handed out numbered tickets. Numbers 1 and 2 arrived at the brewpub last night, and closed the place, then waited at the door overnight to be first in line when they opened on Zwanze Day. This is customers #1 and #2, Steven Weinschenk and his friend Tony Carvutto, for the Zwanze Day beer, Cuvée Florian.

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My pour. After the keg emptied, about an hour after it was tapped, kegs of Cantillon Gueuze and then Rosé de Gambrinus were tapped, too. It’s always a great experience enjoying freshly tapped Cantillon. But they were also pouring aged Beatification, Russian River’s abbey double, which was tasting awesome. But I’m also really enjoying a couple of their new beers, Dribble Belt, a “hoppy session ale, and the STS Pils.

And finally, here’s a short video of the first pours of this year’s Zwanze Day beer, Cuvée Florian at Russian River. A special thanks to Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo for their hospitality. Another fun Zwanze Day.

The Chart of Brewing

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Here’s another fun infographic just published by Pop Lab Chart. They’ve done quite a few beer-themed posters and this new one, The Chart of Brewing, shows the brewing process in a great looking graph paper chart. 12 x 16 prints of the hand-illustrated poster will be available for $20 beginning on September 22, although you can preorder one now. I’m putting it on my holiday wishlist.

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NFL Beer Prices Continue To Make Movie Popcorn Look Like A Bargain

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I took a look at Beer Prices By Football Stadium in 2012, and you’ll probably be as un-shocked as it’s possible to be to learn that they’re even higher today than two years ago. According to a report by Business Insider, the “average cost for a small draft beer at NFL games this season is $7.53,” which last year was only $7.05. Only, ha. That still makes it more ridiculously proceed than the concessions at movie theaters. At least, movie houses have the excuse that they don’t make much on the films themselves, and have to make it up on popcorn and soda pop. NFL tickets, by contrast, are one of the most expensive things a family can buy, and the NFL rakes in billions, despite being classified as a non-profit!

And according to another recent report by Team Marketing Report, the most expensive place to see a game is the 49ers new stadium in Santa Clara. “The estimated price for a family of four to attend a game in the Niners’ new digs … is $641.50, a hefty, expected increase from their last season in San Francisco. That includes an average non-premium ticket price of $117, which is second only to the New England Patriots’ $122.” Hell, the average price for an NFL ticket is $84.43, and the average “Fan Cost Index price is $479.11,” meaning that’s how much it costs for a family of four to go to a stadium and see an NFL football game.

But let’s get back to the beer. The two most expensive stadiums to buy a beer are both in the Bay Area, $10.75 for 20 oz. at a Raiders game and $10.25 for 20 oz. at a Niners game. “The increase comes despite the introduction of a $4.50 beer in St. Louis, where the Rams now have the cheapest beer in the NFL,” but as they point out those lower prices are also for smaller pours, in some cases nearly half. “If we consider the size of the beer, the most expensive beer is in Philadelphia, where the smallest beer costs 71 cents per ounce. The Cincinnati Bengals offer the cheapest beer per ounce, with a 14-ounce beer costing just $5 (36 cents per ounce).”

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