Friday, September 22, 2017

Wistful, like summer departed.

Summer dies today. A monody for the occasion:

And now the purple dusk of twilight time
Steals across the meadows of my heart.
High up in the sky, the little stars climb,
Always reminding me that we're apart.

You wander down the lane and far away,
Leaving me a song that will not die.
Love is now the stardust of yesterday,
The music of the years gone by.

Sometimes I wonder why I spend
The lonely night dreaming of a song.
The melody haunts my reverie,
And I am once again with you,
When our love was new,
And each kiss an inspiration.
But that was long ago.
Now my consolation
Is in the stardust of a song.

Beside a garden wall,
When stars are bright,
You are in my arms.
The nightingale tells his fairy tale,
A paradise where roses bloom.
Though I dream in vain,
In my heart, it will remain,
My stardust melody,
The memory of love's refrain.

—"Stardust" was composed in 1927 by Hoagy Carmichael; two years later, Mitchell Parish added lyrics. In 2004, Carmichael's original recording of the song was one of 50 recordings chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.

The great Lester Young on tenor saxophone, in 1954 —with Oscar Peterson, piano; Barney Kessel, guitar; Ray Brown, bass; J. C. Heard, drums.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Drinking, again! San Diego comes to Atlanta.

San Diego comes to Atlanta

AleSmith (of San Diego, California) only recently began shipping its beers to Atlanta, Georgia. And, on 20 September 2017, the Porter Beer Bar (in Atlanta's Little 5 Points neighborhood) was pouring AleSmith's "IPA" on draught.
  • About the beer, the brewery says:
    Aromas of grapefruit and tangerine lead into an abundance of fresh pine and tropical fruit notes followed by a crisp, resinous bitterness. The complex hop profile is supported by a firm malt presence...
    • Alcohol-by-volume (ABV): 7.25%
    • Bitterness: 73 IBUs (International Bittering Units)
  • YFGF says:
    Compared to many latter-day IPAs, this one is positively restrained in its tropical fruit-candy hop essence. There's even some cracker malt evident. It all finishes with a bracing slug of piney, drying bitterness; there's no tug-of-war between sweet and dry. At that alcohol level, one pint is good 'n' plenty. Bonus points for the simple, non-fanciful name.

Drinking, again! is a series of occasional reviews of beer (and wine and spirits). No scores; only descriptions.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Pic(k) of the Week: Oktoberfest stein

Today's Pick of the Week hits four bases: Oktoberfest, beer, 'throwback,' and 'selfie.'

Oktoberfest stein

That's me (ungrammatical but colloquial) enjoying a Maßkrug (High German for liter stein) of Legend's Oktoberfest lager (redundant but didactic) outdoors at Legend Brewing Company, at its brewery in Richmond, Virginia, seven years ago, on the 4th of September, 2010. A liter comprises 33.81 U.S. ounces or more than two U.S. pints; a Maßkrug weighs about 5.5 U.S. pounds full. Despite my sober demeanor: giddy me!

The 'official' —and original Oktoberfest— begins today in Munich, the capital of the state of Bavaria in Germany. The celebration traditionally runs for sixteen days counting backward from the first Sunday in October. Since the 1990s, however, if the sixteenth day falls before 3 October (which is German Unity Day), the festival continues until and including the 3rd. Thus, Oktoberfest this year —the festival's 184th iteration— comprises a full eighteen days: 16 September through 3 October.

Munich's name, by the way, is derived from the Old German term Munichen, meaning "by the monks," after Benedictine monks who founded a monastery in what would later become the city. Trappist monks —a later, stricter, offshoot of the Benedictine order— would become known in the 20th-century Belgium for their iconic eponymous ales.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Clamps & Gaskets: News Roundup for Weeks 33/34, 2017.

Clamps and Gaskets: weekly roundup
A bi-weekly, non-comprehensive roundup
of news of beer and other things.

Weeks 33/34
13 August - 26 August 2017

  • 25 August 2017
    Donald Trump pardons former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona sheriff whose aggressive efforts to hunt down and detain undocumented immigrants made him a national symbol of the divisive politics of immigration and who was convicted of contempt of court in July for defying a judge’s order to stop racially profiling Latinos.
    —Via The Guardian.

  • 24 August 2017
    Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announces plan to reduce size of national monuments Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and Cascade-Siskiyou, and reviewing status of dozens of others protected by actions of several previous presidents.
    —Via Washington Post.

  • 23 August 2017
    Yakima, Washington-based hop broker 47 Hops LLC —which purchases hops from growers and resells them to brewers— has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, reporting liabilities of $7.4 million, unsecured claims of $2.9 million, and assets of $4.3 million. 47 Hops president Douglas MacKinnon said that
    Brewers, fueled by optimism, contracted for more hops than they now need,” while blaming declining demand for his hop supply on slowing craft sales. To make matters worse, several of 47 Hops’ brewery clients delayed payment and delivery of their hops during the last year, MacKinnon said. “Payments for some contracted hops are one year behind schedule. Some brewers have stopped responding to calls and emails altogether.”
    —Via Brewbound.

  • 23 August 2017
    Alaska's permafrost is no longer permanent, thawing as one result of climate change and one potential cause of future warming.
    —Via New York Times.

  • 22 August 2017
    John Abercrombie —influential jazz guitarist of 1970s fusion jazz (and more than that)— has died at 72.
    —Via Chicago Tribune.

  • Mercury appears during eclipse
  • 21 August 2017
    From Oregon on the west coast to South Carolina on the east, the "Great American Clipse 2017" was the first total eclipse to traverse the entire continental United States since 1918. The wait for the next totally-American total eclipse won't be quite as long. It will darken the width of the continent twenty-eight years from now, on 12 August 2045.
    —Via YFGF.

  • 20 August 2017
    Jerry Lewis, the comedian, actor and filmmaker who was adored by many, disdained by others, but unquestionably a defining figure of American entertainment in the 20th century, died at his home in Las Vegas. He was 91.
    —Via New York Times.

  • 19 August 2017
    Known as a comedian who broke racial barriers, served as a civil rights activist and advocated for a healthier lifestyle, Dick Gregory has died.
    —Via New York Times.

  • 16 August 2017
    In what may be a trend, 'craft' breweries, large and smaller, have been opening additional or satellite locations. For exampe, Green Flash —a San Diego, California-based brewery which only last year opened a second brewing location in Virginia Beach, Virginia— has announced plans to open a third brewery, this time with an attached restaurant, in Lincoln, Nebraska.
    —Via Porch Drinking.

  • 16 August 2017
    When a customer (nicely) asked a small 'craft' brewery about inconcistency in its beers, the brewery told him to f*** off. Opprobium for the brewery was widespread.
    —Via Paste.

  • 15 August 2017
    Jack Daniel's Distillery has revised its official company history to acknowledge Nearest (Nathan) Green, born an African-American slave, as its original master distiller. In the photo, Jack Daniel, on the right with a mustache and wearing a white hat, is shown at his distillery in Tennessee in the later 1800s. Nearest Green [or one of Green’s sons] is believed to be the man pictured on the left.
    —Via New York Times.

  • 15 August 2017
    Over the 52-week period ending in June 2017, on-the-premises beer sales decreased 2% over the same period the year before, whereas wine sales were up 1.5% and spirits up 1.6%. Off-the-premises beer sales did increase but by only 0.1%, whereas wine increased 1.4% and spirits, 2.2%.
    —Via Brewbound (quoting Nielsen).

  • 13 August 2017
    More than nine billion tons of plastic has been produced since 1950, and the vast majority of it is still around, with literally one ton of plastic garbage for every human on Earth.
    —Via Washington Post.


Saturday, September 09, 2017

Pic(k) of the Week: One Blue Pussy

One Blue Pussy

A blue-shirt and blue-jeans clad museum-goer examines Andy Warhol's "One Blue Pussy" at an exhibition of the artist's work at the High Museum, in Atlanta, Georgia, on 1 September 2017.
In the 1950s, Andy Warhol worked as a freelance children's-book illustrator while sharing a Lexington Avenue apartment with his mother and 25 cats. He apparently never intended to host an entire cat colony in his apartment, but the head count continued to grow after he decided to find a companion for his first cat, Hester.

Warhol created colorful lithographs of the felines in his spare time. In 1954, the artist released the drawings, accompanied by his mother’s calligraphy, in the limited-edition book 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy. Untrue to its grammatically flawed title, 25 Cats features prints of only 16 different cats. Except for the cat named Blue Pussy, each one is named Sam, after the first cat Warhol bought to keep Hester company. Original copies of the book are hard to come by — Christie’s once estimated one copy at $40,000 to $60,000.