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.


Friday, September 08, 2017

Building an Emergency Kit

Because sometimes it's not just about the beer (even though a six-pack or two of canned beer might just come in handy) ...

FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency of the Department of Homeland Security) recommends that all Americans should have some basic supplies on hand in order to survive for at least three days in case of an emergency. Stay safe.

Here is FEMA's checklist for Building an Emergency Kit:

Basic Emergency Kit (01)

Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life. Headed to the store? Download a printable version to take with you. Once you take a look at the basic items, consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets, or seniors.

After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water, and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.

Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life. Headed to the store? Download a printable version to take with you. Once you take a look at the basic items, consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets, or seniors.

After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water, and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
  • Basic Disaster Supplies Kit
    To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag. A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
    • Water
      One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.
    • Food
      At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
    • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert.
    • Flashlight.
    • First aid kit.
    • Extra batteries.
    • Whistle to signal for help.
    • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place.
    • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
    • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
    • Manual can opener for food.
    • Local maps.
    • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery.
    • Download the Recommended Supplies List (PDF).

  • Additional Emergency Supplies
    Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:
    • Prescription medications.
    • Non-prescription medications
      Such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids, or laxatives.
    • Glasses and contact lens solution.
    • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream.
    • Pet food and extra water for your pet.
    • Cash or traveler's checks.
    • Important family documents
      Such as copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container.
    • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.
    • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes.
    • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water.
    • Fire extinguisher.
    • Matches in a waterproof container.
    • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items.
    • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels, and plastic utensils.
    • Paper and pencil.
    • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children.

  • Maintaining Your Kit
    After assembling your kit remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed:
    • Keep canned food in a cool, dry place.
    • Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers.
    • Replace expired items as needed.
    • Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.

  • Kit Storage Locations
    Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and vehicles.
    • Home
      Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
    • Work
      Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water and other necessities like medicines, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “grab and go” case.
    • Vehicle
      In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.


Monday, September 04, 2017

Happy Labor Day!

The U.S. beer industry provides jobs to nearly 2.23 million Americans, contributes over $350 billion to America’s economy, and pays $63.5 billion in annual taxes.

  • Brewers and importers directly employ 64,745 Americans.
  • Suppliers to the brewing industry employ more than 491,800 Americans.
  • Beer wholesalers directly employ more than 134,240 Americans.
  • Beer retailers employ 915,700 Americans.


And 'craft' beer?

Craft brewing produced 128,768 jobs in 2016


Labor Day

Of the Super Bowl, Thanksgiving, 4th of July, Christmas, Memorial Day, and Labor Day ... more beer is sold in the United States for Labor Day libations (off-the-premises, more than sixty million cases) than for any other holiday.

Yeast never sleeps. Your local brewster is probably hard at work today, doing her part. Support the American worker. Do your part. Drink a beer (or two). Honor Labor Day.


Saturday, September 02, 2017

Pic(k) of the Week: Roots

Roots (02)

Ent-like, the twisted roots of a tree —limned in late afternoon sun and shadow— guard the steps at the entrance to Walker Park, in Atlanta (Edgewood), Georgia, on 28 August 2017.

A Chihuahua photo-bombed the photo. Had she espied something sinister within the roots?


Friday, September 01, 2017

Happy Georgia Brewery Liberation Day!

It's the first of September 2017, which means that, as of today, Georgia has joined with the rest of the Union. Breweries in the state of Georgia can now sell THEIR own beers in THEIR own taprooms to THEIR own customers.

Georgia has become the 51st (that is, the last) of all 50 states and Washington, D.C. to permit this. (The penultimate laggard, Mississippi, enabled its permission on 1 July.) Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed bill SB-85 on 8 May; it took effect today.

Better late than never, no?

Duck the tour guide