Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Journal of the American Homebrewers Association, Volume 1, Number 1.

In December of this year, Zymurgy Magazine will celebrate its 40th anniversary.

In December 1978, the American Homebrewers Association —led by Charlie Papazian, Daniel Bradford, Charlie Matzen, et al.— launched the magazine (then a pamphlet), only two months after brewing at home had been delisted as a federal crime.
'Zymurgy' is the seventh-to-last entry in our Unabridged Dictionary. It is defined as 'a branch of applied chemistry that deals with fermentation processes (as in winemaking or brewing),' and is used as a fancy word for the profession, hobby, or fellowship of brewing beer.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary


Saturday, October 20, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Autumn magenta.

Autumn magenta

Even as its leaves wither, a morning-glory still preens, in royal purple, untended and wild along the side of a city street. Life lesson.

As seen (in the morning of) 19 October 2018, in the Kirkwood neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia.


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Whole Note

Whole Note

The The Big 9 was once the prime African-American enterprise and entertainment district in Chattanooga, Tennessee. And the Whole Note Restaurant and Lounge was once one of that neighborhood's premier African-American music clubs.

Now renamed the Martin Luther King District, the area shows signs of revitalization. In what form remains to be seen.

In the photo, taken 6 October 2018, a man walks in front of the now-abandoned club.


Saturday, October 06, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Dahlia in black & white.

Dahlia in black & white

Hello, Dahlia!

Up close and personal, like an anemone on dry land. 30 September 2018.


Saturday, September 29, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Pub prisms

Pub prisms

The colors of beer, or, at least, of a pub in the afternoon sun.

In Decatur, Georgia, on 22 September 2018 ... in the late afternoon.


Saturday, September 22, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Clouds on the hills

Clouds on the hills (02)

Autumn begins today in the Northern Hemisphere. On the U.S. East Coast, that'll be at 9:54 tonight.
The autumnal equinox—also called the September or fall equinox—is the astronomical start of fall in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere.

Why is it called an equinox? The word comes from the Latin aequus, meaning “equal” and nox, meaning “night.”

During the equinox, the Sun crosses what we call the “celestial equator.” Imagine a line that marks the equator on Earth extending up into the sky above the equator from north to south. Earth’s two hemispheres receive the Sun’s rays about equally. The Sun is overhead at noon as seen from the equator, so at this point, the amount of nighttime and daytime (sunlight) are roughly equal to each other.
The Old Farmer's Almanac

As to the photo: late summer clouds were feeling the changing season, hanging low over the hills in Blue Ridge, Georgia, on 8 September 2018. I took the photo. panning from a moving car...but from the passenger side.

Summer ends; autumn begins; winter looms.


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Two draught beers diverged in a pub; and the GABF.

Which one did I choose?
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two draught beers diverged in a pub, and I—
I took the one less commonly favored,
And that has made all the difference.

With apologies to Robert Frost, but which one did I choose? Either way, on to the news.


Great American Beer Festival

The Great American Beer Festival officially begins tomorrow (Thursday, 20 September 2018) in Denver, Colorado, and continues through Saturday (22 September). The GABF is both a festival and a competition, the latter in which judges putatively select the best beers in America in 102 (!?) 'style' categories. First held in 1982, this is the 37th annual GABF. Murk will be a big winner.

Not there this week? You can follow vicariously at: -----more-----

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Summer vegetable grilling.

Summer vegetable grilling

Vegan grilling ... that is, grilling FOR (not OF) vegans. And some beer cookery.
For this Labor Day 2018 grill, there were also veggie frankfurters (Field Roast) and veggie burgers (Beyond Meat), both soy-free. Other folk brought fried chicken. Can't win 'em all.


Hurricane Florence

Wishing good fortune to all in Hurricane Florence's path. For the rest of us, here are some ways in which we can help.


Saturday, September 08, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Maggie reclines.

Maggie reclines

Not mine, but Maggie agreed to pose for a portrait, nonetheless. Was she, however, delivering an apophasistic gesture with her left paw?

31 August 2018.


Monday, September 03, 2018

Today, don't forget to thank your local brewster!

Pulling the mash

Today, don't forget to thank your local brewster or brewer.
☞ According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 59,000 people work in breweries across the United States.

☞ The [U.S.] Brewers Association —using different methodology— finds 135,072 brewsters and brewers (and brewery and brewpub employees) working at the 6,372 "small and independent" breweries across the country.

☞ And, according to the Beer Institute —compiling data that include everyone associated with the U.S. brewing industry, directly and indirectly— the beer industry employs nearly 2.23 million Americans ...
... many of whom are working today, Labor Day, to provide your daily beer. Yeast never sleeps.


Saturday, September 01, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Stone bridge 'keyhole'

Stone bridge 'keyhole'

Photo of a 'keyhole' —in a short-span stone bridge built over a usually-dry storm-runoff culvert— in Grant Park, Atlanta, Georgia, taken on 29 August 2018.


Grant Park

Grant Park —Atlanta, Georgia's first city-owned public park— was named, not for nemesis Ulysses S. Grant, but Lemuel P. Grant (no relation), an Atlanta businessman who donated over 100 acres of his personal property to Atlanta in 1883. Grant was a railroad engineer who designed the fortifications for Atlanta during the Civil War.

In 1903, the Olmsted Brothers (sons of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who planned New York City's Central Park) were hired to design the park. It included Lake Abana, large enough for boating, since paved over as a parking lot for Zoo Atlanta within the park.

The surrounding, eponymous neighborhood had also comprised Grant's estate. His three-story mansion, now headquarters for the Atlanta Preservation Center, is one of only four extant antebellum houses in Atlanta.


Thursday, August 30, 2018

“Therein lies the joy.” Michael Jackson and the pub.

Michael Jackson
(27 March 1942 - 30 August 2007)

The pub is the place that children's fathers get shouted at by children's others for having dallied in. The pub is a landmark in conversation: something happened outside the Rose and Crown; turn left at the King Charles; park your car 100 yards past the Star and Garter. Pub is a three-letter word serves so many purposes. The pub is the place where there is a wooden trapdoor in the pavement. Sometimes, especially in the mornings, the trapdoor is opened, to receive casks, rolling down the ramp. On such occasions, the pub is a parking-place for boldly-painted trucks, and sometimes, horses pulling drays. (The London brewery of Young's is just one which has retained horse-power.*) The pub is the place where lights shine through translucent glass in the evenings, the doors swing open to exhale noisy conversation and beery smells. the pub is the place where stubble-chinned schoolboys sneak in plain clothes to prove their manliness; anyone can fool around with girls, but only real men drink in pubs.
— Michael Jackson. The English Pub: A unique social phenomenon.
London: Wm Collins & Sons, 1976.

For more than thirty years, British journalist Michael Jackson —affectionately known as The Beer Hunter— was a prolific author of influential books on beer (and whiskey), in which he firmly established the concept of beer type and beer style.

It has been eleven years since Mr. Jackson died and four decades since he published The English Pub, his first book. Pubs have changed; the beer industry has changed; beer historiography has changed; mores have changed. But the Beer Hunter's writing abides.
Those who love the institution will continue to investigate it. Because no two pubs are the same (despite the worst efforts of the big brewers), the search can never reach a conclusion. Therein lies the joy.


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: The ArtLot arrow

The ArtLot arrow
The Avondale Arts Alliance in collaboration with the city of Avondale Estates and the Downtown Development Authority has developed and built a temporary Art Park. Built on a blighted lot by community volunteers and owned by the City of Avondale Estates, the ArtLot aims to revitalize the downtown area, draw visitors to the downtown district, encourage walkability, and serves as a gathering place for visitors to explore creative experiences. We invite all forms of creative expression at the ArtLot.

The photo was taken 21 August 2018. The ArtLot is in Avondale Estates, a propinquitous suburb of Atlanta, Georgia.


Friday, August 24, 2018

Drinking, again! Sierra Nevada / Weihenstephan Oktoberfest 2018 (a review)

Sierra Nevada / Weihenstephan Oktoberfest 2018

Sierra Nevada Brewing's Oktoberfest 2018 is a collaboration with Weihenstephan in Freising, Germany, brewed in the U.S. by Sierra Nevada.
We’ve partnered with Bavaria’s Weihenstephan, the world’s oldest brewery for this American take on the classic German Oktoberfest. A malt backbone is balanced by subtle hop character in this crisp, clean, and drinkable crowd-pleaser. Nothing captures the spirit of celebration like a beer among friends.
Sierra Nevada Brewing

From the brewery, here are the zymurgical specifications:
  • Malts: Two-row Pale, Steffi, Pilsner, Munich.
  • Hops (bittering): Sterling.
  • Hops (flavor and aroma): Sterling, Spalter, Record.
  • Yeast: lager (strain not specified)
  • ABV (alcohol-by-volume): 6%.
  • IBUs (international bittering units): 20.
From me, here are my reactions. I tasted Oktoberfest, poured from a bottle, in Atlanta, Georgia, on 23 August 2018. I'm not certain if Sierra Nevada is brewing the lager exclusively at its original plant in Chico, California, or also at its newer brewery in Mills River, North Carolina, but the sample I tasted was brewed at the former.
  • Appearance: Like a shiny, new penny
  • Conditioning: Fine bead, lasting carbonation; long-lived, lightly moussey head.
  • Aroma: Toasted marshmallows in an alfalfa field.
  • Taste: Sweet start with a dry finish. Lightly toasted bread; a good depth of malt. Even a soupçon of 'Meillardy' dark-meat poultry (in a good way).
And, here's a kicker. As a neurogastronomical experiment, leave a bit of the beer unfinished in your glass, overnight (if you can). In the morning, smell. Those noble-heritage hops linger on. Glorious!

Munich, Germany, begins its Oktoberfest celebrations on Saturday, 22 September, continuing for sixteen days through Sunday, 7 October. I began early.

Drinking, Again!
A series of occasional reviews of beers (and wine and spirits).
No scores; only descriptions.


Saturday, August 18, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Sunrise at St. Augustine Beach

Sunrise at St. Augustine Beach (03)

It's reassuring to observe that, despite all, the sun does yet 'rise' in the east in the morning.

Documenting the sunrise at St. Augustine Beach, looking east over the Atlantic Ocean, on 5 August 2018, at 6:50 in the morning, Eastern Daylight Time.


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: IPA at the beach

IPA at the beach

Sometimes, it's not so much what beer you're drinking, but where you're drinking it.

Here: A draft IPA served on the patio of a pub at the beach (and the Atlantic Ocean), in St. Augustine Beach, Florida, on 3 August 2018.

Summertime, and the drinking was easy.


Saturday, August 04, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Full moon; Mars perihelion opposition

Full moon; Mars perihelion opposition

It was a Full Buck Moon on Friday night/Saturday morning, 28/29 July 2018.
July is the month of the Full Buck Moon. At this time, a buck’s antlers are in full growth mode. This Full Moon was also known as the Thunder Moon because thunderstorms are so frequent during this month.
The Old Farmers' Almanac.

In much of the world, that July full moon was also a "blood moon": a total lunar eclipse. At one hour, forty-three minutes, it was the longest total lunar eclipse, so far, of the 21st century. Alas, here in the Northern Hemisphere, the eclipse was not to be seen.

But not to worry. A very visible Mars also rose in the sky that night, in the full glory of a perihelion opposition —that is, completely opposite the Sun in the sky— thus, lit up bright and reddish orange.

Mars' actual perihelion —its closest approach to the Earth— wouldn't occur until a few days later, on Tuesday, 31 July 2018, when it would be 'only' 35,784,481 miles from Earth, something much rarer: its closest embrace of us since 2003. Contrast that with Mars' average distance of four times that, 140 million miles.

As a terrestrially photographic point, I liked the otherwise interceding power line in the shot. It acted as a diagonal divider, if not planned that way. Viewed over Atlanta, Georgia, at one in the morning, on 29 July 2018.


Saturday, July 28, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Dog koozie

"Where's the beer?" they've asked of recent Pic(k)s of the Week. Here it is.

Dog koozie

It's amusing what you can find in a thrift store. It's even more amusing when you actually purchase it: a Labrador Retriever beer koozie ... on a pedestal.

At the Red Nose Tavern, somewhere in Atlanta, Georgia, on 26 July 2018.


Saturday, July 21, 2018

YFGF's evolution of photography

In 2009, this was the state of the photography, here, at YFGF: a Canon PowerShot SD400 point-and-shoot held together with —if not spit and baling wire— band-aids and duct tape.

Official camera of YFGF

In 2018, this: a seven-year-old Olympus Pen E-PL1 with a thirty-seven-year-old lens.

Canon legacy lens on Olympus Pen

The gear has changed. But the technique?


Saturday, July 14, 2018

A light in the forest

A light in the forest

A spot of light through the canopy ...

... of the Kirkwood Urban Forest Preserve, in Atlanta (Kirkwood), Georgia, on 12 July 2018.
Kirkwood Urban Forest and Community Garden is a seven and one-half acre plot, previously an illegal concrete scrap dump, purchased by the City of Atlanta in 2005 through the Georgia Greenspace Program and a Georgia Forestry Commission program. Classified as a conservation park, 'managed for environmental protection, but open for public access,' the preserve was created in 2010 by neighborhood volunteers and is supported by the local neighborhood organization with additional grants. Now, the urban forest features trails among mixed hardwood trees, spring-fed Hardee Creek, a butterfly meadow of native Georgia grasses, a fruit and nut orchard, a pond, a community garden, and a covered pavilion.
— Via Decaturish (25 November 2014) and Wikipedia.


Saturday, July 07, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Butterfly & Sputnik

Butterfly & blossom

With a 20-millimeter focal length, the lens wasn't quite right to catch a closeup. But with its minimum focus distance of eight inches (and a bit of post-cropping) and with a moment of near-cooperation from the aeronaut: voila!

A butterfly pollinates a 'Sputnik' flower in Shadyside Park —one of six connected Frederick Olmsted-designed parks of the Olmsted Linear Park— in the Druid Hills neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia, on 6 July 2018.


Thursday, July 05, 2018

#VeggieDag Thursday: To eat an artichoke.

Simmer upside down for twenty minutes (an artichoke, that is), flip it and simmer right-side up for another twenty. Chew the leaves and wait for the choke!


Cooking an artichoke: Trimming the leaves.

1) Select a fresh artichoke. Select a fresh artichoke. (The top leaves of a fresh artichoke will squeak a bit when pinched.) Use a large, sharp knife and cut off the top third of the artichoke. Peel off the smallest bottom leaves, and use scissors to trim the sharp thorn tips off each of the remaining leaves. Use the knife to cut the stem off close to the bulb, making the cut as straight as possible so the artichoke can easily sit upright without tipping over.

Cooking an Artichoke: Simmer upside-down.

2. Fill a large pot with 1/2 inch of water and bring to boil. Reduce to a strong simmer. Place cleaned, prepared artichoke face down in the water. Cover the pot with a lid and simmer the artichoke for 20 minutes.

Cooking an Artichoke: Simmer right-side-up

3. Grab the artichoke with tongs and turn it right-side-up in pot. Re-fill stock pot to 1/2 inch of water and bring to boil. Reduce to a strong simmer, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Remove the artichoke from the pot with tongs and drain off the cooking water. Allow the artichoke to cool a bit. Squeeze the juice of a lemon between the leaves. Sprinkle with Kosher salt.

Artichoke, ready to eat!

5. To eat, remove a leaf from the artichoke bulb, dip in olive oil (or not) and scrape the meaty part of the leaf off with your teeth. Discard the rest of the leaf. (Once down to the inner part of the artichoke, the small, inner leaves should be tender enough to be eaten whole.)

Eating an Artichoke: Preparing the choke
6. At the center of the artichoke, remove the remaining tiny, spiky leaves. Use a spoon to scoop out the fuzzy hairs in the center of the heart (the "choke").

Eating the Choke!

7. Cut the choke into pieces. (Careful. It will be hot.) Sprinkle with a bit of lemon juice and olive oil (or not), and eat and enjoy.
How to 'pair' with a beer, and which? That choice is, bien sûr, up to you (although I might —gasp— grab a Chablis or unoaked Chardonnay).

VeggieDag Thursday
In communion with the fine people of Ghent, Belgium, #VeggieDag Thursday (DonderDag) is a series of occasional Thursday posts on an animal-free diet and the ecology.


Wednesday, July 04, 2018

How much beer do Americans consume during their Independence Day holiday?

A lot.

4th of July Beer Sales
  • According to the Nielsen Company, Americans purchased $648 million dollars of "domestic premium beer" and $248 million of 'craft' beer in "off-premise channels" (in non-jargon, that's "in stores") during the two weeks around the 2017 Fourth of July holiday (from 25 June through 8 July 2017).

  • In fact, the four-week period surrounding Independence Day in accounted for 8% of the beer industry’s overall annual sales for 2017. It is unclear whether this figure includes package sales in independent shops and at breweries...and what Nielsen considers 'craft' to be. And the total amount of beer sold and drunk would be much higher if on-the-premises sales (aka restaurants, pubs, and breweries) are added in.

  • According to WalletHub, Americans will spend $5.3 billion on food (partly for the 150 billion hot dogs they will purchase), $1 billion on beer, and $568 million on wine.

  • The National Retail Federation has a higher figure. They forecast that Americans will spend $6.9 billion on food for the 4th (down from a record $7.1 billion in 2017).

I'll be trying to do my part. Happy Independence Day.

Flamingo & flag


Tuesday, July 03, 2018

R.I.P., Brewer Mallon.

Proud Brewer Mallon This post will be updated.

I've just received terrible news about a great guy and brewer. Chris Mallon passed away on Sunday.

Chris was the original head brewer for Caboose Brewing, in Vienna, Virginia, which he shepherded from planning, in 2013, through its opening, in 2015, and until just recently.

Prior to that, he had been the Special Projects Brewer at Heavy Seas Beer in Baltimore, Maryland. Or, as he put it: "the Cask & Barrel Kemosabe."

Since leaving Caboose, he was said to be pursuing another brewery project in the area.

Rest in peace, Brewer Mallon.


Sunday, July 01, 2018

Four million and counting

In 2006, I began posting photographs and images to Flickr, an online image hosting service. As of this morning, my 46,478 photos and images have been viewed 4 million times. Which works out to approximately 875 hits per day.

Every Saturday since August 2009, I've chosen one particular photo to highlight, as Pic(k) of the Week, here at YFGF. They've usually been of beery content, but less so recently. (Since April 2012, I've also uploaded photos to Instagram, 409 times.)

Here's an early photo, taken in 2006, with a Canon PowerShot SD400 (a point-and-shoot compact camera):

February Blizzard 2006

Here's a more recent, less chilly image, taken with an Olympus Pen E-PL1 (a mirrorless, small sensor camera):

Budding geranium

My most-viewed photo, of no particular merit with 19,531 hits, is this one that I snapped at the Metro Richmond (Virginia) Zoo, in 2011. Might that have something to do with the name I gave the photo? "Camel toes."

Camel toes

A dubious distinction. Carry on.


Saturday, June 30, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Forgotten kicks

Forgotten kicks

Who left these shoes behind? Why? Stories struggle to be told.

Atlanta (Edgewood), Georgia. 28 June 2018.


Saturday, June 23, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Vista Grove Butterfly Bush

Vista Grove Butterfly Bush

Buddleja, aka butterfly bush, blooms in anticipation of an eponymous visitor.

In Vista Grove, Georgia, on 17 June 2018.
Several species of Buddleja are popular garden plants, the species are commonly known as 'butterfly bushes' owing to their attractiveness to butterflies, and have become staples of the modern butterfly garden; they are also attractive to bees and moths. The generic name bestowed by Linnaeus posthumously honored the Reverend Adam Buddle (1662–1715), an English botanist and rector.


Saturday, June 16, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Rowboat ruin

Row boat ruin (02)

Not all, but a vast majority of lakes in Georgia are not naturally formed, but man-made. *

One such of the latter is small Lake Erin, in Henderson Park, of suburban Tucker, Georgia. On 8 March 2016, I played photographer, there.


Saturday, June 09, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: And what is so rare as a day in June?

TKR Pilsner

And what is so rare as a day in June?

On 2 June 2018, a new production brewery opened its doors in Tucker, Georgia, a suburb city of Atlanta. Nice, but not necessarily rare. As of 1 January 2018, there were 6,372 breweries in the United States, according to the [U.S.] Brewers Association.

No, what was rare was an out-of-the-craft-beer-mainstream character to the event. The brewery, Tucker Brewing, was pouring only three beers: a bright zesty pilsner, an amber lager, and a hefeweizen. That was it.

TKR Pilsner (pictured above) specs:
  • 4.8% alcohol by volume (abv).
  • 25 International Bittering Units (IBUs).
  • Pilsner malt.
  • Hallertau Merkur, Hallertau Perle, and Hersbrucker hops.
  • Lager yeast.
The pils was not a 'great' beer, as in drop everything, run, don't walk. At least not yet. But it was not an IPA; it was not murky or sour or flavored with ephemera. It was a tasty beer —bright and zesty— right out of the starting gate, a difficult achievement. And it was a pilsner: ditto. The brewery promises more such German-inspired beers to come. (There's a Helles in the conditioning tank.) That is rare.

On the same weekend that Tucker Brewing opened its doors, another in the metropolitan Atlanta area closed its: Abbey of the Holy Goats, in Roswell, Georgia. That juxtaposition brings to mind the requisites of new brewery success. I believe that those are:
  • You need money: a brewery is a business.
  • You need expertise: a brewery is a factory.
  • You need 'it': an artist's soul helps.
  • You need a full pint of Gambrinus' luck.
I don't know if this Tucker Brewing is in possession of all of these. But there is one more thing needed for survival: chutzpah. And it does have that. And a spacious beer garden.


Wednesday, June 06, 2018

"Like mixing your beer with rainwater and sugar."

On 25 May 1944 —a fortnight before the D-Day invasion of Nazi-occupied Normandy, France— the Fredericksburg (Virginia) Free-Lance Star published a story by the overseas American war correspondent Hal Boyle. It was one of many for Boyle —who would later win the Pulitzer Prize for his wartime reporting— but this particular dispatch described the World War II condition of booze in London, England.

At his blog "Beer et. Seq.," Gary Gillman has summarized the account, in wry style. His story —"Blondes, Taxis, and the West End"— includes Boyle's description of what Boyle and the American GIs thought of British milds and bitters of the time.

Seeking to explain mild ale and bitter beer to Americans, Boyle said mild is like mixing your beer with rainwater and sugar. And bitter is like mixing it with rainwater and quinine. (Today he might say the IPA that is the rage around the world is like mixing Bud with vodka and grapefruit juice).

Given that American lager in this period was still fairly bitter, it shows that English beer – pale or bitter ale – easily outstripped it. Since no unusual bitterness was detected in mild ale, one can assume its bitterness was about equal to mid-century American lager.

Mild & bitter in 1944 London (as an American tasted them)

The weakness of British beer was remarked on, something I’ve discussed before as noticed by an Australian journalist. He stated the government must have pondered long and hard to get the stimulant/austerity balance exactly right. The American soldier’s reaction was typically popular and idiomatic: it’s like our beer if you drink it and get hit in the head with the bottle.


Saturday, June 02, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Still life (at the moment).

Still life (at the moment).

A past railroad depot, re-purposed: a scene I've wanted to photograph but never had. That is, until 30 May 2018, when I was in my car, with my camera, and the traffic signal held its red just long enough.

Modes of transportation,
Decatur, Georgia, on the tracks.
Still life (at the moment).


Saturday, May 26, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Rocksteady Mild

Rocksteady Mild

For American Mild Month in May, I visited Good Word Brewing, a brewpub in downtown Duluth, Georgia (about twenty miles north of Atlanta). One of its draft mainstays is Rocksteady, which it describes as an
English Mild.
This English bad guy ale has hints of tobacco, toffee, and a touch of leather.

Co-owner Todd Dimattio told me that he rotates one of his yeast strains between this mild ale and another of his IPAs. "Is that to keep the mild ale yeast viable?" I asked. "No," Dimattio replied. Between in-house and off-the-premises sales, Rocksteady is one of his top sellers.

REquired for this day and age, the brewpub does indeed brew hoppy beers, high 'gravity' beers, and 'sours,' as well. In fact, a patron at the bar said that one of the sours on tap tasted like a fruity, puckering lemonade. But Rocksteady Mild —ruby red, not hazy, tasting like a suggestion of toasted bread with a schmear of Nutella, more-ish at only 3.4% alcohol-by-volume (abv)— was (is) a rare thing of 'sessionable' beauty.

Rock on, Mild!


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Bokeh rose

Bokeh rose

For one brief moment, the rosebush blooms splendidly in spring. Thereafter, only thorns.

Here, observing that with an inexpensive CCTV lens (created for small closed-circuit security cameras) but retrofitted with a C- mount adaptor to fit the (micro four thirds) camera.

Why do I mention that? Observe those bokeh balls to the upper left.
Bokeh (bō-kā):
the blurred quality or effect seen in the out-of-focus portion of a photograph taken with a narrow depth of field. Good bokeh is smooth and pleasing, whereas bad bokeh produces a jagged and discordant effect, largely dependent on the construction of the lens. From the Japanese, boke, for "blur, haziness."


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

These are the same beer!

These are the same beer!

These are photos of the same 'craft' beer. On the left, an IPA, on draft at a brewery. On the right, the same IPA, insouciantly poured on draft at a pub less than one mile away. Somewhere in Georgia, USA.

By the way: happy American Craft Beer Week, 14-20 May 2018!


Saturday, May 12, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Hydrangea blooms blue.

Hydrangea blooms blue

Hydrangea macrophylla —also called bigleaf hydrangeas and mophead hydrangeas and French hydrangeas— are a staple of the American South, such as this one in Atlanta, Georgia, the petals of its inflorescence only beginning to turn blue on 7 May 2018.


Saturday, May 05, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Sunday afternoon brewery patio-ing

Sunday afternoon brewery patio-ing (02)

They came to meet as far as Decatur, and the Three Taverns Craft Brewery, Decatur, Georgia.

Outside, on the brewery patio, on a Sunday afternoon, 8 April 2018.


Saturday, April 28, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Beer patio bijou

Beer patio bijou

On encountering a brewpub in Atlanta, Georgia, an Instagrammer, tagging a friend, commented, "this is the brewery I was talking about ... that also has food!" In this new generation of brewery taprooms, a brewpub had become a pleasant anomaly to her. Les temps ont changé!

Pictured above, this was not that brewpub, but another, elsewhere in the same city on the same day. On a spring afternoon, its intimate outdoor beer patio was a bijou.

Wrecking Bar Brewpub, in Atlanta (Little 5 Points), Georgia, on 27 April 2018.


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Close encounter of the leonine kind.

Close encounter of the leonine kind

An intimate view of the incisors of a young (sub-Saharan) male African lion. Despite appearances, the big cat was merely yawning. Any closer approach was impeded by reinforced acrylic.

At Zoo Atlanta, Atlanta (Grant Park), Georgia, on 13 April 2018.


Endangered species protection endangered

In 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service placed the African lion (Panthera leo) under the protection of the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
The nearly extinct lions of western and central Africa—a subspecies now called P. l. leo—will be listed as endangered. Only about 1,400 of these lions remain scattered across more than a dozen countries, including the critically endangered Asiatic lions of India (the cats on the two continents were not previously considered the same subspecies). Another lion subspecies—P. p. melanochaita of east and southern Africa—will be listed as threatened. There are about 17,000 to 19,000 lions left in this subspecies, most of which live in protected but restricted habitats.
Scientific American.

That turns out ohave been fortuitous timing for African lions. Earlier this month, Donald Trump's Department of the Interior indicated its intention to eliminate all future protections for threatened species, effectively gutting the 1973 Endangered Species Act.
Under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act, the FWS created regulations in 1978 which granted threatened species, or those approaching endangerment, the same blanket protections granted to endangered species. Broadly, these regulations prevent “take” of protected species—death, harm, or harassment from human activity, such as hunting, capturing, and, in some cases, destroying their habitat through development, logging, or other means. “If you’re a threatened species and you don’t have ‘take’ protections, you don’t really have any protections at all,” Noah Greenwald, the endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity, tells Mother Jones. The change could be disastrous for species like the North American wolverine, the gopher tortoise, and the Sierra Nevada red fox, which are proposed for listing, or are being considered for, threatened status in the future.
Mother Jones.