October 26th, 2011


Water of the Gods. (107)

Beer Craft by William Bostwick & Jessi Rymill.

Raise up a glass to
Hathor in the labyrinth,
minotaur goddess.

This is billed as a "How-To" book, but you really should think of it as a "How-Come?" book. The subtitle reads "A Simple Guide to Making Great Beer," but the book should have huge appeal to anyone who has any interest in drinking great beer. It is like a little Alton Brown-esque, explaining the simple science-- well, sometimes not-so-simple-- behind brewing, giving any dilletente a chance to peek behind the curtain & reverse engineer their favorite beers. I don't have any intention of making up a batch of beer in my apartment any time soon, but I still want to know how mashing works, what exactly wort is, what hops bring to the table, what kinds of flavors are the results of additives & what are just a weird result of chemical interaction with the malt or the hops or the water or the type of yeast. Heck, just finding out that what makes a stout a "Russian" stout is lots of hops was good to know, but knowing that the antibiotic properties of hops where used to ship beers to far away places-- like Russia or the eponymous India of those famous pale ales-- is icing. Cantillion keeps everything they make, even if it seems bad? They just wait till it turns a corner? Interesting to know, given how much Jenny & I liked their Gueuze & Iris. Beyond the "funfacts" aspect of the text, chapter three-- "Drink"-- is just straight up intended for those of us with parched throats. How to pour, for instance-- turns out, if you are tilting the glass, you're doing it wrong. A guide to aromas & tastes, as well as the chemicals creating those smalls & flavors, extensive notes on cheese & meal pairings, a discussion of what type of glass you should use along with the all important why...all simple pieces of valuable know-how. Like Lauren Salazar of New Belgian Brewing Company says, it is like crayons. "As kids, we start out with a box of eight Crayolas: this is red, this is blue. Then you got to sixteen, & you're saying, this is magenta, this is periwinkle."

Blue Moon, Red Room.

(Frank Silva as Killer BOB, last day of filming Twin Peaks, photo by Richard Beymer.)

Yesterday...er. Well, there were stairs; I climbed the twenty-two floors in about five minutes & ten seconds, which is respectable but hardly setting any records. I also ate a ton of bagels & then Terra & I walked over to Bellvue South Park. No wait, that was Monday; yesterday Terra & JJ & Jasmine & I walked down to Union Square Park to see a granny flashmob, running into Elizabeth & Kat & Pamela along the way. Then after work, Terra came over to my apartment-- while Jenny worked the CSA shift I was supposed to work, because Jenny is the best!-- & we watched two episodes of Twin Peaks; "Arbitrary Law" & "Dispute Between Brothers". I forgot how effing handsome Dale Cooper is when he's soaking wet under the fire sprinklers & his hair is in his face, & "Dispute..." is the one where Agent Cooper & Major Brigs go fly fishing & the owls are definitely not what they seem. Terra left & Jenny served up some dinner-- chicken with mashed potatoes & gravy with broccoli. Yummy, & then Castle-- a ghost story! That show, man, yes. I am always happy when shows slip the bonds of plausibility. "Hey, I'm making a narrative over here, who cares if it is silly?" Then tumble down, bed time. I was sleepy, & I guess I'm a little bit tired right now! Today has been a bit of a mess; not in a bad way, just in a fuzzy, confusing way. Jenny came by though & we hung out, walked around. So exciting right? Ugh, I am totally a half-zombie half-robot. Definitely a Deathlok style Universal Soldier situation over here.