Beer Hunting in Michigan and Quebec

I have a couple of big trips coming up in October. Circumstances place me to the west in London, Ontario relieved of duties before noon on a Friday which means I have an hour to head further west still to the border at Sarnia and the afternoon to shop in Michigan. Having been there before, I have a sense of what I am looking for: something wet hopped, a case of Two Hearted Ale…as well as a little Bud American Ale…just to see. I don’t think I’ll make it as far as Jolly Pumpkin but Ron has given me the name of some of his most north-easterly clients so with any luck I will land some anyway.

The next weekend, however, sends me far east through largely uncharted territory as I head to a small IT/brainiac conference called Zap Your Pram in PEI. I will try to stop in a few government stores out east but on the way back on Sunday, I hope to hit a beer store or two in Quebec City like Le Monde des Bieres or Dépanneur de la Rive. I want to get my hands on some Dieu du Ciel for sure but, as John Rubin mentions in today’s Toronto Star, there are plenty of Quebec-made brews we never hear about in English-speaking Canada. The same is true of any regional brews due to our wacko inter-provincial trade restrictions but Quebecers, arguably, have a taste for a broader range of flavours than the rest of we Canucks and it shows in their brews. So maybe I’ll grab something from Microbrasserie Charlevoix or Hopfenstark, both unknowns to me but well regarded by the BAers.

Any hints before I undertake the 4,000 km two-part tour?

Notes From A Stay-cation

I don’t mind “stay-cation” except that you can’t spell it without the hyphen. Better than being called an unimaginative twerb who can’t get it together enough to take the family camping. I have excuses – I always have excuses. First, family reunion on Saturday. Then, the annual vintage base ball game that got rained out yesterday. Today, a beer writer or two visit as part of their multi-continental trip. So even though we are at home, we are getting something of an edjification.

I hope I don’t just watch TV but the twisted back makes that a possibility. I watched the ESPYs last night, thinking they would be lame. Best TV awards show ever. Justin Timberlake was a dreamy host – I say no more for fear of affecting my cred. Now, on a Monday morning in July, I hunt in vain for reruns of Mr. Dress-up and The Friendly Giant. What the heck has happened to the CBC? Thank God, I can at least look forward to Elwood Glover’s Luncheon Date at noon to go with my egg salad and parsley sandwiches.

Bob Asks A Good Question About Dutch Beer

We all know the story of India Pale Ale but Bob asks in the comments whether the Dutch ever did a similar thing:

Bob Schneider [11:37 PM June 25, 2007]
I realise that this is a review of a book but I was wondering if you could satisfy my curiosity. When I was brewing professionally in Holland, MI, I was trying to come up with a beer name and tagline that connected with the Dutch East India Trading Company (correct name?) similar to India Pale Ale shipped to British troops stationed in India. I did some research but ended up making an IPA with our house German ale yeast. When I put the beer on tap at the brew pub, the owners renamed it anyway. It was still one of the best IPAs I have made.

So my question is; Did the Dutch traders ship beer as a commodity in trade for Asian goods? If yes, what years, what style? Were hops used in any manner then?


Good enough to be brought up to the surface for a little bit more of a think….or a thunk if I can’t come up with anything. I will check through Unger’s texts but if anyone else has any ideas, please share.

The Red Ensign Standard, Edition XXXII

The Elemental Form
Red Ensigns. As I mentioned yesterday, I have been working on this edition of the Red Ensign Standard for a while. Some of my readers may have no idea about Red Ensigns so it is good that wikipedia has a good post about them. If I can take credit for being around at the start of this project called the Red Ensign bloggers, I would note that my first post in response to that first post of Packwood’s was on all the variety of Red Ensigns there were in the world and how they trace a common thread among many peoples wherever the British had been. While I started simply as a flag lover, I did begin to notice a pattern – that the Red Ensign has often been present wherever the goals of freedom and liberty have been advanced…even if at certain times it was not raised on the side of that progress. The Stars and Stripes is even a Red Ensign if you think of the white stripes as an overlay on the red background – which is actually how the design developed.

And that made me think about the fact that I am a lucky man. I live in Canada and I am proud of by far the greatest part of what makes our nation what it is today. It is neither perfect nor arose from any revolution – for much of the good I have a great debt to the continuing past. I am a kid of the British Empire as I am a kid of Scots immigrants. The tail end of the Empire got us to Canada – this time. It was the first plane trip of emigration after years of sailing here and back. Many of mine had been back and forth to Canada as far back as some relatives called McGill were in Quebec in the 1700s. Apparently one great-grandfather of mine was even born in the US – imagine that. None of these trips were anywhere near the most dangerous trip taken under the flag of the Empire either – those who went before were in India and the Sudan with the British redcoats not to mention WWI and WWII in the next two generations.

re2Those generations forged peace. I got to grow up here and enjoy that peace after a wave of mid-50s immigration only because I, like so many others, was born of parents who got to move here from so many lands. I think of Canada as an expression of the success of the Empire in its tolerance and diversity of people who came to be Canadian five decades ago. Inclusion – of a sort – has been part of the nature of Canada even back to the first British Empire and the centuries of success of the Quebec Act and protection for that part of the culture; similarly, the First Nations were protected by the Empire’s Royal Proclamation of 1761 though with less success and respect. We have our lost gratitude for people like those who fought at Quebec in 1755 against the American invasion, and like Molly Brant whose force of thousands of Loyalist Mohawks basically kept Upper Canada from the British from the 1780s right through to the Rebellions of 1837 when Tyendinaga’s again joined in the militia at Kingston. If it were not for the choice and the bravery of the followers of the Brants who came north after the American Revolution, it is likely Canada would not go past Montreal these days. We owe both recognition and debt to all these parts of our community. We repay that through continuing acceptance and justice…or at least we should. But we fail and we get sidetracked, too. Some now even disparage our multicultural society but then compare Canada with the recent experience in France:

Amin Kouidri, 20, has been hunting for a job for more than two years now and spends his days drifting around a government housing project here under the watchful gaze of France’s national police. He and his neighbors in one of France’s now-notorious housing projects say that they feel cut off from French society, a result of a process of segregation lasting for decades, and that alienation and pressure from the police have now exploded in rage across the country.

I don’t recognize this – even though my children go to school with kids unlike them in language, holidays, habits. I don’t recognize it because it does not exist here despite both the hyperventilating of some and some real uglinesses. In the school near here everyone’s experience is celebrated – even those of our vets. This year the Remembrance Day events in that small elementary school were far more elaborate than anything I recall. Maybe we have learned something from the Dutch who came here in such numbers in the 50s, something about remembering and respecting. Maybe we lose that when we become adult and maybe we have problems needing resolution but I know I don’t recognize that rage in another country. I can tell the difference.

re3I am also lucky that I live in Kingston with its legacy of confederation world all around us as well as our memorials the those who sacrificed to give us the world we have today. Throughout this post I have placed photos of the stained glass in Kingston’s City Hall that was dedicated to remembrance of all who worked and fought for the country in the First World War. Click on the images for a larger view. It is hard to place ourselves in the minds of those who fought fascism in WWII and harder to conceive of the thoughts in the trenches in WWI. It is safe to say, however, that didn’t fight for may of the things any of the things we argue over now. They did not fight for the libertarianism of I, me, mine. Likewise there is likely not much Trudeaumania and what followed on their minds: large deficits rung up by gutless Grits and Tories from the 60s to the 90s. They fought for their community, their friends, their home – a common belief in something right – and their efforts, despite Somilia, for that “something right” have continued in Korea, in the first Gulf War, in the Medak Pocket, with our jets over Belgrade and now with JTF2 in Afganistan. Don’t get me wrong – Canada is still really stunned sometimes like this, too:

Clifton Wenzel flew almost 50 combat missions during the Second World War and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Force Cross. But, in spite of his record, he was told when he left the service he didn’t qualify for a pension.

re4But it has always been so. There is a lot not to look back on with respect. The past was when women had no vote, segregation in Canada was normal and the state insensibly intervened with prohibition and censorship. Kids, like one of the great Canadian broadcaster Gordon Sinclair, died unable to afford the doctor. After the First World War, many of those that fought came home to fight in social equity and social programs for health care and other forms of relief expanded. After the WWII, the common practice of excluding people from services and accomodation based on religion or race was no longer accepted and the first human rights codes came into law. Conservative Prime Minister Diefenbacker joined the 1960s civil rights movement with our Bill of Rights. The bar was raised further in the early 80s when all provincial governments, but for the then separatist leaders of Quebec, came from across the spectrum and signed on to entrenchment of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in our constitution. The economic miracle of the 20th century coincided with the movement from protection of the interests of the strong to rights for all under the hybrid of social democracy and free market capitalism we enjoy today. Those are the things we can claim as the legacy of the past, too, and the Red Ensign is a great expression of that diversity, that progress, that fight. That is why I like it so much. That old flag with a fish on it…or Jerome the giraffe.

Here is the review of the Red Ensign Bloggers for 7 to 21 November 2005. You will see that I note the references to posts about Remembrance Day, something our glorious leader considers critical. Silence on the event is also noted, usually in kind:

A Chick Named Marzi has been having some web issues over the weekend. She expresses some unhappiness with the down side of sharing your views on the web, being swamped with disagreeable emails and regrets the loss of Martha Stewart’s version of The Apprentice.

Abraca-Pocus! honoured Remembrance Day and Veterans Day and her Uncle Eddy. She also raises the fearful spectre of yet another generation – Generation C.

Absinthe & Cookies honoured Remembrance Day and gave Mexican Food a go.

Albion’s Seedlings proposed a theory for an Anglosphere Blog but has serious troubles understanding Canada in a can’t let go of the failed control of Empire sort of way yet…and missed Remembrance Day.

At All AgitProp, all the Time…there has been little time to blog as he has very busy.

Angry in the Great White North has been…angry: he is shocked at treatment of veterans with VIA rail housing them in a barracks; shocked at the Prime Minister skipping the Commonwealth Conference; and shocked at Paul Martin not understanding that the election he wants called falls in Easter. I should read the angry man more often as, while true to his name, he is picking up stories others don’t.

Anthroblogogy is written by an ex-pat in USA with a love of ammo who celebrated National Ammo Day and and speaks of these little shining objects as one might speak of fine cigars or wine. He remembered Armistice Day and Veterans Day.

John at Castle Argghhh! is the Master of Ammo and none of that sissy small arms stuff like at Anthroblogogy. Cannons roar at the Castle Argghhh! He held an excellent discussion followed his consideration of the role of the military chaplain, provided the most comprehensive round-up of Remembrance Day and Veteran’s Day Observations and invited us all to Fort Leavenworth because someone else was buying the wine and cheese. Jon is one of my favorite reads, a daily stop and the unofficial ethical guide for the Red Ensigns.

Asiapundit. Ah, Myrick. The man with two places on the Red Ensign blogroll. Asiapundit is a great blog about another place – Asia. While there was no Remembrance Day post, he did pay two days of silen homage on the 11th and 12th. He has documented the chinese sign war against terrorism and has documented the effect of China’s blocking of blogs. He has also unfortunately provided my mind with the image of a skeletal Hello Kitty.

Ah, Damien of Babbling Brooks – a venerable if battle worn blogger, Damien has posted twice in the last two weeks. He is rightly upset at the state of procurement for Canada’s military and honours Remembrance Day.

At Blue Perspective, there were Remembrance Day poppies and lets loose the rumour that the Tories might cut GST.

Blue Tory honoured Remembrance Day honoured with Flanders Fields as well as “It is the Soldier”. While lots of news about the impending election from a Conservative perspective as you might expect from the name, Blue Tory has the grace to not slide into the sort of sweary mary talk. It must be the good influence of the NDP working its magic. A welcome voice from a different view than mine and his blog picture shows him in a grey dress shirt with a grey tie – something entirely 1983.

Unsettling cosmic news as Bound by Gravity is bound no more – Andrew quit blogging on 9 November.

On Remembrance Day, BumfOnline did a great job giving information on where one might shor respect in Calgary. A good reminder that blogs can actually provide information rather than repeat the opinions of strangers.

Canadian Comment did not post in the last two weeks and missed Remembrance Day as a result.

At Canadianna’s Place, for Remembrance Day, someone who refuses to wear the poppy was roundly taken on in a very good if fisky post. Otherise it is all election and the problems the Tories are facing positioning themselves. Good reflective posts from a conservative supporter.

Chris Cam missed Remembrance Day but he is dealing with and sharing the problems of being a working parent who travels. Plus he is a Red Sox fan. Good personal writing.

Conservative Canadienne honoured Remembrance Day with some interesting historical photographs and also addressed that unmentionable guy’s argument against wearing the poppy. He also looks forward to a fiscal plan from the Conservative Party.

Darcey of Dust My Broom is one of those prolific daily bloggers that give blogging a good name. Like Castle Argghhh! he ran a massive round up of Remembrance Day posts and featured the Red Ensign from Vimy. He covers the little discussed topic of aboriginal politics from a western Canadian view well. He provides a glimpse of things to come in his post Winterpeg.

ESR | Musings…did not cover Remembrance Day and mainly covers US politics as well as NFL on Mondays.

Here at Gen X at 40 the usual brilliant if pointless fare. I covered Remembrance Day with a couple of photos of one naval vet waiting for the ceremony to begin. The map of the global Gen X 40 Nation was created along with one for the sister station at A Good Beer Blog. So far beer is winning. Was there any doubt? The idea of a creating your own GUIs with a pen interface caught the nerd in me.

Remembrance Day was honoured at Grandinite with a personal essay on its importance. He also wishes Harper would get the guts to force the call of the election.

Hammer into Anvil wonders where the civil rights marches went as a means of protest.

Italics Mine is run by cartoonist Blair Hansen who has run into a bit of a wall getting them published other than on his web site. He notes that Ottawa is much colder than Afghanistan and actually argues about a position in relation to softwood lumber, a massive dispute which numbs my mind.

At John Murney’s Blog there is a guy called John Murney writing a blog. He actually has nice and genuine things to say about Shania getting the Order of Canada. He honoured Remembrance Day with observations on the last five WWI vets

John The Mad honoured Remembrance Day by republishing the eulogy of Canada’s Unknown Soldier from May 2000, pondered burnings in effigy and celebrated his first blogoversary by giving the Anglicans the gears about their treatment of Isaac.

Glenda of Just Between Us Girls recalls the letters from war in a really great Remembrance Day post, shares her version of the “I Am Canadian” speech and shares and writes a quite a good piece on abortion. A blogger to watch.

Minority of One has not published since October 14th

At M.K.Braaten, it is all about the coming election with posts about the mini-budget, the reasons to not call an election and Alberta’s western separatism movement. What do these people in the west of Alberta want anyway?

At Musing, the fact that there are only 50 US and five Canadian WWI vets left was a source of sadness, neatly distinguishes between true libertarians and high school goofballs and discusses a number of US political issues.

Musings of a Canadian Slacker, true to the name, last posted on October 30th and before that not since May.

Myrick, the man behind Asiapundit, has not posted to his own site since 12 October.

Quotulatiousness, run by Brigadier #3 in a three-man Brigadier relay team, has been cutting and pasting like a mad man. He loves Lee Valley Tools, the land of hardware porn, shares the humour over Open Source Media and, dry witted man that his is, actually quoted from Mark Steyn. I had to tape me ribs. What a wag! Nicholas remembered the vets in his own family for Remembrance Day.

The Raging Ranter has not raged since October.

The Ravishing Light has been dim since mid-October.

Rhetoricking with Myself, in a three post return to blogging after two months off, did not post on Remembrance Day but did chide Forbes magazine for noting blogs are pretty much bad and then disses the “new” Macleans, a Canadian magazine apparently delivered to dentist offices two months after publication. Very post-magazinist views.

Rightjab has come back from the Arctic Island where he was stranded since June to write one triff post on the Federal election (which surely must be coming if all the bloggers are talking about it) on the point that polls must be wrong as he has never been polled. This is a good point. I was polled on salad dressings and health care once. I am in favour of each.

Robot Guy has a 1970s-esque web site design going for him which is weird as the web only came into being about 15 years ago. There is something very Space 1999 about it. He a post about the Moons of Saturn, he plays sudoku right in front of your eyes but syndicated “Day to Day” which I cannot bear – though this is about one-third notch less bad than making me feel flayed like it used to before I made fun of it at Castle Argghhh! His coverage of the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System makes up for it. He honoured Remembrance Day with Flanders Fields.

Update: Ed, the Robot Guy himself, asked me:

Could I get you to link to the monster sudoku here rather than the more mundane Thursday version?

There you have it. You know I had no idea there were grades of sudoku (not knowing even what sudoku is) but I am glad to hear there is monster sudoku which reminds me of this treasured recolection from childhood. I think Giant Robot took on the Monster Sudoku in episode 5 of season 3.That is the update…back to the past with you!

Ruth of RootleWeb sent me a largenumberof links on The Belgic Confession: Article 36and a wingy movie called “The Monstrous Regiment of Women” which I am sure not to ever see, especially now. In politics, Ruth covered the PQ Leadership race, the Big Brother Law, ElectionTiming, and the new Jack Laytonese, a language now audible to conservatives in Canada. Ruth honoured Remembrance Day.Cheery old intern Jay at the Shiny Happy Gulag came out of the forced labour camp for his first post since September on topic of a quote gnostic societies. No, I am not sure either.

Skeet Skeet Skeet has been AWOL since June and will likely be asked to leave the Red Ensigns…if anyone can find him.

Stephen Taylor is simply the man. I can say this because I have met him but unlike every other Red Ensign blogger I have met, I did not have beer with him. He rightly honoured Remembrance Day with a field of poppies. He does most things rightly, come to think of it. He announced the sad – nay, tragic – news that Paddy Binns, the premier of PEI, might run for his old Federal seat currently held by a stick painted red or some other stalwart of the Big Red Machine. He questions the polling methodology of the Liberals…yet stays quiet on the whole issue of why Rightjabman has never been polled. I know Monty knows, Steve knows Monty and now I want to know, too.

Striving Against Opposition stopped doing so mid-October.

Taylor & Company sounds like the name of either a men’s clothing shop or a high-end coffee shop. It is neither. Unlike Mr. Taylor supra, I allowed Chris (aka “Mr. T” or “T is for Taylor not t-totaller”) to sup ale with me and even to share a cab. He is decency itself. His Remembrance Day post (like mine…and damn few like us, I say) was an actual bit of citizen journalism with photos of many units present at the cenotaph at Old City Hall in Toronto. I think he is tempted to start A Good Scotch Blog.

The Conservative Hipster wrote an exceptionally good piece in the form of letter to our vets for Remembrance Day, notes the case of Darth v. Trump and ponders the Ontario voter in…oh, my…there appears to be an impending Federal election. Who knew?

The Freeway To Serfdom missed honouring Remembrance Day but contemplates the coming winter in Canada rather nicely. He speaks of being a bookish introvert. I think he is tired of talk about the impending election. I like him already.

[Ed.: At this point I would like to note one thing – holy freakin’ moly – this is takes lot of reading. I wonder if anyone else in the few left below will write something about…ummm…the timing of the impending Federal election.]

The Green Baron was displaced by Hurricane Katrina, suffered an engagement break-up and reinlisted in the US Army and as a result did not post from the end of August until Remembrance Day. Wow. No disrespect at all to the green one…but all I did in that time was put on some weight and blow my hockey pool picks. He is also quite, and quite uniquely, unkind to France.

The High Places did a great round up of Remembrance Day posts from the blogging Tories, that other more successful blogroll that we secretly envy and despise…unless we are on it. He ponders an interpretation in Lego brick of the greatest story ever told. He also takes a bash at the Vancouver civic election as well as the Surrey Civic Election. I like municipal politics and blogging except I can’t do it. And he discusses some panicking Tories in light of the…impending Federal election.

The London Fog is mostly about blogging municipal politics…but as it is 10:10 pm Saturday I will leave it to that for now and seek out a small jug of modestly priced but reasonably made medium oloroso to drive out the thoughts of the impending Federal election…

OK – let’s try that again. The London Fog is mostly about blogging municipal politics but takes a moment to recall Remembrance Day in the oddest way of all the Red Ensigns with a story relating how he can sympathize with vets providing recreational drugs for their pets. Other than that there are stories on or about issues surrounding what I am now referring to as the “IFE” including the cat who came back and the economic plan of the Grits all with a decidedly anti-Uncle-Joe slant. On the municipal scene, it’s all about the sewers.

The Meatriarchy shares my Atlantic Canadian shock at the failure to make Remembrance Day a public day of respect. He is also deeply involved with the War in Iraq and the War on Terror. Open Source Media makes him wonder about his own irrelevance. I need no such catalyst to consider mine.

The authors of the Monarchist honourRemembranceDay. They recall the day in 1975 that the Australian Governor-General did…something. [Ed.: sorry, I will be kind. Better put that another way.] One author lusts after my title of Esq., a bauble of my advancement to the bar. Aside from the royalist content, the Monarchists is a good read.

Victor at the Phantom Observer has a great post on why he marched on Remembrance Day.He also reviews the review by The Globe and Mail of the review of the 100 best Canadian books published by the Literary Review of Canada. Victor also goes after Federal Minister of Indian Affairs, Andy Scott and his actions or lack thereof in relation to Keeseekoose.

[Ed.: three to go.]

Tipperography has not posted since October 26th. That one was easy.

Toronto Tory missed Remembrance Day but took the time to mention a special someone lying to YOU in relation to the “IFE”. And then he pointed out that someone was LYING TO YOU in relation to the “IFE”.

I am very happy to conclude this review by reporting that West Coast Chaos included a great post about an interview of WWII vet Dave Harvard of Hazelton, BC. In another post on a particular issue of Smither’s municipal politics, WCC says no to saving the pool. I like the way WCC covers local news and only wish there were more posts. And not one reference to the “IFE”. Thank you. Thank you.

There you are. Another 26th of a year encapsulated. I am certain I missed no one because I used the blogroll and if someone is missing from the blogroll it is…my fault as I maintain the blog roll along with Ruth and Victor. The job of preparing the Red Ensign Standard was both much longer and more interesting than I thought it would be. These have been interesting times with the group to the point that even calling it a group and acting like a group is a challenge. It is my hope that members will reassert themselves a club of people who are interested in good web writing, regular web writing and the analysis of events from a Canadian perspective or awareness that includes respect for and understanding of the traditions which have and continue to make this a great country.

Below is a list of previous issues of the Red Ensign Standard. Some of the links may be dead as some members have signed off over the year and a half since this project began. Others have left the group through the sorts of finger-pointing schisms that only traditionalists can pull off. In each Standard you will, however, find that particular member’s take on the group and its meaning.

Castle Argghhh

Raging Kraut

The Last Amazon


Tiger in Winter (now blogging at Tiger in Exile)

Taylor and Company


Bound By Gravity

Dust My Broom

Ravishing Light

Babbling Brooks


Freeway to Serfdom

Nathan’s Updates From Seoul

Striving Against Opposition

The Phantom Observer



Turning 30 and a half

Canadian Comment

London Fog

The Monarchist

West Coast Chaos

A Chick Named Marzi

Raging Kraut

Robot Guy

The High Places

The Last Amazon

Robot Guy



One last thing. The next issue will be hosted by…who knows?. Contact “He Who Must Be Obeyed” Nicholas the Brigadier at his email address.

Now Linked at the ubercarnival.

Knut Travels South to Freising, Bavaria

Freising, Bavaria, Germany. A quiet little town dozing on a crisp Sunday morning, an excellent place for a stroll – and a few beers. Why Freising? For a beer lover, it has the obvious advantage of being the home of Weihenstephan, which claims to be the oldest brewery in the world, and that obviously makes it stand out from other Bavarian towns. Combine this with it being just off the runway of Munich international airport, and it really makes sense. So, if you have a few hours in transit, go straight for the arrivals hall and look for the sign pointing you to buses. Bus 635 takes you to the Freising railway station in 20 minutes, and it runs all day.

First a stroll through the largely empty streets. The cathedral dominates the highest hill, with views of the rural landscape surrounding you like those shown above. Click for a bigger version of the view. There is surprisingly little noise from the airport, more some from the church bells. Downhill again, zigzagging through the old town with picturesque homes and shops that look pricey, but, this being Germany, they are all closed on Sunday. I enter the main square, and the sun is warm enough to stop at a café with tables outside and where the sign tell me I can have a glass of Franziskaner Weisse. The waiter promptly bring me this, and I sip my beer enjoying the Sunday quietness. The beer, an unfiltered hefe, is a proper representative of its kind, no doubt about that, and it tastes good. Still, it lacks some bitterness and freshness that I seem to recall from the bottled version. It is one of Roger Protz 300 beers, but I don’t know if it deserves such a rating. There is a church next to the main square, with the sounds of music from the organ and the congregation singing their hymns drifting out to me and a few other customers not attending the service. (I believe there are others inside the café having brunch, too.) A plaque on the church wall commemorates the heroes of Freising from World War I. (Well, Norway was neutral in WWI, so we don’t have much to boast about!) I fish out my book (the new one by PD James, bought on the airport that morning), and order a Spaten Helles, also in the Protz book. I go for a small one, as I feel I should have some lunch soon. This beer is not a beer to die for, a rather flat and boring brew. It may be the victim of the 7 minute law, so I will try the bottled version if the occasion arises.

I ask for the bill (amazingly I’ve managed to get by using my rusty school German), and aim for the Weihestephan brewery, which is well signposted. This is a brisk walk uphill again, past a beer garden closed down for the winter and through parts of Weihestephan Technical College – the brewery is a part of this complex. On a Sunday, the brewery is closed, but I aim for the brewery tap, which is bustling at lunchtime. I find a seat in a vaulted cellar, and order a Hefe Weisse, which is much better than the one I had earlier. Properly served, and nice to sip while I study the old fashioned menu, heavy on roasted dishes. I go for the Brewer’s Plate, which include sauerkraut, roast pork, smoked pork, potato dumplings, liver dumplings and deep fried onion rings. With beer gravy. I finish with a draft pils, which is the best beer of the day. A very aromatic beer, as far removed from Becks and its clones as possible. Lots of taste from both the malt and the hops. Lovely.

I have to get back, but not before buying a souvenir pack of 6 of their beers to take home. I even bought a bottle of beer liquor especially made for the restaurant. Have your tasted it, sir, enquires the barman when I ask for it. I tell him no, and he kindly pours me a shot. It does not taste of beer at all – a very sweet drink which reminds me of a coffee liquor. But now I have to hurry. A 15 minute walk back to the station, hop on the bus – and I am soon back in the crowd of Flughafen Franz-Josef-Strauss again. I doze off as soon as I sit down in my airplane seat.

Next stop: Bratislava

Not The Cover Of The Rolling Stone

So there I am, in the last paragraph 14th story in The New York Times, Business Section, Media and Advertising page, web edition index at 6:37 am Monday morning with the precious URL, all live and linky:

No seized web site or anything. No referrers yet as I can see. Oh well. Wait for the entire workforce of New York City to get to work and turn on their computers to slack off for the morning by flipping through the web edition, I suppose…

It was an interesting process being interviewed via email by the reporter who has lots of web industry writing experience but not a homebrewer or anything. She noticed this post I made January on the nutty idea of an “open source beer”. Too bad they did not use the full quote – which I thought was really helpful – but, true, would have needed a separate section:

I have not tried the but think from what is provided that I would not like to try to make it or drink it. Making the beer would be difficult for most homebrewers given the volumes provided. Most homebrewers brew in lots of 20 litre or perhaps double that but an 80 litre boil as required in this recipe would find the brewer facing over 200 pounds of boiling sticky sugar syrup needing transferring by the brewer, a near impossible task in the average kitchen. By contrast, even the small end of the microbrewing scene expects an entry point at the 5 or 7 barrel scale of brewery. One barrel of beer is about 170 litres. Here is some information from the brewery manufacturer DME: which may help understand the scale: So it is unclear for whom this scale of recipe is devised. Recipes can be scaled up or down but you might want to start with a point that is useful – or even safe – for one type of brewer or another.

That being said, there are issues with the ingredients, too. Beer is basically made of four things: water, yeast, hops and malt. In this recipe, there is detail provided about only hops and malt. As a result, it the same ingredients were used and made with the soft water of Dublin or the hard water of Burton-upon-Trent, England, the resulting products would be very different. These effects can be reproduced by adding water treatments which mimic one location or another. But without any guidance as to water quality, there is a great deal of variation left to the imagination of the brewer. The same is the case of the yeast. The recipe does not tell us whether it is lager yeast or ale yeast, the two general hemispheres of the beer world. Further, it does not state which of sub-type might be used. Consider this web page of a homebrew supplier which offers 33 ale yeasts and 16 for lager, aside from the 18 for the specialized wheat and Belgian styles of beer: Selection among these yeasts will greatly affect the outcome of the brewing process. But no guidance is given.

Where there is some guidance, we are still uncertain. We are told that “1 kg of caramel malt” is required. That usually defines a class of malts with a sugary aspect but they differ in the taste they impart according, among other factors, to the degree they are roasted. As a result, a pale crystal malt may give a slight nuttiness to a beer where a dark one provides a strong raisiny flavour. Just saying “caramel malt” in not specific enough. Similarly, the recipe includes 4 kg of sugar but we are not told if it is corn or cane, light yellow or dark demarara or even whether Belgian candi sugar is to be used. Sugar is not sugar is not sugar.

So in the end it is very difficult to determine what a brewer might do with the recipe as it is really only part of a recipe. If you take the information provided and run it through a popular beer recipe calculator used by homebrewers for planning you get a beer which is somewhat pale and normal strength at 5.2% but a bit cloying due to the moderate hops and likely richness of some residual sugars. It would also have no to very rich yeastiness with anything from a slight nuttiness to a strong raisin flavour. Here are the results from when I ran the test: Except for the odd ingredient “300 g Guarana beans” this could be half the beers I have ever encountered depending on how the unstated variables are addressed by the particular brewer. It is interesting to note that guarana bean is included in the new Budweiser product, B-to-the-E: this author does not find that product very pleasant:

I do go on, don’t I.

Who Are You?

Any lurkers want to speak up? This is going to be another banner month here with about 9500 unique visitors and about 43,000 visits. About 26,000 of those visits are via RSS which I think means you are using an aggregator to read this – meaning you chose the site rather than stumbled on it. I still figure about 85000 of the uniques are search engine visits, maybe one timers, like those confused guys from the White House who show up looking for the results of seaching Google for “Kerry policies” which for reasons entirely beyond me Lord Goog places me today at #2.¹

Anyway, who are you? You who choose this place, whose statistical relevence keeps me interested in getting up an hour earlier weekdays to blab about something. Really, other than Hans…are you all connected to Heuvelton, too? What really kills me about google is I am #10 for “Heuvelton blog” but #2 for “kerry policies”. Please consider this when you push the value on the stockmarket to greater than Ford and GM combined. Please consider the meaning of bubble.

Five Hundred

Five hundred posts in around nine months. I received my congratulatory prizes from Portland the other day: a T-shirt from a deep sea fishing outfit from California and a wind-up radio that includes a warning not to wind up until the batteries have had 5 hours charge from a 12 volt adapter (not included). So in honour of the passage of time a side-by-side shot to the southwest from the dome.

Two images of the same view mid-19th century and early 21st


I noticed the older photo down a hallway at work, a view from the dome of City Hall which I have twinned with one of my own from a couple of weeks ago. According to the St. George’s Cathedral history, the older photo must be from between 1838 and 1862 as you can see the second larger dome built in the latter year is not present. So it is around 150 years older than my shot from the other day. The church’s predecessor, more on the actual market square the row of houses to the bottom of each photo face, is the location of the declaration of government in Ontario in 1792:

John Stuart, “Father of the Anglican Church in Upper Canada”, was the Rector. On July 8th, Lieutenant Governor John Simcoe, standing on the steps of St. George’s Church, took “the required oaths” of office and read the Royal Commissions, thus connecting St. George’s with the beginnings of provincial government in Ontario.

The actual date of the first European settlement in Kingston was 1673 by the French at Fort Frontenac. La Salle, the great explorer [after whom a car was named and referenced in the All in the Family theme sung by Archie and Edith Bunker] was the first seigneur and used the fort as a base for his explorations into the interior..which did not turn out all rosy. In 1758 Fort Frontenac was taken by the English. Ransacked and abandoned, it remained unoccupied for the next 25 years. [An interactive map of the entire St. Lawrence area starting with Fort Frontenac in the west from 1776 is here.] In 1783, Major Samuel Holland was sent to survey the condition of the fort, and in the same year temporary barrack facilities were constucted. Sammy is well known in PEI as its first surveyor (though it was only a part of his larger works) and the briefly celebrated namesake of Samuel Holland Institute of Technology (a joke since at least 1993 – scroll down page) which was soon renamed Holland Collage.