Friday, September 14, 2018

BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Headlines from August 2018 on the beer beat ... at Pints & Union.


This blog has gone on hiatus, probably permanently. These days my thoughts about beer are being posted alongside my utterances about everything else, over yonder at NA Confidential.

You'll still find them there in reverse chronological order via the helpful all-purpose tag, Beer with a Socialist, with The Beer Beat having been retired as of September. That's because some also will be identified as Pints & Union Portfolio.

At any rate, use the Beer with a Socialist search term and it should suffice. At the end of each month, I'll still collect the links right here.

Following are August (2018) ruminations, with the oldest listed first. Some of these posts are more topical than others.

I hope this isn't overly confusing. Thanks for reading, if belatedly.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Pints&union begins regular hours tonight, and there's a "luxuriant brunette brew" to help celebrate.


As for the beer, eight of ten potential faucets will be pouring. It isn't yet clear whether the permanent number of taps will be seven or eight, but for now I've squeezed in a special treat for those of you who enjoy classic styles: Daredevil Munich Dunkel from Indianapolis.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Drink a toast to trailblazing New Albany brewer Hew Ainslie with a McEwan's Scotch Ale.


I believe Ainslie deserves some manner of recognition. After all, too many plaques are mounted in honor of underachieving politicians, and too few to men like Ainslie. In addition to brewing, he was a published poet and an ardent Scottish nationalist.

I'm telling you abut Ainslie because a spoonful of McEwan's Scotch Ale helps the history lesson go down.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: And the honor goes to Fuller's London Pride.


At approximately 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 2, 2018 the first keg to be emptied at Pints&union was Fuller's London Pride, with Guinness queuing close behind it.

This pleases me for a number of reasons.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: An accumulated thirst -- or, lots of kegs floated at Pints&union.


After four "official" business days preceded by two "soft" evenings, something like 800 pints of draft beer have been consumed at Pints&union, including two full kegs of Fuller's London Pride -- and only one of the other blown kegs was an IPA (Bell's Two Hearted).

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: "When you think of your favorite spot to grab a beer, what architectural features come to mind?"


To me, the essential ingredient for bucket-list bars is that they're located somewhere else, preferably in Europe, and have good adult beverages to drink -- namely, beer. As such, I've actually been to the Hofbrauhaus and Hirschgarten for lagers, and once walked past the American Bar in Vienna.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: No absinthe-barrel-aged IPAs, please. Imperial Stout? Let me think about that one.


Too late.

Someone in the Netherlands already went and did absinthe beer, not barrel-aged (some things should remain far removed from scheming human hands), but with barley, wheat and an herbal extract.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: "In short, hemp and hops can only work together if state and federal regulators get out of the way."


This is an excellent essay about innovation, regulation and weirdness. Thanks to E for the link.

As for me, a pint of Fuller's London Pride will do just fine, but by all means, get out there and expand the perimeter.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: In consideration of Falls City Classic Pilsner, on tap now at Pints&union.


It's always best to start at the beginning, and so it might help to know that the term "Falls City" predates those beers bearing its name, as Thomas Jefferson himself explains.

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PINTS & UNION PORTFOLIO: Beer Tuesday Talk & Taste, and Tabletop Tuesday; beer and board gaming starting Tuesday, August 14.


As often as humanly possible, I'll be upstairs at between 5:00 p.m. and at least 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday evenings, starting Tuesday, August 14.

This weekly event is strictly informal, and you need not be present at any precise time, just at any point within the window. It's not exactly a class, and there'll be no tests. However, there'll be a beer of the week; purchase one downstairs, bring the beer upstairs, and we'll talk it over.

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PINTS & UNION PORTFOLIO: Orval exemplifies true religion, Trappist (ale)-style.


Narrowing the focus, a particularly wonderful sub-culture within Belgian brewing is that occupied by the Trappists, or those ales brewed at Trappist monasteries. In recent years, this practice has spread outside the original six Belgium (and the seventh in the Netherlands) to Austria, Italy, the UK and even Massachusetts.

These thoughts are occasioned by a chance meeting with this article about Orval.

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PINTS & UNION PORTFOLIO: Anyone up for Tuesday evening beer classes at the pub?


When the IU Southeast opportunity came to an end, I continued with the NABC program of charitable tasting donations, which was a light variant of the class, but the class itself never was revived.

At Pints&union, there's a second chance, and we're working on it. The class would take place on Tuesday evenings within a specified period of time -- say, an hour or so each night for six weeks. We'd meet upstairs in the room that still needs to be named.

You'd pay a minimal fee each night to cover class samples, and while attendance wouldn't be mandatory, maybe those who made every session would get recognition on the wall, or some such way of reflecting "graduation."

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PINTS & UNION PORTFOLIO: Revised weekend hours, with a noon opening on Saturday and hangover relief on Sunday from noon - 4 p.m.


For those who have enjoyed the exemplary draft Daredevil Munich Dunkel Lager, the third of our allocated three kegs was tapped earlier this week. When it's gone, probably early next week, it will be time for Oktoberfest season to begin.

The final decision has yet to be made, but I'm leaning toward a traditional Munich interpretation. Also, Wychwood Hobgoblin continues to stand in for Fuller's London Pride, and probably will remain pouring through September.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: There's a place for retro beers, but for better or worse, they don't taste the same as they once did.


Following is my answer, right or wrong, without having done the slightest research on the matter.

To me, it's just common beer sense that many, if not all, of the contemporary "retro" beer brands have little in common with their foundational predecessors.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST Exploding beer cans? If I want to risk injury, I'll try to make it across a New Albany street on foot.


I'd dropped by The Keg to purchase a few German-brewed Oktoberfest bottles for a vital personal sampling, and was told a case of 450 North had just detonated in the storeroom.

Lest there be any misunderstanding, allow me to paraphrase an old saw: I may be entirely befuddled by what you're brewing, but I'll fight to the point of unconsciousness in support of your right to brew it.

At the same time, count me among those who can't come to grips with the notion of craft beer as potential can bombs.

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PINTS & UNION PORTFOLIO: About a burger, and draft list notes.



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Wednesday, August 08, 2018

BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Headlines from July 2018 on the beer beat.


This blog has gone on hiatus, probably permanently, and primarily because these days my thoughts about beer are being posted alongside my utterances about everything else, over yonder at NA Confidential.

You'll still find them there in reverse chronological order via the helpful all-purpose tag, The Beer Beat, although I'm in the process of changing the column title to Beer with a Socialist. For the foreseeable future, I'll retain both labels for ease of searching.

At the end of each month I'll still collect the links right here.

Following are July (2018) ruminations, with the oldest listed first. Some of these posts are more topical than others. On occasion, there'll be references to beer in posts using "Beer with a Socialist" or "The Beer Beat" as a label, though not a title.

I hope this isn't overly confusing. Thanks for reading, if belatedly.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Catch up on your reading with these links. First, pour a damn beer.


Exhausted, we bivouacked by a street pockmarked by sharrows, across from a corporate multi-tap. A squad was sent to reconnoiter. They were shaken and ashen-faced upon return: "Rows and rows of IPAs, hazy and mango and coffee-infused -- what are we to do?" The major's gaze hardened. "Drink 'em," he replied. "Drink 'em all, and let God sort it out." #secondcivilwarletters

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: On beer lists, beer-speak, and beer geeksplaining.


In retrospect, the three-ring binder beer list at the Public House was my "Dark Side of the Moon." How do you make another album after that?

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Recalling "Love on the Beach" and taking note of changing times.



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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: "One German pub owner is still serving at 87."


Clocking in at a mere 12 minutes, this is a gem of a brief Deutsche Welle news profile, or perhaps a mini-documentary. Surprisingly layered, little bits of the story keep emerging as Hildegard Schweinsberg works a Thursday at her pub in Neuhaus, near Schwerin on what would have been the DDR side of the border during the period of Germany's division.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: "Light Beer? Not Here," and other Public House beer list views from 1998.



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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Flint Michigan Tap Water? “Walt Disney knew what he was doing and I plan on making Lakeville the Walt Disney of beers.”


On the topic of buffoonery, excrement and world class douchebaggery, there's this. It may be the first time in my life that I feel sorry for Walt Disney.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Glory days in the bike saddle at the Radler Tankstelle.


Somewhere along the way in Germany or Austria I saw a pictograph of a man on a bicycle hoisting a foamy stein of beer: "Radler Tankstelle, 100 meters."

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Bell's Two Hearted Ale is an iconic American classic.


It's my recollection that we first poured Bell's Two Hearted Ale at the Public House around 2002. It was among the first regional IPAs we could get on a dependable basis at a good price point, and Centennial hops were a big deal at the time. In my world, they still are.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Pints&union beer list theory and practice.


Owner Joe Phillips' plan for Pints&union has continued to evolve since we first began brainstorming. There will be food, cocktails, wine and an old-school pub atmosphere. There won't be television. When I dropped by there yesterday, Joe had Blur and Liam Gallagher playing on the sound system, though not simultaneously.

Of course, even monks clinging to Tibetan mountainsides know that my personal contribution to Pints&union is the beer program, which is why I typically have less to say about the other aspects of the pub. Beer has been my life, and I'm thankful to Joe for the opportunity to reformat the better beer experience for another generation of pub-goers.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: When Old Mister Lew tells a story, you're advised to listen closely.


It's an American "craft" (microbrew?) history lesson from Professor Bryson, but don't panic. Think corrections, not catastrophe. The scene may seem to be in upheaval, but as Lew entertainingly points out, we've all been here before -- in the late 1990s.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Pints&union will be opening later this week.


The obscure and long-awaited regulatory incantation from the Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission arrived this morning, freeing the way for the doors to Pints&union to be opened to the public at some point later this week.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Kevin Gibson's look at Pints&union in Insider Louisville.


As always, Kevin's reporting is impeccable, so read all about it -- and there are photos, too. Just don't ask me to tell you exactly when. When everything's ready, that's when.

Meanwhile, I'm like a kid in the damn candy store, albeit with back and knees throbbing from stocking cans and bottles today. It feels wonderful. The keg boxes are almost ready to pour; just a few more tweaks tomorrow.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: The forthcoming beer list at Pints&union (bottle and can edition).


Old-timers will notice the presence of "comfort beers," "neglected classics" and "greatest beer hits" alongside beers like Stroh's, Old Style and Little Kings. The juxtaposition is purely intentional.

Indeed, it's a more egalitarian list than I would have written at the peak of polemical fervor, with fewer local craft brews; as noted previously, in my view the revolution has succeeded in large measure, and there are numerous American craft beers being vended in downtown New Albany.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: A Pints&union preview in the News and Tribune.


Now for another pub preview, courtesy of the local newspaper. As of about 2:00 p.m. today, all the draft lines should be up and running, and a big shout-out goes to Kenny Henson of Monarch Beverage/World Class Beer for his efforts in fine-tuning the keg boxes. Joe and the rest of the team have been putting in the hours. All that remains is to tie up 1,001 loose ends and unlock the door.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: A casual soft opening for Pints&union on a frenetic Friday evening in downtown New Albany.


Pints&union cleared its first hurdle on Friday evening. It was a very soft opening, with beers and drinks and nibbles.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Against the Grain to Citra its Ass Down in Okinawa.


As such, perhaps it's to be expected that a brewery priding itself on eclecticism and dirty underwear would find a locale like Okinawa, which goes against the Japanese grain.

Good work, gentlemen.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Kalin Tavern, where a passport is required to cross the barroom.


At Conde Nast Traveler, Ken Jennings writes about a tavern divided.

The Google street view above dates to 2013, affording a clean view of the Kalin Tavern on the left (note the awnings) and the border blockade running right across the street.

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Saturday, July 07, 2018

BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Headlines from June 2018 on the beer beat.


This blog has gone on hiatus, probably permanently, and primarily because these days my thoughts about beer are being posted alongside my utterances about everything else, over yonder at NA Confidential.

You'll still find them there in reverse chronological order via the helpful all-purpose tag, The Beer Beat, although I'm in the process of changing the column title to Beer with a Socialist. For the foreseeable future, I'll retain both labels for ease of searching.

At the end of each month I'll still collect the links right here.

Following are June (2018) ruminations, with the oldest listed first. Some of these posts are more topical than others. On occasion, there'll be references to beer in posts using "The Beer Beat" as a label, though not a title. I hope this isn't overly confusing.

Thanks for reading, if belatedly.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: That time in 2003 when we rode bicycles to Schneider Weisse.


Anyway ... at Pints&union, we'll be carrying bottled Schneider Weisse and Aventinus, two world classic wheat ales. Back in 2003 at the Public House, we'd been carrying the Schneider brewery's line since it first became available via the B. United wholesale house, and naturally it was to B. United that I directed a pre-trip inquiry: might my friends and I get a tour of Schneider while cycling?

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Tom and Nick Moench collaborate on a sour beer -- and what I remember about a day with Tom in Orlando in 2006.


In 2006, when the annual family reunion took place in steamy summer Orlando, the estimable Tom Moench sacrificed an afternoon to save our lives, rescuing the Baylors from resort hotel ennui, and with it $6 half-pints of Guinness served in bizarre Belgian-style stemware at the hotel bar.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: These "new rules of pub etiquette" are a must-read.


In fact, these rules of etiquette should come across as common sense for anyone who has consumed drinks in public, anywhere at all. They're not really new, but then again, teachers teach the same topic over and over to incoming classes who are unaware of the importance. So it goes.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Cask ales are the indigenous, tasty, beery glories of the British Isles (article from 2009).


Pints & Union will be opening soon, and several readers have asked if we'll be pouring cask ale. The unfortunate answer is no, although there might be the occasional pin or firkin from somewhere hoisted atop the bar and dispensed by gravity.

In this column and the one following it on Saturday, it is my aim to provide some background about cask ale, which might help to explain why we won't be installing hand pumps at the start. In short, economies of scale are out of whack.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Three cheers for a British ale movement in the States.


Conditioning ale in the cask (real ale), then pouring it by use of a hand pump (beer engine), are quintessentially British ways of brewing, serving and enjoying ale, with the basic idea being to take a slightly unfinished and still living product and artfully prepare it to be served at the optimal time, with a gentle carbonation produced naturally.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: How a bicycle ride and Lenin's Tribune connects Bank Street Brewhouse with Our Lady of Perpetual Hops.


I'm hoping you can see how the OLPH sketch prompted these recollections. Just imagine the podium facing in the direction of New Albany's City County Building, not unlike a minaret. I'd have been the muezzin of sorts, and it would have been the finest bully pulpit ever.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Whether sheep stealer or highwayman, he was hanged just the same at Cannards Grave.


Bud Light drinkers used to feel this way when they wandered by mistake into the Public House. The illustration comes from a 1972 book called British Inn Signs.

Where five roads meet on the A37 near Shepton Mallet (Somerset) is a gruesome sign of a man hanging from a gibbet.

The back story takes on a number of versions, which are considered in this modern update.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Anchor Porter is delicious. Just don't expect a firm answer as to how it differs from Stout.


Anchor Porter is black and rich, firmly hopped (circa 40 IBUs) with plenty of malty underpinnings. I'm getting chocolate, espresso, toffee and a hint of licorice in my mouth, and I'm struck by a vestige of similarity with some Baltic-style Porters I've had in the past -- albeit at a gentler ABV.

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Sunday, June 10, 2018

BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Headlines from May 2018 on the beer beat.


This blog has gone on hiatus, probably permanently, and primarily because these days my thoughts about beer are being posted alongside my utterances about everything else, over yonder at NA Confidential.

You'll still find them there in reverse chronological order via the helpful all-purpose tag, The Beer Beat, although I'm in the process of changing the column title to Beer with a Socialist. For the foreseeable future, I'll retain both labels for ease of searching.

At the end of each month I'll still collect the links right here.

Following are May (2018) ruminations, with the oldest listed first. Some of these posts are more topical than others. On occasion, there'll be references to beer in posts using "The Beer Beat" as a label, though not a title. I hope this isn't overly confusing.

Thanks for reading, if belatedly.

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THE BEER BEAT: The path to 6,000, or one helluva big difference in 25 years.


Yesterday, amid 14 consecutive hours of joyous Kentucky Derby downpour, I started rummaging through my collection of posters, photos and bric-a-brac suitable for hanging.

This one, called "Brewpubs and Craft Breweries," is a poster that dates from 1992.

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THE BEER BEAT: Yuengling Golden Pilsner, or how I mourn the taste of corn in the morn (and afternoon).


Several of my friends beat me to tasting Pabst Pale Ale (I still haven't), but earlier today by sheer serendipity I walked into Keg Liquors (Clarksville) and became the first customer to buy a six-pack of Yuengling's ballyhooed Golden Pilsner.

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THE BEER BEAT: A brief Pints & Union beer list report (yay) and a Yuengling correction (shrug).


It's ironic, although not entirely unexpected, that the more beer I drink as part of a solemn imperative to research (alas, someone's got to do it), and the greater the amount of time translating this diligent research into a beer list for Pints & Union, the less opportunity to write idly about beer in general.

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THE BEER BEAT: U Fleků, home of "Bohemia’s definitive dark beer," really WAS founded in 1499.


I meant to attend U Fleků's 500th birthday party in 1999, but just couldn't pull it off. That's a big regret. Jeff Alworth is a great beer writer. In this brief essay, he takes us to Prague for one of those "Holy Grail" bucket list beers, originally described by the beer writer Michael Jackson, all of which packed off my butt to Europe so very long ago.

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THE BEER BEAT: R.I.P. Jerry "Turoni's" Turner. Also: New England IPA, Mile Wide, Goose's disgrace, George Washington, and weighing a keg of beer.


As I may have mentioned earlier, though probably forgot, the current issue of Food & Dining Magazine (it's out today) has two contributions from moi: a profile of bar Vetti (lower case "b" is intentional), and a beer column about New England IPA.

Research for the latter brought me to Mile Wide Beer Co. (636 Barret Avenue, Louisville) a few weeks back for their release of Nomah!, which I enjoyed very much. In some ways I'm surprised by this. Not long ago, I'd have dismissed NE IPA as a fad, but now it makes perfect sense to me. May the style live long and prosper.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Still on the "beer beat," but with a new identity and a renewed consultancy.


"Beer with a Socialist" is what happens when the Potable Curmudgeon momentarily mistakes the word "scientist" for "socialist," and after a good laugh, decides it's kismet.

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ON THE AVENUES: Long live Keg Liquors Fest of Ale, an indisputable annual beer institution.


The 13th edition of Keg Liquors Fest of Ale will take place at New Albany’s Riverfront Amphitheater on Saturday, June 2. Up to 2,500 area beer fans will be in attendance, which might sound like a crush of humanity, but it isn’t. The major regional stops on the beer festival tour host as many as 8,000 guests, with Port-A-Lets extending around the entire perimeter like Donald Trump’s walled-in America.

However, festival founder and package store owner Todd Antz has grown Fest of Ale slowly and organically, from the parking lot adjacent to his original Clarksville store to St. Anthony’s lawn, and now the banks of the Ohio. It’s an urban area, and yet still presents a pastoral scene of greenery, passing barges and the rising sun architectural imagery of the amphitheater itself.

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BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Vandals strike Asheville brewery: “No more breweries” and “**** Beer City.”


My initial thought upon reading about "anti-brewery vandalism" in Asheville was something on the order of: "Just their luck the Woman's Christian Temperance Union is still alive and kicking."

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ON THE AVENUES: Sadly, the Kentucky Derby no longer is decadent and depraved. It’s just another vacuous capitalist bait ‘n’ switch.


Let’s talk about beer. In 2018, for the first time in six years, the “official” beer of this signature institution known as Churchill Downs no longer is Stella Artois, the chosen import of AB-InBev’s payola empire.

Now it’s Corona, perhaps the most vile mainstream corn-choked Mexican lager atrocity known to man, reminding us that while the Kentucky Derby has developed intrinsic traditions since its inaugural run in 1875, locally brewed beer hasn’t always been prominent among these predispositions. After all, bourbon gets you there way faster.

Monday, May 21, 2018

BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Still on the "beer beat," but with a new identity and a renewed consultancy.


"Beer with a Socialist" is what happens when the Potable Curmudgeon momentarily mistakes the word "scientist" for "socialist," and after a good laugh, decides it's kismet.

A long time ago, while still a part-owner of the New Albanian Brewing Company (Bank Street Brewhouse had yet to be born), I started a company called Potable Curmudgeon Inc., which was to have been devoted to travel and tourism. For various reasons, this idea never came together; the last motor coach trip was 2004, and on bikes, 2008.

It's never too late to start all over again, and 2018 looks like the year for it. Over at Facebook, I've deleted the moribund Potable Curmudgeon Inc. page, in effect combining it with Roger's Simple Beer Pleasures, which has been renamed Roger Baylor's "Beer with a Socialist" -- as has this periodic blog feature.

Beer musings will remain here at NA Confidential, rather than resume at the Potable Curmudgeon blogspace, primarily because NAC has a regular and reliable readership base. This also owes to my determination that beer not be viewed in a stand-alone vacuum. Beer is part of everything, and it should be considered alongside everything.

During the past few months, I've become convinced that beer consultancy might become a viable pastime. It's never been about the money for me, and I've already been free-lancing for a while as a writer. If I can add to writing a couple more small revenue streams, it will be enough to get by. Perhaps Patreon is in my future.

There are several "beer education" and "beer entertainment" ideas I've been wanting to test for many years, and now seems like a good time to devote attention to them, because happily, my sabbatical since departing NABC has reaffirmed that beer is a place I want to be, personally and professionally. I just needed some time away to take care of other things.

As an aside, finally getting my departure resolved in February this year seems to have had a salutary effect on everyone involved. The past three years have been weird, enlightening, depressing and joyous. They're a springboard to what comes next.

Beer has been my life’s work. Beer has served as governing principle for a variety of personal interests, ranging from history to geography, through politics, and including food, travel and recreation. Beer has connected them in a way that iced tea simply can't manage, and frankly, then as now, iced tea consistently annoys the very hell right out of me.

I've come to viscerally dislike iced tea, by the way.

Do I have what it takes to be a beer consultant? Even I can't be sure, but I'm intent on hanging out a shingle. Today's world of beer appreciation, whether on the part of industry folks or paying customers, displays beer knowledge a mile wide and a millimeter deep. With a few good stories and a bit of soft shoe, I think there's a niche for infotainment.

As many readers already know, my primary interest these days is Classic Beer -- the greatest beer hits from the 1300s through the 1900s. It's what the program at Pints & Union will emphasize (mid-June is the target date).

There are times when beer hunting involves looking past the chaotic cornucopia of the present and rediscovering what always was there, patiently waiting, in plain sight. Of course, new classics are being created every day. Making sense of it all is becoming harder and harder, and maybe I can help with this.

In the months to come, we’ll see where this goes, so thanks for reading.

___

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Headlines from April 2018 on THE BEER BEAT.


This blog has gone on hiatus, probably permanently, and primarily because these days my thoughts about beer are being posted alongside my utterances about everything else, over yonder at NA Confidential. You'll find them there in reverse chronological order via the helpful all-purpose tag, The Beer Beat.

However, at the end of each month I'll collect the links right here. Following are April's (2018) ruminations, with the oldest listed first. Some of these posts are more topical than others. On occasion, there'll be references to beer in posts using "The Beer Beat" as a label, though not a title. I hope this isn't overly confusing.

Thanks for reading, if belatedly.

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THE BEER BEAT: "Bock brings the Germans rushing to the beer garden."


Doppelbock is the perfect example of a seasonal beer style redolent of history and faraway places, and yet deemed insufficiently sexy for narcissistic, hop-laden, shoe-gazing geeks.

No bitterness in this soul, mind you.

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THE BEER BEAT: Mad Paddle Brewery is coming to Madison, and there's a New Albany connection.


Having tickled the taste buds, let's have a glance to the northeast. If you ask me, Madison has always deserved a good brewery.

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THE BEER BEAT: Fest of Ale returns on June 2, so please allow me to revive an idea for pre-fest fun next year.


(New Albany Craft Beer Week) didn't come together in 2017 and probably won't in 2018, but if Andrew Nicholson and Kelly Winslow (especially these two) are reading ... there's always 2019. I'd be happy to give you both the rundown.

Meanwhile, 2018 will be the third year for Fest of Ale at the Riverfront Amphitheater. Gear up and get ready.

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THE BEER BEAT: This just might be the Pour Fool's greatest rant: "Open Letter to The Bud Sell-Outs: Cowboy Up, Whiners."


"There is one old saw that the 'owners' of these former craft breweries should take to heart and if any of you have never heard it, allow me ... 'You Made Your Bed, Now Lie In It.' "

Ladies and gentleman, give it up for Steve Foolbody (The Pour Fool).

It's the best summary yet offered, as truthfully attesting to the phenomenon of Trojan Zombie Afterlife Breweries and their former owners. Here's a relevant non-brewing history lesson.

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THE BEER BEAT: Pints for Parkinson's returns with Maibock, so let's have a look at Gordon Biersch, day drinking and TARC.


Spurred by the groundbreaking commuter research conducted by my friend Jeff, who works in downtown Louisville -- and with a wife who does, too -- I have belatedly grasped that the #71 bus eastbound from State and Elm in New Albany (a short walk from my house) travels all the way to Jeffersonville on roughly an hourly basis during the day, stopping a mere bloc

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THE BEER BEAT: Everybody wants to rule the world -- maybe "craft" beer will, too.


This is exactly what the world of beer commentary is sorely lacking: Beer with a Socialist. I'm grateful to Jonathan for the idea, and will owe him a beer of three is this goes anyplace.

Now, give it up for Lew Bryson and another thought-provoking (and fun) column at The Daily Beast.

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THE BEER BEAT: Photographing traditional Irish storefronts for posterity, like the Railway Bar.


The loss of storefronts in Ireland is a lamentable cultural atrocity. It isn't restricted to pubs, but of course I'm enraptured by one of the pubs pictured in the article.

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THE BEER BEAT: This humble plinth could be the spot where we memorialize the myriad victims of Prohibition.


It is imperative for the future health and well-being of the municipality that we embrace historical consciousness, hence my contention that the victims of the savage and deranged social experiment known as Prohibition -- surely America's second-worst idea ever, albeit well behind human slavery in terms of ramifications -- be memorialized, preferably adjacent to a watering hole that reminds us of what the heinous teetotalers tried to take away.

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THE BEER BEAT: Speakeasies here, speakeasies there, and not an original thought to be found anywhere.


It's far easier to be "magical" when your family has profited immensely from LEGAL liquor sales, the budget is unlimited, and you're not scraping for crumbs to implement good ideas -- but money can buy neither love nor an exemption from imminent prosecution for inexcusably pretentious word abuse.

The CJ's writer somehow keeps a straight face, this being a skill I never learned.

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THE BEER BEAT: "Putting the taproom first and building the rest of your business around an own-premise model gives a brewery unprecedented control, insight, and flexibility."


History is endlessly fascinating for a variety of reasons, among them the uncanny way that what goes around, comes around. In today, out tomorrow -- and destined to return when conditions change and the dialectic of trendiness (or purely efficient reasoning) ordains.

This whole craft brewing revolution began very locally. You trundled down the street with a metaphorical pitcher, had it filled with beer, and hoped to make it back home without drinking it all -- or, the way it was done back in pre-Prohibition times.

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LIVE TO EAT on THE BEER BEAT: A tribute to the late Rocky's Sub Pub and a question: What's happening at Jeffersonville's "restaurant row"?


It was announced today that Rocky's Sub Pub, on the riverfront in Jeffersonville, suddenly closed. Danielle Grady's newspaper coverage is linked below, but first, a short piece I wrote for LEO back in 2009, when Rocky's debuted its beefed-up tap system. Ironically, now both Rocky's and JeffBoat are gone.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Headlines from March 2018 on THE BEER BEAT.

The Pints & Union build-out continues to be of interest.

This blog has gone on hiatus, probably permanently, and primarily because these days my thoughts about beer are being posted alongside my utterances about everything else, over yonder at NA Confidential. You'll find them there in reverse chronological order via the helpful all-purpose tag, The Beer Beat.

However, at the end of each month I'll collect the links right here. Following are March's (2018) ruminations, with the oldest listed first. Some of these posts are more topical than others. On occasion, there'll be references to beer in posts using "The Beer Beat" as a label, though not a title. I hope this isn't overly confusing.

Thanks for reading, if belatedly.

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THE BEER BEAT: Taco Steve back at BSB, and a year's hiatus for the Bloomington Craft Beer Festival.


On Saturday, Taco Steve debuted at the freshly painted and recently redubbed Bank Street Brewhouse; the word "cafe" never really sounded right, did it? About a dozen customers were eating and drinking on site when I stopped by around 3:30 p.m. to chat with Heather Morris, who runs the front of the house.

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THE BEER BEAT: Narrower focus, deeper appreciation -- or, a few words about the Pints & Union beer program.


If you're curious about those five fixed taps, here's the way it looks to me today.

Guinness Stout
Pilsner Urquell
Fuller's London Pride
Anchor Porter
Bell's Two Hearted

Conjecture this lineup augmented by (for example) Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier, Tripel Karmeliet, as well as Steve's scrumpy; furthermore, imagine it remaining in place for two months, allowing repeated samplings of the sort that fix lasting and affectionate memories, rather than hurried reviews at a crowd-sourced scrum.

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THE BEER BEAT: Sunday sales in Indiana: "Now that we have today out of the way it's just 7 days a week of normalcy."



Todd "Keg Liquors" Antz contributes this list of media coverage centering on Opening (Sun)Day, 2018.

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THE BEER BEAT: Let's review a few headlines, from Louisville (and Indy) Lager to Brimstone Big.


I had a lunch meeting on Friday, and the three of us met at the recently re-refashioned Bank Street Brewhouse for some Taco Steve treats and NABC libations.

Now cast irrevocably as a member of the "former owner" camp, it still feels a bit weird for me to return as a civilian. This said, everything was fine. Taco Steve is impeccable, and the four beer samples all were solid.

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THE BEER BEAT: "Belgian bars put the boot into tourists who steal beer glasses."


At out forthcoming pub Pints & Union, the bottle and can selection will include beers that should be served in specialty glasses. I'll try my best to find generic examples of these, and it will work out. After all, it's about the beer, first and foremost.

Meanwhile, get over to Belgium. Once there, enjoy the excellence of the country's many beer-friendly drinking venues -- and get your shoes back when you leave.

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THE BEER BEAT: Paint your sombreros green, and Erin Go Blagh -- a timeless classic for a green-hued holiday.


Yes, tomorrow it’s St. Patrick’s Day. Time once again to endure the tasteless annual outbursts of shamrock-mounted hokum fueled by wretched green-colored lager, not to mention the inability of many revelers to get the holiday’s nickname right.

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THE BEER BEAT: In search of beerways, with side orders of New Albany Social and Thunder is #SoIN.


The point of this digression?

If the Southern Foodways Alliance chose to include documentation about Louisville bartenders, certainly the same notions that preface folkways and foodways also apply to beer, whether as a stand-alone idea or as a subset of either (or both), and yet when I google “beerways,” most of the links that come up are about beer-themed pathways in the sense of scenic highways or bike routes.

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THE BEER BEAT: This is why the classic British-style pub CAN and DOES make it in America.


Logically speaking, there cannot be British (or Irish) pubs in America. They can be British-style and Irish-style, which is why so far during the short life of the Pints & Union project, I've taken great pains to clarify that inspiration is being derived from British pubs.

We're building a pub, not a Disney cookie cutter.

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THE BEER BEAT: England, or one man's heightened cholesterol panic is another man's nostalgic repast (2013).


I found myself hungry for English comfort food and daydreaming about Real Ale, and with the pantry barren of Marmite, made do instead with kippers and my last bottle of Fuller's ESB.

The words of Inspector Morse, classic British television police crime solver, popped into my head.

“The secret of a happy life is to know when to stop – and then go that bit further.”

I was plunged into a reverie about our last trip to the United Kingdom in 2013.

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THE BEER BEAT: A Pints & Union preview video at New Albany Social... plus the new Falls City taproom and a Michael "Beer Hunter" Jackson birthday greeting.


Joe Phillips did a live Facebook video earlier today at Pints & Union, courtesy of Kelly Winslow and her New Albany Social juggernaut. Embedding seems a challenge, so here's New Albany Social video link -- as well as a couple of interior shots (below) from when I ambled past this morning and chatted for a bit with Resch's crew.

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