Sunday Summary for 26 September 2021, or, links to what I’ve been writing lately


I seem to have settled on biweekly writing updates, which serve the purpose well enough. The aim is unchanged: an every-other-Sunday compendium of links here at the web site, these directing you to recent writings of mine published elsewhere which strike me as noteworthy. Most links will be to Food & Dining Magazine or the Pints&union Beer Blog, but there occasionally might be others.

Today’s cover photo was taken in 2000 in Pamplona, Spain during the annual Fiesta de San Fermin. I’m with my cousin, Donald Barry, and we’re drinking in the street because that’s what you do during the festival. 

Recent posts, from newest to oldest:

Edibles & Potables: “What kind of fast food place runs out of fries?”: “The current resiliency gap in America’s economic system isn’t an unexpected bolt from the sky; rather, it represents a series of choices made over a period of time. Spoiler alert: there exist different choices.”

Our German ales: Schneider’s unique Aventinus Weizen Doppelbock: “To brew a wheat bock, merely replace a portion of the barley with wheat and use an ale yeast at warmer temperatures. The result is an essential hybrid style; dark, strong, malty, fruity and with more effervescence than a typical lager.”

Our German ales: Schneider Weisse exemplifies Bavarian-style Hefe-Weizen: “The flavors and aromas associated with the classic Bavarian-style wheat ales like Schneider, Paulaner and Weihenstephaner come almost entirely from the top-fermenting yeast used to ferment them. Banana, clove, apple; these are warm fermentation by-products.”

Hip Hops: Beerways, folkways, cultural markers and national traditions: “The primacy of ideas, and the life of the mind, are what inspired me to study philosophy and history at college in the first place, and while beerways probably are centered on sociology, a case can be made that they’re delightfully cross-disciplinary.”

Edibles & Potables: Among the autumn rituals, persimmons: “I’ll never be a persimmon connoisseur like my parents, and that’s fine. This way, there’ll be more pudding for you, and I’ll just drink one of the ales.”

Our German beers: St. GeorgenBräu Kellerbier is a Franconian tradition: “St. GeorgenBräu Keller Bier is amber in hue, with malt and noble hops in a balanced nose. At around 5% abv, the mouth feel is medium. The flavor is decidedly earthy, as opposed to crisp and exuberant like a Munich Helles, with some peppery notes and a touch of continental dank. The mild carbonation definitely supports the character of Keller Bier’s ingredients.”

Our German beers: Schlenkerla Märzen Rauchbier is a smoky treat: “One morning in the summer of ‘96, I went for a hike from my lodging near the train station to the hilltop Altenburg Castle and realized that a brewery (Greifenklau) wasn’t far away. As a reward for the taxing walk, I had a beer there, and thus began Smoky Treats, a day-long brewery crawl during which I kept walking, close to ten miles altogether, and visited all nine breweries (except Kaiserdom, but its ‘official’ city center restaurant sufficed), enjoying a half-liter of great beer at each. The photo here shows my final stop at the legendary Schlenkerla tavern in the Altstadt.”

Our German ales: Reissdorf Kölsch, a crowd-pleasing golden ale from Cologne: “Kölsch originated in the historic city of Köln (Cologne), which is situated on the Rhine River in western Germany near Belgium and the Netherlands. Kölsch isn’t to be confused with any generic notion of golden ale; there’s a lot going on with Kölsch, albeit at a session-strength level of subtle sensory experience.”

Now on tap: Hofbräu (HB) Oktoberfestbier, with a Munich winter’s tale: “Roughly a mile to the east of the Platzl, across the river and a 20-minute walk on foot (10-12 minutes by public transportation), lies the ‘other’ branch of the state-owned brewery: Hofbräukeller am Wiener Platz, to the rear of the Maximilianeum on Innere Wiener Strasse. Generally in Bavarian beer-speak, a ‘Keller’ isn’t specifically intended to imply a cellar of the sort used to age lager beer. Rather, it’s the brewery’s beer garden.”

Our German beers: Paulaner Pils is golden, hoppy and delicious: “It transpired that in Munich, source of so much sought-after lager brewing expertise, there was resistance to what was viewed as golden-colored passing fancy. Munich brewers continued to concentrate on their dark, malty styles of ‘liquid bread’ — Dunkel, Doppelbock and Marzen among them — and the tide didn’t turn until the late 1890s. Helles (pale) lagers, which were the malty golden counterparts to Dunkel (dark) beers, came into existence.”

Hip Hops: Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day at Donum Dei Brewstillery, plus last week’s beer headlines: “Why not beer for breakfast? You don’t need to climb to the top of the nearest craggy mountain for a consultation with the resident guru to know that you can’t drink beer all day if you don’t start in the morning.”