28 February 2006
Oh, Hoegaarden, you sexy vixen, how you tease me with your vanilla taste. You are the master of all white bierres... you have me beguiled. You are les etoilles dans le ciel... la monde dans mes reves... ok, this is a bit much, but, you are Les Jardin de Mes Putes!!!
The Hoegaarden history is similar to so many Belgian and French abbey or trappist beers. In this case it began in the 1445 in the Flemish town of the same name in the wheat growing district of Brabant, east of Brussels, by monks (Naturally!) who by chance discovered this “new” white (wheat) beer style which enjoyed great popularity for many centuries. Ultimately two world wars and the emergence of the European mega-swill lager breweries saw the demise of the traditional white beer in 1957. In 1966 a Belgian milkman by the name of Pierre Celis together with some friends and family resurrected the style and opened a farmhouse brewery producing 350 hectolitres a year, this quickly grew to a peak of 75,000 hectolitres in 1985 when a fire destroyed the brewery. In order to rebuild a significant amount of financial help was required, enter Interbrew, a mega European conglomerate brewer with mega bucks (or Euros) to throw at the project. In 1987 Pierre Culis sold out and by 1997 Interbrew had driven production to 855,000 hectolitres, (that’s 855,000,000 litres or 300 Billion pots of Hoegaarden!), per annum!”Brewed with malted or unmalted wheat, wits are usually flavoured with crushed coriander and orange peel, and are typically cloudy, hopped with noble hop varieties to achieve a low to medium bitterness and flavour and are usually quite dry with a low to medium body.
Je t'aime mes Jardins de Hoes...
27 February 2006
23 February 2006
The Olympics are always a favorite of mine, and more specifically the Winter Olympics. Most people I talk to, they're more annoyed by them than anything. Perhaps it's my early childhood upbringing to be attracted to snowy sports, but I was totally one of the kids who was tens times active in the winter. Bombass snowstorms, kicking Thundertubes, crystalized snot... I am truly a New England child.
But I wanted a chance to list my favorite Olympic sports. Curling, Short Track Speed Skating Relay, and Biathalon. They're just odd enough, but alluring in that it takes acute interest and precision skill to be the best. Curling and Biathalon are also great because it's the sports where you don't have to be a crazed teenaged monkey freak to be the best. They're sports of maturity. Oh, and curling is totally like Ice Bocce! What's not to love? So, after I type this... I'm picking up the mp3 player, putting on the sneakers, and running that full mile with sweet aspirations of being the best Olympic tv watcher EVER.
20 February 2006
Oh Boddington's... how I have grown to love you. But... what is a Bitter? How can I love you, and not know who you are? So, here's what I have discovered about you, my yellow friend:
Bitter is an English specialty, and very much an English term, generally denoting the standard ale--the "session" beer --in a English brewers range. They are characterized by a fruitiness, light to medium body and an accent on hop aromas more than hop bitters. Colors range from golden to copper. Despite the name they are not particularly bitter. Indeed, British brewed "bitters" will often be less bitter than US craft brewed amber ales. A fuller bodied bitter is labeled as "Extra Special Bitter" (ESB). These weightier versions of bitter often stand up better to the rigors of travel overseas than the lower gravity standard versions. An important element of faithful bitters are English yeast cultures used in fermentation. These impart a fruity, mildly estery character that should be noted in examples of the style. Bitters are now widely emulated in North America, sometimes with domestically grown hops imparting a rather more assertive character than seen in traditional English bitters.
What I do certainly know... no one will steal you away from me... if they do, they'll get a belt in the gob. So HAINDS off!
18 February 2006
Thought I would share a few images from the last book I just completed, Fiona's Luck. As always, upon finishing a book, an odd sense of accomplishment and depression hit. Depression because looking at the small things you wish you had one more month to finish. But, all in all, glad to have her out of the house. That girl never even offered to pay rent. What a rat.
17 February 2006
So, through the persuasion of friends, I joined the "cool club" and started one of these monsters. I am so sorry for anyone wasting their time reading any of this. I think it will be a gross mix of aht and boozey writing, unfortunately. Maybe I should start it off with a nice cheap bottle of Vihno Verde? Eh? $5.99 special at Doug's?