Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday Weekly: Fishing for positives from the morass.

Days of cold and rain, business property taxes due, a petty act of vandalism, the death of a close friend – okay, so this hasn’t been the best of weeks, but I suppose you play the hand you’re dealt.

In fairness, there were good moments, too, like Monday’s record turnout for Office Hours with the Publican.

Keep showing up, and I’ll have to start doing a better job of preparing. We sampled a number of Robust Porters and Baltic Porters during this, the latest installment of our methodical journey through the BJCP style definitions. At some point, I might actually learn (and retain) something useful.

On Tuesday, I ventured into the soaked gloaming with NABC’s Louisville sales rep, Josh Hill. Director of Brewing Operations David Pierce had set up a meeting with the folks about to open Coal’s Artisan Pizza in the Vogue Center (just off Frankfort Avenue), and we had a nice chat about beer in general, and the ones they plan to pour.

Owners Mark and Madeline Peters spent time in Seattle, know their pizza, and have an excellent conceptual grounding in craft beer as well. Their centerpiece will be an anthracite-fired pizza oven capable of cooking a pie in three minutes at 1,000 degrees; the menu concept is locally-influenced all-world pizza themes; and there’ll be 12 taps. This one’s going to be wonderful.

Afterward, ducking into Cooking at the Cottage, we almost literally ran into Will Eaves of Lotsa Pasta, reigning local cheese expert and my previous co-conspirator in cheese and beer pairings. Know that another is being schemed as I write.

Josh and I then visited with the inimitable Michael Reidy at the Irish Rover over pints, ran into my old pal Ed at the Corner Door (over another pint), and after Josh finally deposited me at BoomBozz Taphouse (Eastern Parkway), there were pizza, salad and yet another pint for consumption with the missus.

Another high point, although only tangentially related to beer, came on Wednesday night when approximately 40 New Albany merchants gathered downtown at Wick’s for an organizational meeting designed to establish an independent, locally-owned business alliance in New Albany.

Bank Street Brewhouse’s GM, Joe Phillips, will be pursuing a food ‘n’ drink side project related to my wider community advocacy with the merchants group. He’ll be contacting downtown New Albany restaurants and pubs, so hopefully we can get a cooperative plan of action there, too.

Speaking of activism, and in closing, take note that the late Lloyd Wimp’s wake will be held in Prost on Monday, November 29, and if you knew him, please come and have a beer with his family and us.

As always, thoughts of one who has passed are bittersweet, in the sense that while he no longer must suffer, there’s a gaping chasm in the lives of the living.

I strongly believe that Lloyd found his truest calling relatively late in life, when like so many others, he became a self-appointed community activist in New Albany. Lloyd was a bulldog when it came to cornering bureaucrats and getting answers to previously unanswerable questions.

Surely he’d agree with me that perhaps the highest, most gratifying reward for indiscriminately launching uncomfortable truths from one’s handiest bully pulpit is watching the flight that inevitably results, as respectability openly cringes and scurries to take refuge behind the nearest available cliché.

It is reminiscent of a plot device used in countless detective novels, as prominently featured in an ancient M*A*S*H rerun I viewed recently.

A bout of petty thievery at the 4077th compels Hawkeye to convene the camp inside the mess tent, and explain that the most recent object stolen had been surreptitiously booby-trapped with invisible dye that would turn the perpetrator’s hands blue. All those in attendance sit passively, except for one – the guilty Korean houseboy – who can’t avoid staring at his hands, terrified, waiting for them to change color.

Hawkeye’s disappointed response (paraphrased): There was no dye … so, umm, why have you been stealing, anyway?

Lloyd was the guy with the dye, exposing the lie.

Rest in peace, brother.

No comments: