Thursday, September 27, 2018

Episode 13: The Hunt for Red Oktoberfest

I. Introduction

"Nuts, HOT Nuts!"

In 1810 Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildberg – the occasion was marked with a folk festival centered around horseraces, games, music, and tremendous quantities of beer and food.  Apparently everyone really enjoyed themselves so the folks of Munich decided to make it an annual event and with each year the festival grew and grew, outlasting the reign of Ludwig, forced off the throne during the German revolution, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, and the German Democratic Republic, better known as East Germany.   It is a tradition that has survived depressions, wars, and horrors unimaginable, a tradition that represents so much of what is good about the German people, a festival celebrating harvest and change and community.  It is the festival in which the casual observer will hear the song “Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit,” every twenty minutes. 

Today's theme is Mississippi Fred McDowell's 1959 "Germany Blues." 

II. Our Guest, Mein Großer Sexy Freund, Herr Stephen Wiley

High on a hill was a lonely goatherd,
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo!
Loud was the voice of the lonely goatherd,
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo!

III. Sam Adams Octoberfest
Boston, Massachusetts

BeerAdvocate: 3.67 of 5

RateBeer: 3.23 of 5

Untappd: 3.6 of 5

ABV: 5.3%

Price: $ to $$ - we got a six beer growler for only $12 but it can increase in price depending on location purchased.

Overall: Wiley notes it is not as good as it warms up and gives it a 2.5 of 5, Clayman notes the sweet to bittersweet notes aren't the best and gives it a 2.4 of 5, and Eric agrees with both giving it a 2.5 of 5.  Averaged out that comes to 2.47 of 5.

IV. Wolf Hills Brewing Oktoberfest
Abingdon, Virginia

BeerAdvocate: n/a

RateBeer: n/a

Untappd: 3.7 of 5

ABV: 5.9%

Price: $$

Overall: Wiley points out this is a fresher, more temperature resistant beer with solid hop flavors and gives it a 3.25, Clayman awards it a 3.0 of 5, and Eric a 3.75 of 5.  Overall rating? 3.33 of 5

V. Yee-Haw Brewing Oktoberfest
Johnson City, Tennessee

BeerAdvocate: 3.79 of 5

RateBeer: 3.28 of 5

Untappd: 3.76 of 5

ABV: 5.8%

Price: $$

Overall: Wiley gave this one a 4 of 5, Clayman a 3.3. of 5, and Eric a 3.5 of 5; the overall score? 3.6 of 5.

VI. Sponsors

This episode was sponsored by two wonderful local businesses:

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 grown 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.

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.

VII. Appalachian Oktoberfests

Asheville, North Carolina 
October 6, 2018

Buffalo, West Virginia
October 20, 2018

Chattanooga, Tennessee
October 13-14, 2018

Cool Ridge, West Virginia
September 29, 2018

Floyd, Virginia
September 29, 2018

Gatlinburg, Tennessee
September 21-October 28, 2018

Harrodsburg, Kentucky
October 12-14, 2018

Hickory, North Carolina
October 12-14, 2018

Morgantown, West Virginia
September 30, 2018

Harrisonburg, Virginia
October 13, 2018

Mills River, North Carolina
October 13, 2018

Pipestem, West Virginia
October 6, 2018

Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia
October 13, 2018

Staunton, Virginia
October 6, 2018

Sugar Mountain, North Carolina
October 13-14, 2018

Tazewell, Virginia
October 6, 2018

Wheeling, West Virginia
October 5-7, 2018

VIII. Plugs

Chicago, Illinois

Farragut, Tennessee

IX. Selected Readings and Viewings

Alex Q. Arbuckle.  September 24, 2015.  "1902-1965: Oktoberfest."  Mashable.

Adrian Bridge.  September 14, 2018. "Everything You Need to Know About Oktoberfest - Including How to Book a Last-Minute Trip."  The Daily Telegraph.

Brad Darnell. September 11, 2017. "Top Ten Oktoberfest Beers."  The Beer Connoisseur.  32.

K. Florian Klemp. January 1, 2014. "Marzen/Oktoberfest." All About Beer Magazine. 34:6.

Staff. September 14, 2018. "Why is Oktoberfest held in September?" Vinepair.

Ronald Theriot. October 14, 2018. "Samuel Adams Octoberfest." Louisiana Beer Review.

X. Black Ink Epiphany: Original Art by Eric Drummond Smith 
(A Shameless Plug)

Hey folks, on September 29th I have a month-long show opening at Wolf Hills Brewing in Abindgon, Virginia. To open the show I'll be spending the day and evening at the Brewery to talk to folks and answer any questions you might have about the art. Also, I figured I'd go on and share my artist's statement for the show with you. I hope to see you Saturday, or if not then, later throughout the month!

Black Ink Epiphanies 
Artist Statement

First I turn on the music. Blues or jazz or punk usually, unless its Chopin or old-school rap. I close my eyes and let the music eat into my brain, fill me up with colors and rhythms and emotions, digging up philosophy and religion and memories.

I make marks on paper or wood or canvas, the music driving my hand like an old steam engine. There isn’t a purpose to it, except to make the mark, to be a conduit between music and emotion and whatever is going to be left on the paper when I’m done. Now, mind you, there will be a purpose, but I have to wait for it, dig through the paint and ink like Mary Anning sloughing rock for ichthyosaurs. Albrecht Dürer’s ghost gives me notes about rhinoceroses and devils and I steal my lines from Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso and Keith Haring and Japanese ukiyo-e. I cuss softly under my breath because I’ll never be as good as Egon Schiele, never understand color as well as Van Gogh. Wassily Kandinsky and Jean-Michel Basquiat raise hell in the corner, anarchy on paper, glorious and free and terrifying, and I nod in time with banjos or trumpets, steel guitars and lamentations full of grit and scratches.

I think of the art you find in old places and dusty places in the mountains, invitations for booze and warnings of hell, memories of revivals and football games, paint chipping and rust rusting, imperfect and untrained and all the better for it, the art of the folk, my folk, the hillbillies and melungeons, the black folk and native American folk, all living in the shadowy blue-green-purple-brown-orange mountains. I remember the drips of graffiti on gray walls click-clacking coal trains, the cyan-magenta-yellow dots that acquainted with Unca’ Scrooge and Peter Parker, the yellow-varnished icons on the shelves of faraway churches, of birds by Audubon and menus in restaurants named after someone who lives a block away. I think of Hawai’ian shirts and of Christ's Entry Into Brussels in 1889, and the music swells again, the pattern etching into my mind and thus my hand and thus my brush and thus my paper. I think of birds.

The music lets out my rage and sadness and joy, venting it into the paint, keeping me from going mad, from joining my kith and kin whose spirits wander, furtive, les enfants de l'art brut, haunting asylums and hospitals and backrooms and basements.

Sometimes I write on the paper or wood or canvas, prose and poetry and lyrics, Bible stories and legends, hard truths and gentle lies. I hold my brush like a Chinese calligrapher then, sometimes, justifying mistakes as divine intervention, embracing the error in the evolution of the composition.

Then, eventually, the music stops and the artist creeps back inside, just under the skin. I’m the other me again, until I pick a new song.

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