YFGF on social media

Firkin a go-go (01)

Want even fresher beer news?

Go to YFGF's Facebook page:

Or scroll down.


Saturday, November 09, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Fortitude in the marsh

S-curve pine

In the morning light, it stands solitary in the marsh — its spine bent like an 's,' its spindly branches bare except at the crown— and yet it evinces fortitude.

I've attempted before to capture a worthwhile image of this pine tree on the bank of Postal Pond in Decatur, Georgia, USA.

On 3 November 2019, I think I got it.


Saturday, November 02, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Colors of autumn

Time was, preserving a leaf under a flyleaf was a life memento. Nowadays, there are e-variants thereof. Here: colors of autumn, from October 2019, seen in and around Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Colors of autumn (04)

And another: when spring's joy-green, its purchase failing, could yet be seen.

Colors of autumn (01)


Pam Bricker & Autumn Leaves

The song Les Feuilles mortes was composed for the 1946 French movie, Les Portes de la Nuit (Gates of the Night) by Hungarian émigré Joseph Kosma with lyrics by French poet Jacques Prevert. The song soon became a popular music standard (Edith Piaf's version, well-known) and a jazz standard. The American lyricist Johnny Mercer penned the English translation, Autumn Leaves.

Autumn Leaves, below, is from Washington, D.C.-vocalist Pam Bricker's 2001 album, U-Topia, named after a D.C. club in which she held a regular gig. Performing with her are her longtime accompanist, Wayne Wilentz, on keyboards, and Jim West on drums. It's a crystalline performance.

Ms. Bricker began her career singing folk music but, after moving to Washington, D.C., transitioned to jazz (and cabaret). In the 1980s, she performed with the vocalese group Mad Romance, then going solo in the 1990s. In the early aughts, she recorded with the acid-jazz Thievery Corporation.

I was fortunate enough to hear Ms. Bricker perform in person, on several occasions, in the early 1990s, at hotel lounges in Washington, D.C. Like any bar and lounge, there was a lot of inattentive audience chatter, an experience she compared to performing like "a living jukebox." Me, I paid rapt attention.
Bricker is blessed with perfect pitch, clear diction, more than average range, and a knowledgeable sense of the lyrics and feel for the beat, all packaged in a clear, cool set of vocal pipes.
All About Jazz

A life's memento of the remarkable Pam Bricker (1955-2005).

The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold.
I see your lips, the summer kisses,
The sun-burned hands I used to hold.

Since you went away the days grow long,
And soon I'll hear old winter's song.
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall.


Sunday, October 27, 2019

5,000,000 beers and other things

Five million on Flickr (27 October 2019)

Yes, some of us photo-dinosaurs still use Flickr.

In 2006, I first began posting photographs and images to that online image hosting service. As of this morning, 27 October 2019, my 53,450 photos and images have been viewed 5,000,000 times. That works out to approximately 1,054 hits per day.

Beer salesman's electronic cockpit
Beer salesman's electronic cockpit, circa 2008.

I passed four million views on 1 July 2018 and the three million mark on 16 June 2016. I have used six different cameras (excluding cell phones and Palm PDAs). In order, from the earliest to the most recent, they have been:
  • Canon PowerShot A520
  • Canon PowerShot SD400 Digital ELPH
  • Canon PowerShot SD980 IS Digital ELPH
  • Canon PowerShot SX130 IS
  • Olympus Pen E-PL1
  • Olympus OM-D E-M10 II
During those thirteen Flickr years, much of what I have uploaded has been beer-related. In the past few years, however, my emphasis has evolved toward the 'artsy,' if not always so successfully.

Stairs to plaza

Thank you to all who have viewed my images, and to all of you who have 'favorited' and commented on them.

Now, back to the brew.

Yours for good fermentables,
Thomas Cizauskas
27 October 2019.

Anchor's lagering tanks


Saturday, October 26, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Old Stock Ale 2001...in 2019

Old Stock Ale 2001...in 2019

Like a fine port, Old Stock Ale is intended to be laid down. With an original gravity of over 1.100 and a generous hopping rate, Old Stock Ale is well-designed to round out and mellow with age. It’s brewed with classic Maris Otter malt and Fuggles and East Kent Goldings hops, all imported from England.

What it was

This Old Stock Ale, brewed by North Coast Brewing Company in Fort Bragg, California —in 2001— was still going strong in 2019. (The brewery, founded in 1988, is itself still going strong.)

I drank it —purloining it from my vintage beer-bottle stash— in Atlanta Georgia, on 22 October 2019, while I was watching the broadcast of Game 1 of the 2019 World Series in Houston, Texas

How it tasted

After aging in the bottle for 18 years, it had a touch —if only a light touch— of carbonation remaining. In looks, dark with mahogany/red highlights; in texture, silky smooth; and in taste, like chocolate-covered plums, the predominant story-line among several sub-plots.

Why I drank it

Succinctly: for jubilation. In 1933, a baseball team from Washington D.C. last played in the World Series. Eighty-six years later, the city's drought of Fall Classics surceased, it is happening again: the Washington Nationals, champions of the National League, versus the Houston Astros of the American League.

Fort Bragg might have little in common with Washington, D.C. But on that night, the glorious liquid produced within its borders seemed right. With an Old Stock Ale in hand, I was smiling.

And, maybe, somewhere Walter "Big Train" Johnson was too. Go, Nats!

Will a new pennant wave? (01)


Saturday, October 19, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Two Calusians: 'craft' beers in Sarasota, Florida

Two Calusians

I put out the word on the interwebs: where to go for good beer in Sarasota, Florida?

And the word came back from 'craft' beer professionals on Facebook. Go to Calusa Brewing.

So, I did (on 5 October 2019).

The brewery sits in unpretentious surroundings in a light-industrial/business park. Rusting cars and totaled light-engine planes sit in a junkyard just beside it. The brewery building itself is corrugated metal.

Inside, it's, again, corrugated industrial with high ceilings. A long bar with several draught-beer taps sits against one wall, communal stammtiche tables in front of it. Windows to the rear provide a peek into the brewhouse area. Bourbon barrels filled with maturing beers sit to the side.

And those beers...!

16 rotating draft lines of traditional favorites, hazy hop bombs and mixed-fermented/fruited sour beers.

I asked for help. Bartender Ed took the time to walk me through it. Here are two (neither a hop bomb or sour):
  • King's Creatures​ (left)
    • "English Export Stout​"
    • 6.9% alcohol
    • "Deeply roasty, with a hypnotic darkness and scary drinkability. Monsters covet and hoard the British malt notes of espresso, & light toffee."
    • Me: Lovely British Maris Otter malt for base; sapid but not overdone treacle from dark malts; alcoholic slap at end dries the finish.

  • Calusa Ringstrasse (right)​
    • "Vienna-style Lager"​
    • 5.5% alcohol
    • "A brilliant clarity of autumnal copper reveals the toasted, full character of the finest continental malt and crisp finish of noble hops.
    • Me: Not "brilliantly" clear, but a well-executed lager nonetheless, expressing lightly toasted crackers, an elegant (not fruity) sweet middle, and, indeed, a crisp finish.
Sometimes, the interwebs do deliver on their promise.

Calusa Brewing [kuh LOOSE uh] is located at 5701 Derek Avenue, in Sarasota, Florida. I don't know who Derek is, but the Calusa were the original Native American landlords of southwestern Florida. (Seminole was the catch-all name for the later refugees fleeing white-man encroachment further north.)

A series of occasional reviews of beer (and wine and spirits).
No scores; only descriptions.