Beers with a Stoic: “Pardon the (fermentation) interruption”

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This column appeared under the “Hip Hops” rubric at Food & Dining Magazine on 23 January 2024. Head on over to F&D to read it.

Hip Hops: Pardon the (fermentation) interruption

Granite City’s shtick works like this: The company brews beer centrally (in Ellsworth, Iowa) but leaves the batch hanging in mid-Bock (or IPA, Hefeweizen, etc.) After the boil, the unfermented wort is cooled and transferred to refrigerated trucks, to be transported to the 16 individual Granite City outlets (down from a pre-pandemic peak of 35 or so) for pumping into their on-site fermenters. Yeast is pitched, and the beer is fermented, matured, filtered and served.

Voila! Locally brewed beer!


Beers with a Stoic closes a circle that dates to 1978, when my first college class was “Intro to Philosophy.” Later, philosophy and history were my major and minor, respectively. Stoicism comes to us from ancient Greece, positing that to embrace the virtues of wisdom, courage, justice and moderation, we can attain “ataraxia,” or a sense of inner tranquility and harmony in our own lives, focusing on matters we can control — thoughts, emotions, and actions — while accepting the things we cannot, like the actions of others, or the natural course of events taking place in the world around us. No one is perfect, least of all me. But we all keep trying, pausing here and there for a beer. For more: Stoicism.

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