Saturday, March 9, 2019

Episode 28: Singha Beer with Christopher Kolakowski

I. Introduction

"He body-painted a bunch of dudes for an Oscar Mayer commercial." 


Thailand is a country dominated by macrobrews – strict beer and brewing laws mean that craft and home brewing are nearly absent from the nation (at least legally).  Not only that, it remains a nation in which locally brewed beers remain the dominant type.  Today’s beer is the flagship of one of the two breweries that utterly dominate the small, southeast Asian nation, a beer that assiduously (and purposefully) follows the German purity laws, a beer that since the late 1980s has become a global export, found now in nearly every country of North America, Europe, and Asia, as well as Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia. 

Today's episode features Syd Valentine’s Patent Leather Kids 1929 “Rock and Gravel”.

II. Our Guest, the Astute and Genteel Chris Kolakowski


III. Rubrics, Reviews, and Talking Points


BeerAdvocate: 3.04 of 5

RateBeer: 2.25 of 5

Untappd: 3.02 of 5

ABV: 5%

Ingredients: Malted Irish, French, and Australian barley; Hallertau, Perle, and Saaz hops from Germany and "Czechoslovakia" (?); and German yeast

Cost: $ to $$ in the States - an import made of such high quality ingredients, worth a nudge in the price.

Appearance: Pale golden, translucent, mostly transparent, a nice head that recedes fairly quickly.  Holds its bubbles fairly well, 

Aroma: Malty on the opening, retains some mild smells after opening.  

Flavor: Good sipping beer, a nice lager that leans malty, avoiding too many sweet notes, retains its flavor, probably would be perfect for spicy food.  Clayman noted a mild, pleasant hoppy bitterness.  

Mouthfeel: Crisp, pleasant, mildly dry. 

Authenticity, Marketing, and Other Factors:  Brewed essentially as it always was, though Singha now has three breweries (all in Thailand) - in Samsen (Bangkok), Kohn Kaen, and Bang Len.  Still brewed with the Thai royal seal, still beautiful in its labeling and advertising.  Bottled around the world by Carlsburg, though, which is interesting.  Still independent, still family-owned, yet globally owned.  Hot damn, guys, hot damn.  And, as Kolakowski points out, their logistics chain is impressive - the quality hasn't deteriorated despite being shipped from the other end of the planet. 

Overall: Kolakowski gave it a 4.25, Clayman a 3.1, and Eric a 3.75.  Overall? A very respectable 3.7!

IV. Our Sponsors

Today we have two magical sponsors:

Leben Farms of Abingdon, Virginia

Leben Farms is a community supported-agriculture (CSA) program that offers locally grown fresh vegetables in weekly boxes to its members in Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee.  Using organic and regenerative practices to grow nutrient dense food, community-supported agriculture is a food production and distribution system that directly connects farmers and consumers. In short: people buy "shares" of a farm's harvest in advance and then receive a portion of the crops as they're harvested.

Check them out on Facebook or Instagram.

Also...

Glade Pharmacy in Glade Spring, Virginia
33472 Lee Hwy, Glade Spring, VA 24340

Locally owned and managed, Glade Pharmacy provides the highest quality pharmaceutical service in the Emory/Glade Spring area,

V. Plugs

Norfolk, Virginia

Abingdon, Virginia

VI. Selected Readings and Viewings

Laurence Civil. August 20, 2014.  "My Beer, My Country."  Look East. 

Hannah Ellison.  April 3, 2017.  "Singha Beer to Bring Thai New Year to Life in London."  Campaign.

Thomas Fuller.  January 10, 2014.  "Thai Beer Loses Esteem After Heiress's Remarks."  New York Times, via CNBC.  

Arno Maierbrugger.  February 14, 2013.  "Singha Starts Rollout in Asia and Europe."  Investigative. 

Suzanne Nam.  February 11, 2018.  "Top Thai Beer Brands."  TripSaavy.  


Staff. October 22, 2013. "Singha Beer Gets an Exclusive Show on History." Marketing.  

Ronald Theriot. October 5, 2011. "Louisiana Lager."  Louisiana Beer Reviews. via YouTube. 


Saturday, February 9, 2019

Episode 27: Einstök White Ale and Toasted Porter with Smilin' Mike Mason and Squire Brendan Roche

I. Introduction

"That's a giraffe penis."

What happens when a tiny Scandinavian nation ends a 68 year long prohibition on beers over 2.25% alcohol by volume?  Hold up.  What happens when some American brewers, only a few years later, fall in love with that same nation’s legendarily delicious fresh water?

Well, let’s be honest.  This isn’t much of a riddle.  So today we’re talking about a quaff that links the brewing traditions of the United States and Iceland, a product that is the largest beer export of Iceland, and a beer that – and I’m speculating here – is probably consumed in vast quantities by grog-swilling trolls, ale-guzzling dwarfs, and beer-nipping elves.


Today's episode features Lonnie Johnson's 1937 "Floodwater Blues."

II. Our Guests, Smilin' Mike Mason and Squire Brendan Roche

Subbing in for an absent Jason Clayman, B-Roche and Smilin' 
Mike show a natural professionalism and gentility that is a thing for real admiration. 

III. Rubrics, Reviews, and Talking Points: White Ale
BeerAdvocate: 3.82 of 5

RateBeer: 3.71 of 5

Untappd: 3.18 of 5

ABV: 5.2%

Ingredients: Wheat malt, pilsner malt, oats, Bavarian noble hops, coriander, orange peel, and water from the Hlíðarfjall glacier. 

Cost: $$; we got it for about $8.50 a six-pack at a specialty store; be warned the cans are European-sized

Appearance: Nice pale golden color, translucent but not wholly transparent, beautiful head with nice Brussels lace.

Aroma: Mild, notes of pilsner, wheat, and spice.  

Flavor: Incredibly smooth - a pleasant sort of spiciness in the front notes, malty, the pilsner notes dominating at the back. Truly a beer for any time of the year, any setting, and either just a single pleasurable pint or as a session beer. 

Mouthfeel: Simple, clean, mild, dry, and refreshing. 

Authenticity, Marketing, and Other Factors:  For a young company, Einstök White Ale has already earned quite the pedigree - it won Double Gold at the New York International Beer Competition in 2018, Silver at the International Beer Challenge in London in 2014, and Gold at the LA Commercial Beer Competition in 2013.  It is a bit weird that it was founded by Americans in Iceland, making it a strange sort of beast (American-Icelandic?).  Beautiful website.  None of us have ever seen an ad for this beer. Kudos to the graphic design department, by the by.  Folks, you're doing it. 

Overall: Mike gave this a 3.75 of 5; Brendan threw it a 4 of 5, and Eric gave it a 4 of 5.  Overall? A 3.92 of 5! Superb!

IV. Rubrics, Reviews, and Talking Points: Toasted Porter


BeerAdvocate: 3.82 of 5

RateBeer: 3.78 of 5 

Untappd: 3.18 of 5 

ABV: 6.0%

Ingredients: Lager malt, Munich malt, chocolate malt, Bavarian hops, Icelandic roasted coffee, and water from the Hlíðarfjall glacier.

Cost: $$; we got it for $8.50 a sixer at specialty shop

Appearance: Black.  Totally opaque, no transparency.  Lotta' head early but not much Brussels lace.

Aroma: Rich coffee notes,  a little toffee, typical of a high quality dark beer.  

Flavor: Rich, delicious, again with coffee notes that don't overwhelm.  For Mike and Brendan who tend towards lighter beers this was a "meal" but not a chore or too chewy.  Eric, on the other hand, who leans towards stouts and porters thought that this was a lighter (in terms of feel) black beer.  Mike asserted that he caught notes of nuts. 
 
Mouthfeel: Smooth, pleasant, a clean finish for a porter. 

Authenticity, Marketing, and Other Factors:  Again, beautiful design.  Echo all the above sentiments.

Overall: Mike gave it a 3.75 of 5; B-Roche a 3.75 of 5; and Ol' Eric Drummond a 4.25 of 5.  Overall? We gave this a 3.92 of 5!

V. Our Sponsors

Today we have two magical sponsors:

Leben Farms of Abingdon, Virginia

Leben Farms is a community supported-agriculture (CSA) program that offers locally grown fresh vegetables in weekly boxes to its members in Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee.  Using organic and regenerative practices to grow nutrient dense food, community-supported agriculture is a food production and distribution system that directly connects farmers and consumers. In short: people buy "shares" of a farm's harvest in advance and then receive a portion of the crops as they're harvested.

Check them out on Facebook or Instagram.

Also...

Glade Pharmacy in Glade Spring, Virginia
33472 Lee Hwy, Glade Spring, VA 24340

Locally owned and managed, Glade Pharmacy provides the highest quality pharmaceutical service in the Emory/Glade Spring area,


VI. Plugs

Beer Country



Chad Bathtub's Bathtub Emporium 

The Elf School (Álfaskólinn)

Elfs





The Masked Singer



VII. Selected Readings and Viewings

Dan Becker. May 23, 2016. "EINSTÖK BEER OF ICELAND EXPANDS DISTRIBUTION TO AR, IN, CO & MI." The Full Pint.

Sveinn Birkir Björnsson. September 5, 2015. "The Beer Connoisseur’s Guide To Icelandic Beer." The Reykjavik Grapevine. 

Nick Hines.  December 21, 2016.  "The 7 Best White Ales to Drink Right Now."  Vinepair

Ronald Theriot. June 30, 2016. "Einstök Icelandic White Ale." Louisiana Beer Reviews. YouTube.


Thursday, January 31, 2019

Episode 26: Presidente with Lori Rouse Mann

I. Introduction

"Is Eric wearing pants?"

From its independence in 1844 until the year 1916, well, the Dominican Republic had a rough go of it.  More than 50 presidents came and went, as well as 19 different constitutions.  Instability was the name of the game, and was only to grow worse as the world itself became generally more unhinged in the looming shadows of the First World War.  The internal chaos led government to grind to a meager pace in the Republic, including in terms of its ability to collect and redistribute income.

This was a problem – the Dominican Republic owed many nations a great deal of money, and with most of the great powers on war-setting, the failure of the small nation to pay its debts to the USA and other nations invited foreign interference.  Acting on the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine the US took this moment to invade the Republic, imposing its rule on until 1924. 

Five years later another American invasion, of a sort, would occur – Charles H. Wanzer, an American industrialist whose fortune was founded in light generators and petroleum development in Latin America founded a brewery in the city of Santiago.  It took awhile, another six years in fact, but eventually that brewery began selling the earliest version of the beer we’re discussing today.

Hold on!  In 1930 one of the nastiest characters in modern politics comes into absolute power in the Dominican Republic, Rafael “El Jefe” Trujillo – a cruel man responsible for tens of thousands of deaths – thanks to the combined efforts of a coup, some of the least subtle voter fraud in human history, and of course a rather nasty hurricane. Trujillo would rule the eastern half of Hispanola until 1961 when, on a dark road, he was shot by a group of conspirators.  While he ruled, however, it was generally considered sensible to butter Trujillo’s biscuits, so to speak, and so Wanzer and his co-investers named their beer after the dictator, if only indirectly – “Presidente.” 


A lot has happened since those dark days.  In the unstable years after Trujillo’s death there would eventually be a military uprising, prompting the US to fear the emergence of another Cuba and, predictably, invade, occupying the island this time from 1965 to 1966 and leading to the imposition of the kind of democracy one wouldn’t necessarily call free nor fair.  At around the same time Presidente beer made a major shift as well, from a dark beer to a light, pilsner-style – unsurprisingly, perhaps, an American style adjunct. 

The Republic would continue to be plagued by instability and illiberal rule until the end of the Cold War, stabilizing in the 1980s (when Presidente became the property of Grupo Leon Jimenes, a Dominican tobacco company) and achieving what political scientists would deem full democratization only in the 1990s.  But with the post-Cold War period came post-Cold War beer politics – including the Beer Wars, and eventually the little Dominican brewery that could found itself enmeshed in the machinations of two giants – AB InBev and Heineken.  In 2012 the former would finally win out, acquiring 51% shares in Presidente and dominance of the Caribbean market. 



Today's episode features music from “La Petite Ile (The Small Island)," 
recorded in Paris, 1935 by Germaine Sablon and Jean Sablon and 
accompanied by Andre Ekyan,  Alec Siniavine, Django Reinhardt, Louis Vola.

II. Our Guest, the Delightful Lori Rouse Mann

Yes, I did go through your Facebook until I found 
a picture of you with R2-D2 and Natty Light.

III. Rubrics, Reviews, and Talking Points


BeerAdvocate: 2.73 of 5

RateBeer: 1.97 of 5 

Untappd: 2.97 of 5 

ABV: 5%

Ingredients: Per the good people at Barnivore, water, malted barley, unmalted cereals, refined corn, sugar and hops

Cost: $ to $$ - in and of itself not expensive, but if you're in a location that requires purchase in a specialty shop, expect to go up to as high as eight bucks for a sixer. 

AppearanceTransparent and translucent with a sudsy, soapy head, golden yellow. A fair amount of Brussels lace.

Aroma: An immediate smell from the bottle.  Clayman's first impression was french fries from McDonald's - Eric merely noted it smelled malty and bready.  Fades quickly.

Flavor: Fairly typical adjunct beer.  Lori compared the flavor to Corona Familiar.  Sweet, malty, a definite session beer. Eric considers this to be more appropriate as a beer for eating; a 

Mouthfeel

Authenticity, Marketing, and Other Factors:  We haven't seen ads for this beer, but we don't discount that it might pushed effectively in metro-areas.  What we found online are fun and make us want to hit up a beach and relax with a cold one. No longer independent, and there seems to be some variation in the adjuncting mixture from earlier periods of time. Clayman lost his mind over them recommending the freezer, especially given that there are special Presidente humidfreezers (our word, not theirs, admittedly).


Overall: Lori gave Presidente a solid 3.75 of 5, Clayman a 3.25 of 5, and Eric dropped a 2.75 of 5.  Overall? We gave this Dominican pilsner a 3.25.

IV. Sponsors

Today we have two magical sponsors:

Leben Farms of Abingdon, Virginia

Leben Farms is a community supported-agriculture (CSA) program that offers locally grown fresh vegetables in weekly boxes to its members in Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee.  Using organic and regenerative practices to grow nutrient dense food, community-supported agriculture is a food production and distribution system that directly connects farmers and consumers. In short: people buy "shares" of a farm's harvest in advance and then receive a portion of the crops as they're harvested.

Check them out on Facebook or Instagram.

Also...

Glade Pharmacy in Glade Spring, Virginia
33472 Lee Hwy, Glade Spring, VA 24340

Locally owned and managed, Glade Pharmacy provides the highest quality pharmaceutical service in the Emory/Glade Spring area.

V. Plugs


Chilhowie, Virginia 

Marion, Virginia

Damascus, Virginia


Pay it Furloughed
Washington, DC


Radford University, Radford, Virginia
Abingdon, Virginia 

Abingdon, Virginia 

VI. Selected Readings and Viewings

Anonymous. June 27, 2018. "‘Más Fuerte’: 5 Questions With Presidente Beer’s Rebecca Chen." brandchannel.

Steve Bennett. May 15, 2015. "Cerveza Presidente, Gringo Beer with a Doubly Dark Past." Uncommon Caribbean. 

Laura Bisonó, María Belissa Ramírez, Carlos Andújar, Pedro J. Vega V., Luis Felipe Rodríguez, Blanca Mejía, curators. 2015. "Verde, Que Lo Quiere Fria." The Leon Cultural Center. * We hadn't found this source at the time of recording and it is particularly worth a look.  Apologies for not being able to give it a proper shout-out on the podcast itself.  Wonderful source!

Jennifer Booton.  April 16, 2016. "Anheuser-Busch Pays $1.2B for Dominican Presidente Beer." Fox Business.

Noz. July 20, 2015. "Review: Presidente." Beer O'Clock Australia.

Ronald Theriot. March 10, 2014. "Presidente Revisited." Louisiana Beer Review. 

VII. Selected Advertisements 

c. 2000s 

c. 2009

c. 2009

c. 2011

c. 2015

c. 2015

c. 2016

c.2017

VIII. Más Fuerte


Description from the YouTube page:

“Más fuerte”, a film by Sean Frank, uncovers a scene of underground “musicologists” in NYC & the Dominican Republic through their custom sound vehicles. Learn more: http://masfuertefilm.com

They manage to keep their culture alive, despite their often restrictive environments. From get-togethers at Santo Domingo gas stations to gatherings at secret spots across NYC boroughs, the film follows as they battle one another with the ear-shattering bass of their sound systems, living life at maximum volume, everywhere they go. As they say, Es ritmo, no ruido.  It’s rhythm, not noise.

Teaser....


Looks like Toilet-Kitchen Studio is no longer a cage.... Get ready for remotes. Grin.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Episode 25: Mickey's Fine Malt Liquor with Squire Brendan Roche

I. Introduction

"This is a session malt liquor."

Close your eyes.  Unless your driving, of course. C’mon.  I don’t even know why I have to say that. Sheesh.  But otherwise close your eyes.  Imagine the coolers, foggy and pleasant, of your favorite grocery or gas station.  You want a beer, but what to buy?  You’re not sure, but you’re sure to notice the stubby green bottles in the shape of a grenade, lightly gilt, alit with a golden hornet.  What you’re seeing, there, gleaming like a malty emerald in your mind’s eye, is Mickey’s Fine Malt Liquor – a beer that, whether you’ve tried it or not, you recognize, despite its limited reliance on advertising. 

Today, on Pickled Eggs & Cold Beer, we’re talking about the most famous child of Evansville, Indiana.  Today, friends, we’re talking about Mickey’s Fine Malt Liquor. 

This week's music is the 1921 piece "Jabberwocky" by Yerke's Happy Six.

II. Our Guest: Brendan Roche, Elegant Lawyer

Roche found this baby at Target wearing Red Sox stuff and just took him home.  

III. Rubrics, Reviews, and Talking Points

"Smells like the Southwest Virginia Community Jail."


BeerAdvocate: 2.51 of 5


RateBeer: 1.71 of 5

Untappd: 2.6 of 5 

ABV: 5.6% 

Ingredients: Barley malt, corn syrup (dextrose and maltose), yeast, hop extract

Cost: $ (cheap as free)

Appearance:  Fair amount of head when poured proper.  Very gold, very translucent and transparent.  

Aroma: Strong malty immediately with a rapid dissipation.  Clayman described the smell as "not bad if you like domestic violence," which echoed a review we read on air. When the bottle is empty, though, DO NOT JUST SNIFF THE BOTTLE.  It is very bad - like a garage or, as Brendan said, "like the back of a cop car."  Not skunky in the bottle till you're low on beer, then well, Meister Brau, notes Clayman.

Flavor: Inoffensive, largely tasteless, like a mild Foster's.  Better from the bottle. 

Mouthfeel: A fair amount of carbonation (burpy). A filling beer.  

Authenticity, Marketing, and Other Factors:  We like the rebuses.  Now part of the SAB Miller super-corporate amalgam, no longer brewed in Evansville, but in Albany, Georgia (NOT THE CAPITAL OF GEORGIA), Fort Worth, Texas, and Irwindale, California.  Visually still interesting, though we prefer the old Irish imagery, we have no idea the degree to which Mickey's adheres to the original recipe.  We also noted that despite the lack of apparent advertising everyone knows Mickeys, even folk who don't drink, probably in no small part thanks to the hand grenade bottles ubiquity. 

Overall: Brendan gave Mickey's a solid 2, Clayman shocked and awed the audience by dropping a gorgeous 3 for the hand grenade, and Eric split the difference for a 2.5 of 5.  Overall?  Mickey's got a 2.5 of 5 from us. 

IV. Sponsors

Today we have two magical sponsors:

Leben Farms of Abingdon, Virginia

Leben Farms is a community supported-agriculture (CSA) program that offers locally grown fresh vegetables in weekly boxes to its members in Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee.  Using organic and regenerative practices to grow nutrient dense food, community-supported agriculture is a food production and distribution system that directly connects farmers and consumers. In short: people buy "shares" of a farm's harvest in advance and then receive a portion of the crops as they're harvested.

Check them out on Facebook or Instagram.

Also...

Glade Pharmacy in Glade Spring, Virginia
33472 Lee Hwy, Glade Spring, VA 24340

Locally owned and managed, Glade Pharmacy provides the highest quality pharmaceutical service in the Emory/Glade Spring area.

V. Plugs









My Girl (1991) - The Infamous Bee Murder Scene


Run-DMC




Abingdon, Virginia

VI. Selected Readings & Viewings

Marc Bona.  January 19, 2011.  "Mickey's Big Mouth: A Fine Malt Liquor to Crack Open." The Cleveland Advertiser.

Matt Kettman.  February 22, 2007.  "Mickey's Malt Liquor."  Santa Barbara Independent.

Mark Mikin.  June 10, 2010.  "The Right Way to Pair Beer With Food." Esquire.

Ryan Pitkin.  April 25, 2018.  "What to Drink When You're Boozy on a Budget."  Creative Loafing.

Staff. February 18, 1964. "Advertising: Brewers Uncork Malt Liquor."  The New York Times.

Ronald Theriot. January 8, 2011. "Mickey's Fine Malt Liquor." Louisiana Beer Reviews. On YouTube.

VII. Selected Advertisements 

c. 1964-1965

c. 2009

c. 2016