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Saturday, December 07, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Bend in the boardwalk

Bend in the boardwalk (02)

Slow down, speeding pedestrians! There's a bend a-coming.

Looking northwest along a meandering, leaf-covered, wooden boardwalk on the South Peachtree Creek Trail, northwest of Medlock Park, in DeKalb County, Georgia, USA. 5 December 2017.

I don't often add selective color to black-and-white photos. Too gimmicky. But I succumbed here.

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Thursday, December 05, 2019

On this date in American history, it once again became legal to sell intoxicating beverages.

Prohibition Repealed!

A prohibitionist is the sort of man one couldn't care to drink with,
even if he drank.
— Henry Louis (H.L.) Mencken

Eighty-six years ago, today —on 5 December 1933 (at 5:32 pm ET)— the state of Utah voted to approve the 21st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, its decision fulfilling the requisite number of states and thus terminating the ignoble, nearly 14-year reign, of the 18th Amendment, Prohibition.

Some might find it ironic that Utah of all states —with its widespread latter-day teetotalling— would vote to ALLOW alcohol. On closer examination, it may have been logically sagacious of that state to repudiate the 18th amendment, the ONLY amendment to eradicate constitutional rights rather than creating, affirming, or clarifying them.

After Utah's vote, two more states would vote to ratify. Six states (excluding Alaska and Hawaii, which were not states at that time) would never bother to vote on the amendment. But alone among all the states of the nation, only South Carolina, deserving of ignominy, voted against repeal.

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Saturday, November 30, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Remains of New Manchester Manufacturing Co.

Remains of New Manchester Manufacturing Co.

Remains of the New Manchester Manufacturing Company, an 18th-century water-powered mill in Georgia, USA, once a large manufacturer of cotton textiles, yarn, and fabric, 'humbly' named for the city of Manchester, England, then the world-renowned center of textile manufacturing.

The Union Army effectively destroyed the mill in 1864, during a campaign preceding the Battle of Atlanta of the American Civil War.

As seen looking east to west, across the Sweetwater Creek, in an eponymous State Park, about 20 miles west of Atlanta, near the town of Lithia Springs, in Douglas County, Georgia, on 17 November 2019.

Remains of New Manchester Manufacturing Co. (02)

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Saturday, November 23, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: PBR at Northside Tavern

Northside Tavern (03)

A mural depicting a bald eagle and the logo for Pabst Blue Ribbon beer is painted on the outside wall of Northside Tavern blues club —and 'dive' bar— in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Despite its name, Northside sits in Atlanta's Westside, an area that has experienced rampant redevelopment since February 2016, when I took this photo. One hopes for the club's continued long life.

And for that of the blues.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Inked and Real

Ah, the beauty of cask-conditioned 'real ale.'

Real ale is a natural product brewed using traditional ingredients and left to mature in the cask (container) from which it is served [without extraneous gas pressure] through a process called secondary fermentation [and served at what is called 'cellar' temperature —in the low to mid 50 degrees Fahrenheit.] It is this process which makes real ale unique amongst beers, and develops the wonderful tastes and aromas which processed beers can never provide.
CAMRA [with edits].

Ink & Firkin
A bartender pours real ale directly from a firkin (10.8-US gallon cask). At Spacebar in Falls Church, Virginia, USA, on 8 September 2012.


Think of real ale as uber-fresh, as if it were being poured directly from a brewery fermenter. It is a deliberate process, involving both a brewery and pub.

What cask-conditioning is NOT is tossing beer into a cask; that's just tossing a beer into a cask. In fact, cask-conditioning does not imply or require the infusion of artificial or extraneous ingredients. That's just —as a friend describes it— tossing in "cocoa-puffs and dingleberries."

What real ale IS —as Jeff Alworth described it on p.84 of The Beer Bible— is "living beer."

Firkin Thursday.
A bartender pulls real ale from a firkin via a beer engine (hand-pump). At Metropolitan, in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, on 13 November 2008.


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Cask Marque USA

If your U.S. pub, brewpub, or brewery taproom serves cask ale on a regular basis, you can receive accreditation from Cask Marque, now also available in the United States. Consultation is also offered. Information: here.
Cask Marque, begun in the U.K. in 1997, is a voluntary accreditation scheme that allows publicans to display a special symbol indicating that their cask ale is of good quality, as judged by a series of surprise inspections.

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