Saturday, June 29, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Hourglass 'Lithuanian Farmhouse' Ale

Hourglass Lithuanian Farmhouse Ale

The day I visited the Hourglass Brewing taproom in Longwood, Florida, there were 38 beers on tap. This 'Lithuanian Farmhouse' ale was one of them. Can there be too many?

According to the website, the beer is prepared by:
  • Mashing (heating with water) malted barley, wheat, rye, and oats.
  • Lautering (washing and straining) the wort (a sticky solution of malt sugar derived from the mash) through a bed of hay and hops.
  • "Pasteurizing" the wort in the kettle —but not boiling it.
  • Cooling and then fermenting it with yeast from a "famous Lithuanian brewery."
Reddish-brown and very hazy (as would be expected), but not murky. A long-lasting head, if not spumous. For aroma: apricot and white pepper. For flavor: slightly sour and definitely funky with a suggestion of toffee, lemon rind, and apricot. The finish: abrupt, slightly astringent, and, again, slightly sour, but with a green pepper aftertaste. 5.7% alcohol-by-volume (abv).
"Yeast from Švyturys or Utenos?," I asked the bartender. *
"I'm sorry?" he replied, puzzled.
"Those are two famous Lithuanian breweries," I remarked.
"Oh. I'm not sure," he answered.
"Who among the staff is Lithuanian," I wondered. "No one," he replied.

Hourglass Brewing facade

I took these photos on 17 June 2019. I didn't spy a farmhouse nearby.


Saturday, June 22, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: How the beer snob rolls

How the beer snob rolls

When (NOT) in Rome...

When in Atlanta, Georgia, in Piedmont Park —for the Atlanta Dogwood Festival— the beer snob rolls as other Piedmont-Parkers do.

The beer snob drank a Cerveza Pacífico Clara...straight out of the can.

Almost 100% innocuous except for that slight off-flavor of metal dripped through cardboard. Produced by Anheuser-Busch InBev / Grupo Modelo, in Mexico (and safe now, because of T-MEC, "Tratado entre México, Estados Unidos y Canadá").

PS. "Clara" means "clear, in Spanish. Q.E.D.


Sunday, June 16, 2019

Drinking, again! Westmalle draught Dubbel: Vespers in a glass. (review)

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

I took a sip of my draught and leaned back on my bar stool, taking it all in.

It may have been the expression on my face, because the young lady sitting to my right asked me, "Do you like it?"

I explained that, after more than ninety years, Trappist monks, at their Belgian monastery-brewery, Westmalle, had finally shipped their Dubbel ale to the U.S. in kegs (although they have been exporting the bottles for several decades.)

"I'm happy you could try it," she replied.

"Thank you," I responded. "It was worth the wait...for all of us."

Vespers in a glass


  • Alcohol-by-volume (abv): 7%
  • International Bittering Units (IBUs): 24
  • Ingredients: Water, barley malt, candi sugar, hops, yeast.
  • Pronunciation: vest-MUL-uh DOO-buhl
Brownish-red color; off-white head. Anise and rum-raisin aroma; same for flavor, but with apricot and circus peanuts. Semi-sweet finish with a slug of alcohol. (Please excuse the blurry camera-phone shot. It may have been the rapture.)

On draught, at My Parents' Basement, a comic book emporium and pub in Avondale Estates, Georgia, on 13 June 2019.

Westmalle Dubbel.
Vespers in a glass.


Saturday, June 15, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Geranium among the licorice

Geranium among the licorice

Red! A closeup of geraniums blooming in a bed of silver licorice.

Using flash under the directly overhead midday sun. As seen in a garden, in Atlanta, Georgia, on 11 June 2019.


Saturday, June 08, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Mimosa stamens

Mimosa stamens

Pink, perfumed...and invasive!

A mimosa tree blooms in June, as seen along the East Decatur Greenway, in Decatur, Georgia, on 1 June 2019.


About the Mimosa

Albizia julibrissin is known by a wide variety of common names, such as Persian silk tree or pink siris. It is also called Lenkoran acacia or bastard tamarind, though it is not too closely related to either genus. The species is usually called 'silk tree' or 'mimosa' in the United States. The leaves of the tree slowly close during the night and during periods of rain, the leaflets bowing downward; thus its modern Persian name shabkhosb, means 'night sleeper.' In Japan, its common names are nemunoki, nemurinoki, and nenenoki which all mean 'sleeping tree.'

Originally brought to the U.S. as an ornamental tree, the mimosa tree has escaped gardens and pushed its way into natural areas that should be preserved for native plants. With its ability to reproduce vigorously and with only one natural enemy to keep it in check (Fusarium wilt), it has spread unchecked across the South. It is considered a non-native invasive weed.
Walter Reeves: Georgia Gardener.


Saturday, June 01, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Still leaf with rapids

Shoal Creek shoals

"Hi! Why are you doing that?" a young girl enquired as I lay prone on a flat rock on the banks of the creek, focusing my camera.

"I'm trying to see what the fish see," I responded.

She seemed to think about that for a couple of seconds, said, "Oh," and walked off.

A 'fish-eye' view of tiny rapids in Shoal Creek, in Dearborn Park, Decatur, Georgia, on 11 May 2019.