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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Heavenly Beer - part 1

"Where's Tom Cizauskas?," Jim Dorsch was asking on his microphone at Heavenly Beer, a Smithsonian Institution lecture and beer tasting at the Brickskeller, in Washington, DC., Saturday 14 April.

Think back to that incident last year when CNN reporter Kyra Phillips left her microphone on in the bathroom while President Bush was speaking on stage. Well, I may have almost missed my cue in the men's room, but unlike Ms. Phillips, I fortunately didn't have a microphone with me!

I was there at the Brickskeller to stand-in for Hugh Sisson, Ernesto Igot, and the entire brewing crew at Clipper City. Our beer - Holy Sheet Uber Abbey Ale - was one of only two non-European beers presented by British beer writer Roger Protz during his lecture on the monastic tradition in brewing.

Many of us were late; I arrived with minutes to spare. Meetings of the World Bank and IMF - and concomitant protests - had combined with the spring Cherry Blossom Parade to create street closures and long traffic snarls. (All About Beer publisher Daniel Bradford didn't arrive until the end of Protz's presentation, having endured a 10 hour drive from Durham, NC, over a route which should take 6 hours. )

But ... it was a packed house. And being a Smithsonian crowd, it was an unusually reverential crowd for the Brickskeller. Even so, this quiet was soon lost after the audience had imbibed a few of the high alcohol beers!

The event was arranged and co-hosted by Jim Dorsch - editor and publisher of American Brewer - and Greg Kitsock - beer columnist for the Washington Post and editor of Mid-Atlantic Brewing News.

[more: Heavenly Beer - part 2 ]

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