Saturday, 11 October 2014

Modern American 'philosophers', water and products made from water

A number of prominent  US people have from time to time presented down-home homespun philosophy in an amusing way.  I don't include in this the malapropisms of Dubya Bush or Sarah Palin: they were just stupidities.

The most recent user of the deliberately daft statement must be Yogi Berra.  There are pages of Yogisms "If you don't go to other people's funerals they won't come to yours" is a favourite of mine.  While we lived in New York he was the star in a series of ads for a financial institution which included the line "Cash: its almost as good as money."  However the one of relevance to this is
"I never said half the things I said."
This leads nicely into Mark Twain, to whom just about every folk saying in the US is attributed.  Amongst these is the statement:
Whisky is for drinking: water is for fighting over"
As discussed in this page the saying appears to have arisen in 1983 (and Twain died in 1910).  It is still a damn good line and with a slight modification  covers a bit of my time over the past few days.  I would rephrase it as:
"Beer is for drinking, water is to worry over."
I'll deal with the water worries first.  I turned off our lawn sprinkler system in about March when we were getting regular rainfall (and the grass wasn't growing much over Winter).  We have now got into a dry spell so I turned the system back on.  The larger system, on our big lawn, suggested that watering was not going to happen as the controller refused to show any signs of life.

So I got a new controller and connected it, trying to make sense of the (totally undocumented) connections we inherited 7.5 years ago.  To my astonishment after a couple of nights bad sleep and a bit of sweat it worked !  Astonishing.  Of course, the next day it poured down!

So to the beer. I have revisited Plonk to acquire some tasty samples and by using some from cheaper countries (and small bottles) acquired 8 samples.  Here we go:
  • Jennings Snecklifter: from Cumbria in England.  5.1% ABV and described as a Strong Ale.  Present as described and very pleasant.  From Wikipedia "Sneck" is a northern word for door latch. A sneck lifter is a man's last sixpence, allowing him to lift the pub's door latch and purchase a pint, whereupon he hopes to make enough friends that they may offer to buy him further rounds."  Good luck getting a pint for a tanner these days!
  • Budejovicky Budvar B dark: a dark Czech Lager. 4.7% This is aproduct of the company which made the original excellent lagers in the town of Cesky Budjewic in Southern Czech Republic. A lovely drop, again as promised. It is a total travety of justice that they can no longer call their brews Budweiser, as the Anheuser Busch company of the US have trademarked that name for their horrid stuff.  No wonder they use Clydesdales in their advertiisng: it must be like Camel cigarettes with the factory on the packet!
  • Brooklyn Brown Ale: From da Borough of dat name!  4.7% ABV.  As always very tasty.  They have managed to keep the quality high despite going from an artisanal product to what must be quite large scale.
  • Zamkowe 1321: back (because I controversially include England as part of Europe) to Europe for an offering from Poland.  A lager coming in at 5.6%.  A somewhat citrusy offering with a much fuller body than the usual CUB/Lion Nathan offerings.  Definitely not to be rejected.
  • Joker IPA:  Jennings of Alloa which is still in the UK!  Typical of the style although at 5% a little light on the alcohol needed to get drinkable beer to India!  The name Joker is justified on the label as it brings a smile to your lips 
  • No doubts about content apply to Germany's offering of Weihenstephaner Vitus.  At 7.% this is definitely a wheat beer with serious attitude.  Very tasty and full bodied: a worthy winner of a World beer award.  I haven't been able to find anything out about the name 'Vitus': the brewery website rabbits on about tasting of apricots and similar tasting wheel BS.  I suspect it is something to do with St Vitus, the patron saint of  - inter alia - epileptics! Moderation in consumption may reduce the chances of finding out why this is so.
  • Back to the USA - or at least Oregon for Rogue Mocha Porter  A very tasty and complex brew at 5.3%.  Very little information on the bottle but eminently drinkable as a preprandial beverage!
  • Och aye the Noo!  Here we are back in Alloa for a serve of Profanity Stout from the Williams Bros Brewery.  At 7% it had plenty of authority and plenty of complexity!  Good stuff.  I realise that 2 of my 8 samples come from Alloa: a city previously known only from my folks' Pools tickets in the 1950s where Alloa Athletic held up the Scottish Second Division!

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