Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Beer Update

It's been a while since I tried your collective patience with a beer post. Lately, my Irritant-Topic of Choice has been Teh Who, hasn't it? But I've bludgeoned you over the head with them enough lately, don't you think? So now it's time to post regarding something else most of you care equally little about, viz., beer.

As many of you know, I like beer. Um ... perhaps "like" is not a strong enough term. But I'll keep it at "like" because I prefer to play hard to get with beer.

O, who am I kidding! Beer knows I am a total whoo-wer for it and would do whatever it asked. What's that, beer? Lap you up like a dog while wearing a spiked collar, you say? O, beer! You had me at "lap"1!

Anyroad, for my birthday, Teh 'Bride got me a subscription to this magazine called Beer Traveler. I have been busy of late and have not had a chance to peruse it, and already I've received two issues, so this morning I grabbed Issue One and started reading a random article — which turned out to be "Travel By Style: Making your way around the world with the help of beer2".

The article starts off with the city of Munich (whose name, incidentally and relevantly — wait and you'll see why — is derived from an Old German word for "monk") and talks about Doppelbock beer. It seems this style was created by the Paulaner monks to sustain them during Advent and Lent when they were, by directive of their particular Order, restricted to a liquid diet3. And but so, the beer was very hardy and did its job keeping those pudgy baldy-heads alive, but the monks, being Catholic and therefore all I'm Not Worthy of Such A Good Thing Especially During Lent When I Should Be Wearing a Hair Shirt And Being Kicked Regularly in Teh N*ts@ck, were concerned that the beer was too good and therefore necessarily sinful.

So what's a monk to do?

Well they sent a cask to Teh Pope, who always gets his cut anyway, to get his take on the beer. Would he give his blessing? or was the beer too worldly and self-indulgent?

But it seems the cask took awhile to get Popewards and all the doppelbock-y goodness pretty much leached away on the trip. So the Pope gets the cask, takes a sip, and sez, "You guys were worried about this piss being too good? Pffftt! Tastes like fucking Budweiser! Go ahead — drink all you want. In heaven there is no beer — but in hell, I'll bet there's just tons of this shit!"4

And that is why Teh Pope is infallible only on questions of faith and morals, but not on questions of beer, because, historically, the Popes have been a bit fucktarded on the issue of beer, although this Ratzinger dude looks like he's hoisted a few in his day.

I also learned from this article that Vienna beers are called Wiener beers. O, beer! Why must you humiliate me by making me admit publicly that I would gladly drink a good, stiff Wiener?
But the Pope is not the only one who fucks up where beer is concerned. Because there's also — WAIT FOR IT!1! — ... me. Yes, me, Glaven Quetzalcoatl Heisenberg.

You see, the place I order my beer supplies from, Midwest Supplies, recently changed their web site. And so a few weeks ago, I realized I was running low on beer, so I went there to order a couple-three kits.

But because of the new site design, I couldn't find the malted-grain kits right off and I ended up accidentally ordering kits that are all-grain ... meaning the grain has not yet been malted. I didn't even realize this until the kits arrived. I open the first one and I'm thinking What the ...? And I see it's all grain, and I'm thinking they, the place, fucked the order up.

But then all three turned out to be entirely unmalted grain, and it dawns on me that there's definitely been a fuck-up, all right, but I'm starting to suspect the person responsible for it lives closer to home. In fact ... he's in the house right now!1! RUN!1! BUT SAVE TEH BEER!1!1!!!!1

Now, some home brewers are hardcore enough to malt their own grains, but I'm not. I wouldn't even know where to begin with that.

So I called the place and asked if I could return the grains. It was worth a shot. Grains are perishable, though, so there was, understandably, a No Returns policy on them. But the guy said he could send me the malt for those same kits, since all the other stuff - the yeast, the hops, etc. - was still good.

Of course, by this time, I'd already re-ordered three malt kits.

So I ended up with SIX kits ... but with brewing equipment sufficient to brew only THREE at a time. I've brewed up two already and hope to get a third done before we leave on vacation in two days.

Then, when those three are bottled, I'll have to set aside a day for an all-day brew-a-thon.

Luckily, I'll have enough beer ready to get me through the ordeal.
1 Teh Lap being also teh site of the n*ts@ck, is why.

2 O, Beer! Now you are my navigator? Is there anything you can't do?

3 Which, whilst harsh, is better than a Diet of Worms.

4 Direct quote. Less shocking when you realize this is, after all, Pope Pottymouth II we're talking about here. Originally, he was going to be named Pope Benedict, but every time they tried to call him that he ended up getting all Beavis-y and saying, "Heh-heh! You said, 'dicked'!"


  1. In the list of my peculiarities there's: lived under the Rule of St. Benedict for 3 years (that should cause some head-shaking in the blogosphere). I've never heard of an edict about a liquid diet, but monks were required to limit themselves to a bottle of wine per day (a bottle being about 12-16 ounces) and "a little less" during Lent. Beer producing areas necessarily upped the alcohol content to be able to compete with wines... and making me get all misty-eyed in the presence of a Belgian Abbey ale.

    Paulaner's Salvator is certainly a good beer, but not one of my favorites from Germany. The Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest - now that's BEER!

  2. @SQ: Keep the tidbits coming, you monastic joke-writing fudge-making ultrarunning fashionista (I know I've missed a few). Fascinating.

    @GP: So how on earth are you going to get your hands on this brew that had the monks fearful for their salvation? The beer would suffer the same fate as the Pope's batch if you're sending into Joisey.

  3. Um, HELLO! We have tons of beer here in the Pac NW! As opposed to the tons of beer we had in Colorado. And it's supposedly ALL GOOD. Beer's too bubbly for me, but the husband enjoys every last drop. Mac and Jack, Boundary Bay, and a whole slew of other brews of which I don't know the names.

    And now that we're in a cramped, noisy apartment, the husband can't do any home brewing of his own. It's all in storage. I WIN!

    Anyway, happy brewing.

  4. Beer is ok, especially in the summer. But I don't drink enough to make it worth it to make it. Wine now....

    As I recall, one of the reasons beer and wine were so popular during the middle ages was that it was dangerous to drink water.

  5. I will gladly read 3 posts on The Who to avoid one on homebrewing.

    @SQ: It was not a religious choice, you were pining for me, admit it. :)

    My best friend (the one with the "not a brain tumor") was a Born Again Christian for a hot minute (all for a dude of course, what the fuck is wrong with us women?) I know you all do not know her, but that little tidbit convinced me to not be shocked by anyone's past.