Saturday, April 17, 2021

Pic(k) of the Week: Avonator Doppelbock

Avonator Doppelbock

Small beer?

USA Today recently selected the small city of Avondale Estates, Georgia, as comprising “the nation's best small-town beer scene for 2021” (the nation being the USA). The town (population: est. 3,093) defeated nineteen others for the honor.
The charming town of Avondale Estates, just east of Decatur, Georgia, has a small downtown area packed with unique food and beverage offerings. For beer lovers, there’s Wild Heaven Beer (brewery), The Lost Druid Brewery, The Beer Growler & Pint Haus, and (soon) Little Cottage Brewery. *
USA Today 10 Best
26 March 2021

Pictured above is a beer enjoyed at one of those emporia in that best small-town beer scene: Avonator Doppelbock, on draught, in the beer-garden at Lost Druid Brewery, on 9 April 2021.


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But how did the beer taste?

Bock is a traditional, strong, malty Bavarian lager. ... Dopplebock is a strong [bock] beer with a typical alcohol content beyond 7% ABV. The style originated in the Bavarian capital of Munich, Germany, and was for a fairly long time synonymous with the Salvator beer brewed by Paulaner. Other breweries indicate the style by amending “-ator” to the beer's name. While they can be brewed to any color and made by different methods, doppelbocks are usually reddish-brown bottom-fermented lagers, and generally show a toffee-like, bready aroma and rich malty palate with notable residual sweetness. Hops are usually robust enough to offer some balance, but rarely about 25 IBU.
The Oxford Companion to Beer (Oxford University Press, 2012).

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Yes, but how did the beer taste?

Nose of plum, dark bread, and black olives. Flavor follows suit. Medium-sweet body and medium-full mouthfeel; off-dry finish. Tasty and sipping strong. (The brewery provides little online description although the label on a take-out can certified alcohol by volume to be 9.6%.)

Latter day American 'craft' breweries tend to eschew 'traditional' European beer-styles (although there may be a guerilla return). So, it was refreshing (pun intended) to find one and enjoy it, close to home and, indeed, during bock season.

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

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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Pic(k) of the Week: This way, in red.

This way, in red

In 1869, the Stone Mountain Granite Company built a railroad spur to serve granite and quartz quarries at the foot of monadnock Stone Mountain, thirteen miles east of Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Now, still in operation but as a tourist attraction, the Stone Mountain Scenic Railroad extends 3.88 miles (of standard gauge of 4 ft 8 1⁄2 inches), encircling the base of the mountain.

This way, in red: a rail switch along the track. Photo taken 26 March 2017.

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Saturday, April 03, 2021

Pic(k) of the Week: Painting the Box

Painting the box (05)

Here is a photo I took, on 12 May 2016, before an Atlanta Braves baseball game at Turner Field, in Atlanta, Georgia. Ballpark employees were measuring and chalking the lines of the batters' boxes at home plate, and dusting and sweeping the clay surface clean and smooth.

According to MLB rules (Major League Baseball), there are two batter's boxes (right-handed and left), one on each side of home plate. Each is four feet wide and six feet long, centered lengthwise at the center of home plate, with the inside line of each set six inches from the near edge of home plate.

Baseball and COVID-19

In 2020, Major League Baseball dealt with the global coronavirus pandemic by shortening its 162-game season to 60 games, postponing its start until July (rather than its planned start at the end of March), adopting a few temporary rules changes, and prohibiting fan attendance (except during the Championship Series and World Series, in October). Fake crowd noise was added to game broadcasts. As a result, MLB, as a whole, lost more than six billion dollars in revenue, versus 2019.

This year, with U.S. partial vaccinations already having reached 38.1% of the eligible population, baseball fans could hope for a continuing return to near normality. The league reset to a full 162-game schedule, albeit with only a limited number of fans in the stands (the exact restrictions up to each individual ballpark).

Then COVID-19 struck: four positive tests and multiple exposures forced the cancellation of Opening Day at Nationals Ballpark in Washington, D.C. and the postponement of a three-game series between the Washington Nationals and New York Mets.

Not so for the Braves, who, unafflicted (so far) by the disease, played and lost their opener to the Philadelphia Phillies.

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Georgia, baseball, and the inalienable right of Americans to vote

This year, the Braves were also to have hosted baseball's All-Star Game. However, in response to the Georgia state government's recent adoption of draconian voting restrictions, MLB took that honor from the team.
Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views. I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft.

Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box. In 2020, MLB became the first professional sports league to join the non-partisan Civic Alliance to help build a future in which everyone participates in shaping the United States. We proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process. Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support.
Rob Manfred
Commissioner, MLB
2 April 2021.

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