I need to make sure I am less self-indulgent this week. Last week was a bit too… thematic without, you know, a solid theme. I deserve a rebuke from time to time. I thought Stan was helpfully chastising me in his comment… but I am not quite sure. You have a look:
I’m pretty sure Alan McLeod was lamenting the use of the term “deep dive” in his commentary on recent beer news last week. Fact is when I see the words “deep dive” I expect what follows to go deep less often than not.
I never do well with these sort of mathy statements. But then… I thought it would be “more often than not” if deep dives labelled properly were more common than the tawdry shams. Doesn’t “less often than not” mean the shams outweigh the actuals? And if you think about it – by their very nature – these summary things are more like strolls in the shallows, not deep dives at all. Oh dear. I’ve been self-indulgent again. Must stop. Here’s some news.
My problem with the thesis on glitter beer by the entirely reliable Carla Jean Lauter is knowing the many really stupid and indulgent things which give me joy. They still remain sorta stoopid* despite my joy. I am reminded, in fact, of that passage from Thomas More’s early modern masterpiece Utopia:
They divide the pleasures of the body into two sorts—the one is that which gives our senses some real delight, and is performed either by recruiting Nature and supplying those parts which feed the internal heat of life by eating and drinking, or when Nature is eased of any surcharge that oppresses it, when we are relieved from sudden pain, or that which arises from satisfying the appetite which Nature has wisely given to lead us to the propagation of the species.
In first year undergrad, someone in class asked what More meant by eased surcharge. Poop, said the prof. Or, now, glitter pee, I suppose.
Elsewhere, someone by the name of Gary, left in charge of UK grocer Sainsbury’s social media, was having a hard time at the end of last week but Matthew L stepped forward to straight-forwardly and helpfully explain the economics of chilling beer at the general retail level:
I’m closer to the shop floor realities of retail than Gary is, and I can explain why supermarkets don’t, as a rule, chill their entire beer supply and display chain. As stated above, this might be a revelation to those who don’t work in my industry.
What a sensible explanation. And what a sentence from Stonch: “For an hour and a half, I was a fixed point among the shifting population of tourists, as I savoured glasses of each of the four beers poured at a simple bar.” While we are at it, what a photo and caption from The Beer Nut!
Good to see that sensible sweaters are big in Brussels. TBN actually had another point… which I liked. And I also liked this proclamation from Matty C about London. I usually don’t like proclamations, urban or otherwise, but this is actually a good one. It’s nice. Not quite Belgian millennial sweater nice but actually pretty close.
Speaking of almost Belgian millennial sweater goodness, if I were to pick a review to review as illustrating what a book review (and, yes, I know this sounds indulgent) it’s this review by The Tand of the new book by Stange and Webb. It even includes substantive arguments as to why one should trust the new book by Stange and Webb on Belgian beer:
The authors point out – and this is important – that they did not seek samples from breweries, but rather, went there and bought the beers. They are also keen to opine that, in an age of obfuscation and blurring of lines, often by large conglomerates, the place of origin of beer remains important, as it adds to authenticity. This is particularly so in Belgium, where beer in all its diverse forms so often has a clear link to its local or regional roots.
Some will still insist that paying your own way to prepare a book about beer is impossible. Sounds like a very good one. And what is a good “two”? Well, that’s the number of new good things you’ve learned so far about Belgium. Boom! Here’s something interesting which is not related to Belgium a confession from Boak and Bailey:
We’ve never been quite sure. Think it refers to a distinct grain / seed / breadcrust flavour derived from malt.
I think I can be helpful here… if the question is “what does a biscuity malt mean?” If you go way back into this blog’s archives you will find beer reviews like this or this. And there you will see me using descriptors like biscuity and breadcrusty and pumpernickely. When I did that I sometimes actually went and got a biscuit or crust of bread to confirm my reference. But then… was it an arrowroot biscuit or a butter biscuit? Whole wheat or French? I also would find I wanted to describe something as raisiny but then wonder is it a Thompson or Sultana? Words like this draw you into thinking about flavour. Based on your own actual experience. I think it is fundamental to learning how to taste things, about how I taste things. You may have another path to the same end. There are likely many. But this is one I recommend.
Finally, our two nominees for “The Unhelpful But Beer-Related Semi-Science Story Of The Week“:
There. I am done for now. There could be more to be said but I think I am done for this week. Yup. Feels like it. Done. Big Supreme Court of Canada ruling on buying beer and then transporting it across provincial boundaries being issued later today. But that’ll deserve its own space and quiet consideration. So it will.
*St👀pid, even. Which, you know, owning the complete DVD set of Space: 1999 requires me to acknowledge. And the 200 lbs of men’s tweedwear.