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The Hobby Drinker Blog

old fashioned diet watcher

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It’s still regular summer temperatures, but somehow it’s worse than what it was before.  Maybe because we can’t marvel at the numbers, so we just sit and suffer as usual.  As much as I like my stouts (and there will be some more) it is a good set of conditions for lighter beers, especially ales, and pale ales at that.  Just before Cervecissimus closed up shop for their summer vacation I picked up a new one for me, (full flavored) Pale Ale from 28 Brewery.  Their little blurb on the back gives some history to the brand, saying it was already in existence in 1842, and their website says they were established “100 years ago”.  Later they say 1912 is the year they expanded from the basis of their most successful (I guess) beer, Perle 28.  Interestingly, it’s touted as a low-carb beer, which is not something craft beers have paid much attention to.  There must be a time for everything.

For such a light colored beer it has a powerful aroma. It’s plenty ale-y too, with good notes of citrus and fruit, not a lot of more traditional elements. The head doesn’t disappear completely, but it does die back pretty quick. The flavor is on the oddly sour side, with just a bit of bitter chasing it down. It’s generally clean, but there’s a touch of astringency too, trying to clean up after. There isn’t much grain or bread, and the bitterness has more of a healthy fruit sensation to it than regular old beer bitter. I’m not sure if I notice any particular lightness to it, but maybe if I focused on this line of beers I would find myself with less of a beer belly, you know, magically.

Supplier: Cervecissimus

Price: €3

attack ready

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Temperatures are still high, but staying at more “normal” levels these days.  Still makes you want to relax with a good wet glass of something, though.  I got a second-hand Instagram recommendation for a book on the modern British brewing industry, specifically how it wiggled out from the thumb of its own macros.  Brew Britannia, for those interested.  I’m deeply bothered by how much I don’t know culturally about our forbear.  Well, that’s what collected information is for!  Anyway, a British beer seems like a fitting choice, something to keep me in the mood for learning while being gobsmacked by unsuspected attitudes.  A hundred years behind Spain in fully accepting lagers, can you believe it?  Of course, the most available British beers are ales, and this one is premium, so high expectations here!  Its name, Bombardier, makes you think it’s going to squash your summer doldrums for sure.  Gonna fly high for me Eagle?

Certainly not a pale ale, although it has a pretty classic beer color and aroma.  It’s a little bready, not sharp or fruity.  I’m expecting more of a bitter punch, but it’s bready in taste too, although also crusty-warm feeling, like a loaf just out of the oven.  It dances between sweet and bitter, with a flavor that feels very herb-like.  The feeling is rather heavy, but it disappears immediately after swallowing, so not a difficult beer to drink.  It’s subdued, a companion beer, one that supports conversations with friends, strong-flavored dinners, not demanding the spotlight for itself.  I’m not overwhelmed, but I’m not upset about it at all.  It makes me think I should get myself a pizza and dig out some classic movies.

Supplier: Cervecissimus

Price: €3.80

The Wonderful Words of Beer Draft 6

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Birra – a nickname for beer in Spain, as well as in several other Spanish speaking countries.  It seems to be a double loan – to Spanish from Italian, but to Italian from German Bier.  It can be seen in puns in Spanish taking the place of “vida” (life), e.g. Hay birra después de la muerte (There is beer after death) and El sentido de la birra (The meaning of beer).

Summer Buds

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I double checked some timetables and Cervecissimus is going on vacation for the month, but I managed to sneak in before they closed their doors for a couple of weeks. I could not resist grabbing a stout, especially one connected to the home zone: Peninsula is one part of the producing and Rio Azul is the other, giving us the result of Entre Amigos, an Oat Imperial Stout.

Along with a pleasant, cakey aroma, the beer sports a dark tan and heavy looking head. Even liquid, it looks like it wants to be solid. Along with the cake comes a tinge of fruit scent, raisins or plums, and a crispy undertone of smoke and toast. Despite its powerful entrance, the head dies back quickly, leaving the demon’s-heart-black brew behind. There is a strong note of dried fruit in the flavor, not terribly sweet, but with a presence on the tongue. It doesn’t have much of an aftertaste, although there is a sensation of stickiness after the beer leaves the mouth. It has the smoothness of an oat stout, but it’s pretty weighty. Eventually there’s even a touch of wood sneaking in. Finally, just the barest hint of chocolate also makes it’s appearance. It’s a beer that has surprises if you’re willing to look for them. Like a lot of potential friends, I guess.

Supplier: Cervecissimus

Price: €4.30

Tradewinds

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It’s vacation month here and things are slow and at odd hours. Of course, if I were a better planner it wouldn’t make any difference because these are things I know ahead of time, I just choose not to do anything about it. A macro beer, getting back to “roots”, is still easy enough to pick up, though. You can’t have supermarkets closing for an entire month. You can’t even really have them altering their hours significantly. Essential work, that’s what that is. Sipping San Miguel’s Manila India Pale Lager is really more of a luxury task. Yes, it is San Miguel, but I was told it was really alright, and Cruzcampo’s IPA wasn’t bad. So, might as well give it a try.

A relatively strongly aroma-ed lager, dark orangey color, and rather abundant head. It’s very heavy on the grain, but mildly sweet and bready, not grassy or toasty. The flavor follows closely with the scent at first, but lets in a little bit of deeper bitter at the end. It has a heavy, kind of old-fashioned lager feel, definitely not pilsner, which is interesting given the origins of San Miguel. Still, in a warmer climate you want to feel well stocked with energy as much as you want to be refreshed. Overall it’s smooth, no spikiness or bite on the way down, but there is some feeling of lingering bitterness. It’s less an aftertaste than a vague sensation, the shadow of bitter if you will. It develops a little more lager round feeling as it gets warmer, but the aroma maintains itself at a fresh and inviting state.

Speaking of poor planning, I found out about a beer store a couple weeks ago, put off and put off and put off going, and then this last week I was making the time – only to find it was closed for good! Too bad, Lambeer, it wasn’t meant to be.

The Wonderful Words of Beer Draft 5

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Brewski – is an informal term for beer in English.  It is associated with US usage.  The word is a compound of “brew”, referring to the brewing process of making beer, and the suffix -ski, giving the word humorous Slavic tone.  It may have been invented to go along with Polish jokes, once a staple of American humor, although the first recorded use is late for that, being in 1977 on a Saturday Night Live skit.

The Wonderful Words of Beer Draft 4

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 Pivo – is the Czech word for beer.   It is also the word found in Slavic languages in general.  It comes from an Indo-European root, meaning drink, and has a related word in modern Czech: pit, to drink.  It is also cognate with Ancient Greek πῖνον, apparently meaning “beer” as well.

The Wonderful Words of Beer Draft 3

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Bier – is the German word for beer.  Like the English term, it comes from old Indo-European roots, but the exact ones are undetermined.  It could be related to words for barley or for cooking, are from Latin bibere – to drink.

Germany is the home of the famous Reinheitsgebot, which limits the ingredients of beer to water, malt, yeast and hops (actually a later addition).  While it sounds good for marketing a pure and traditional beverage, there are large numbers of beer drinkers who will happily take a glass of more creative brew, with other plants giving aroma, flavor, color or feel to the beverage.  German beer is divided into categories according to strength, as well as into different styles.  Craft beer is Germany follows similar trends as in other countries in terms of tastes.

The Wonderful Words of Beer Draft 2

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Cerveza – the Spanish word for beer, from Latin as one would expect.  What one doesn’t expect is that the Latin word could be a borrowing, or be influenced by, a Celtic language.  The Proto-Celtic *kormi- could be related to Latin cremare (to burn), as well as having produced a number of Celtic words for a fermented beverage.  The experts doubt that there is any connection to ceres (grain) despite the use of grain in brewing, possibly because it wasn’t that popular among the Romans. 

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