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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