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Sunday, April 05, 2020

Our lager which art in barrels.

"Dear friends, we are gathered here today
to celebrate the union of malt, hops, water, and yeast.
Let us pray." 

Considering the day, today, I thought a prayer might be in order.

Here, Hugh Sisson, founder/owner of Heavy Seas Beer (a 25-year-old 'craft' brewery in Halethorpe, Maryland) delivers an invocation before leading a group on a tour of his brewery (back when social-distancing did not preclude such communal carousing).
Our lager which art in barrels,
Thy will be drunk.
Give us this day our foamy heads,
As we forgive those who spill against us.
And lead us not into inebriation,
But deliver us from hangovers,
For thine is the beer, the bitter, and the lager,
Forever and ever,
[Edited for universality.]

Be safe; be well.


Saturday, April 04, 2020

Pic(k) of the Week: Garden Party

Garden party

The local shelter-at-home COVID-19 order permits me to take the dog out for short walks. I take my camera along.

On a recent walk, he and I saw this tea 'party' adjacent to the hiker/biker Stone Mountain Trail, in DeKalb County (Scottdale), Georgia, USA. 1 April 2020.

Was it a garden party or splendor in the grass? Cue Hugh Masakela (or Ricky Nelson, vice-versa).


Saturday, March 28, 2020

Pic(k) of the Week: Bruegel in the brewpub

Brewpub mural (02)

Recently, while searching among older images, I discovered this photograph from a time not long ago (yet seeming far forgone) when social distancing was not a thing and when brewpubs were bustling agorae.

It's a portrait of a bustling brewpub, its patrons and servers all gesturing this way and that, all enjoying the moment —some perhaps already lubricated by the in-house-brewed libations— all watched over by a large mural of a tilting beer glass, and all washed with a warm indoor tint. If you can forgive me, I think it a bit 'Pieter Bruegel goes to the city.'

I took the photo in March 2013. [See that: here.] For today, I've done a bit of touch-up: straightening the mural, adjusting shadows and brights, and cropping extranea.

In this time of coronavirus, most breweries and brewpubs have been closed to drinking on-the-premises. Some face extinction. Some are hanging on, still brewing and selling via a stretched supply chain, some are offering packaged beer takeout on-site, and some even providing home delivery.

The point of today's post is not of any particular brewpub but of the mass of breweries and brewpubs nationwide...and of a photo expressing the experiential joy they brought us, now missing.

So, please! Buy their beer. Drink their beer (not much of a hardship, there). Support them now so that they may survive later: zymur-agents of our great good places.


Friday, March 27, 2020

Shut-Down Maintenance for Cask Ale.

If your pub serves cask ale via a draught dispense system (e.g, beer engine, dedicated cellar, cask lines, etc.), there are specific procedures you should follow when shutting down the system for an extended period of time (such as now, during the time of coronavirus).

Cask Marque, based in the U.K., offers these guidelines, more applicable to cask-predominant pubs, but useful for all.

Cask Ale extended shut down maintenance


  • How to close down beer dispense systems for 1 week+
    Avani Solutions
  • Draught quality recommendations during extended bar/restaurant shutdown (pdf)
    — [U.S.] Brewers Association
  • Hibernating your draught beer system

What is Cask Marque

Since 1997 Cask Marque has been ensuring that the cask ale you drink in pubs in the UK is in perfect condition. Our 50 qualified assessors make over 20,000 visits to pubs each year in England, Scotland, Wales, Europe, and even America to check the temperature, appearance, aroma, and taste of Britain’s favourite drink. Visit a Cask Marque accredited pub and you are guaranteed to receive a great pint of cask ale.
Cask Marque.
  • Cask Marque accreditation (and training) has been available in the U.S. for a few years (Link: here.) That's something to consider for the coming time when COVID19 will be reined under control and pubs return to their perch as the good third place.
Casey pulls a pint (02)


Saturday, March 21, 2020

Pic(k) of the Week: Moving Keys

Moving Keys (04)

The Moving Keys: when you really, really need some music!

Two gentlemen portage a piano through the courtyard outside of the High Museum, in midtown Atlanta, Georgia, USA on 1 September 2017.

Caption this photo.