Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Last Louisville keg of Solidarity at Zeppelin Cafe this Wednesday, February 17.

I grudgingly doff my cap to the snow, and offer this excerpt from a column I wrote for Food & Dining magazine in 2005. To the brief list of winter beers, at the end Baltic Porter might have been added.

This is a way of reminding readers that the last keg from NABC's Louisville allocation of Solidarity will be tapped at 7:00 p.m. this Wednesday, February 17, at the Zeppelin Cafe in Germantown: Last Call For Solidarity!

The weather's ideal for it. As for the food, and although I haven't had the chance to eat at the Zeppelin Cafe, reports have been positive. Items that stick to your ribs are good for winter, and ideal for Solidarity.


A menacing queue forms before me.

It is comprised of well-intentioned nutritionists, crusading physicians, profiteering diet planners and congenital killjoys. In this nastiest of personal nightmares, they have gathered to demand that I eschew the habits of my expansive past, to convert, to see the light … to eat and drink “right.”

Stubborn and unrepentant, I point defiantly to the thermometer. It’s not a fit night out for man or beast; Louisville is cold. Salade Nicoise, gazpacho, watermelon and corn on the cob all seem inadequate. Waxen imitation veggies need not apply.

No! I want food to warm the bones, to arouse the slumbering genes of my ancestors on the steppes and in the forest, those enduring and resourceful people who during winter reached for the pickled vegetables, delved into cellar for potatoes, beets and onions, and cracked open stocks of salted beef and fish.

I demand the hearty ingredients for soups, stews, goulash, cabbage rolls and casseroles.

Furthermore, I want beer styles to match them! Beer that is cool, not cold; strong, not puny; challenging, not simple.

Winter provides the most suitable conditions for sampling and studying the heavyweight classics that have come to us from the various Old World brewing cultures and in turn have been embraced and redefined by America’s innovative microbrewers.

Among these are multi-faceted imperial stouts, deeply affecting barley wines, and big, brawny German “double” bocks. Not only do these beer styles provide ample warming for bodies iced and chilled in the great outdoors, but they also stick to the food that sticks to your bones when it matters most.

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