Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Beer 2008

As we say farewell to the year gone by
We can pause and dwell and ponder
On all the things that once have been
And what lies out there, yonder

A time to recall our finest deeds
As well the not so worthy
Of all the times we tried to grasp
The Cosmic and the Earthly

The friends we made, the places seen
The comp’ny gathered ‘round
The joyous conversation there
The lovely beers we downed

But then I stop and take a sip
And thoughts come without stealth
Life’s too short for all this crap
Let’s just drink each others’ health!

Cheers & A safe and happy New Year ... of beer

Prof. Pilsner

Do as you are told

So you need to kick start the economy because, well, I don’t know why, something to do with someone in the U.S. lending money to someone and then they couldn’t pay it back and so the whole world economy caves in on itself – seems logical enough, I guess. What’s the solution? Pokies!!!

The federal government recently decided that, because everybody in the whole wide world was spending too much money that the didn’t actually have, we could easily solve the problem by making them spend money that they did actually have, and the best way to make sure that they had the money was to give it to them and the way to ensure that they spent it was to give to them in the weeks before Christmas, and the way to make doubly sure it got spent was to give it to people who would just get a bit giddy at the thought of heading straight out and wasting it.

So a little Christmas present, in the form of between $500 and $1400 was posted out to all the pensioners, low income earners and some people with kids with strict instructions to get it out there into the economy and, whatever you do, don’t save it or put it in the bank but don’t waste it, OK? Promise? Good, off you go!

The result? We know have a new ‘feast day’ in Australia and it’s called ‘Rudd Thursday’. Named by the Hotel Association because the day that the cheques arrived in the mail was the day that literally millions of extra dollars were pumped into pubs and clubs around the country – into poker machines! Now that’s the way to get the economy back on an even keel.

The cynic may even suggest that this is the very result that the Government was looking to achieve. Look good by playing ‘Robin Hood’ for Christmas, get them to spend it on the pokies and we get a shitload of it back in tax!

And still decent people who are out there producing real craft beer are being taxed in the same way as the big multinational beer barons. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

Prof. Pilsner

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Tale of two Sittings

I love Christmas. I realise that it is a difficult and stressful time for many and for this I feel sorrow. Sorrow that everyone can’t feel as good as I do.

This situation is as much to do with beer as it does with having here kids, a couple five and under. Don’t underestimate the power of the magic of the season on adults as transposed from the little ones. But let’s just look at the role of the beer now shall we?

Christmas means a few things when it comes to beer. First, it gives partners a good opportunity to get you a ‘special’ as a gift from one of the kids to sit temptingly beneath the tree – even if, like Dr Lager, you have to get it for yourself while you’re out buying your own ‘Christmas specials’. These are the second of the great beer things of Christmas. The opportunity to grab a basket (or trolley) full of specials is a rare feast for the beer lover and one which needs due care and consideration mixed generously with liberal doses of care free abandon.

We spread our Christmas family celebration over Christmas eve and Christmas day with both sides of the family visited and each is very different in terms of the beer. Eve with the ‘out-laws’ is a bit of a beer fest with the Bro-in-law and I both exchanging very beery presents as well as providing the matched or themed beers for the meal. As we are the only two beer drinkers, this task is both fun and easy! More on the beers we chose in another post.

Christmas Day down the beach with my folks is just as enjoyable for the company and noisy laughter of three extra kids but the beer situation is vastly different. Because I have the driving duties – around an hour each way – and the fact that I have given the festive ales a reasonable nudge the night before, I need to pace myself and take things a bit easy. To this end, Dad helps out by being a wine drinker with plenty of beer in the fridge. But, in stark contrast to the ‘variety pack’ from the night before, Dad only ever has one or two beers representing the beer world at any one time. Fair enough if you don’t drink it all the time and only have it on hand for guests.

So Christmas Eve was spent selecting, evaluating and anticipating six different ales, lagers and specialty beers, while Christmas Day was spent knocking down a few quiet Crownies and enjoying the day. Both completely different experiences, but both enjoyable in their own special way.

I told you Christmas was a wonderful time.

Prof. Pilsner

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

We Wish You a Beery Christmas 2008

Just a quick post amidst all the hustle and bustle of festivities to wish all the Beer Blokes and Blokettes out there in internetland a Happy and Safe Christmas.

A very busy 2008 has seen Beer Blokes grow from a rubbishy bit of waffle which was mostly made up by me and read by a few easily amused punters, to a flourishing source of wisdom and beery information which is awaited eagerly by many, many astute beer lovers and industry experts alike. No, wait, that’s another made up bit. But we have increased our hits from around 20 a week to between 20 and 50 a day and for that support I thank you all. It makes the time it takes to source and compile the stuff I post worthwhile.

Thank you also to all those who have encouraged this tomfoolery by leaving comments and feedback on the stuff you have stumbled across here over the year and I hope you continue to post your thoughts in the future.

A special thanks to all my overseas readers and contributors who have helped out during the year to find answers and opinions for me and the other blokes when I have requested it. I am hoping to ‘profile’ a few OS beer blogs in the New Year so that we can generate a few extra hits ad keep spreading the good beer word.

The New Year will also see me embark on a couple of Beer Nerd Adventures as I attempt to visit as many beer bars and restaurants as I can so that I can give you all an idea of what they are about. Many more nights and sunny afternoons will be spent at special places like The Local Taphouse which is fast becoming a beer Mecca for those seeking beery sustenance as well as beery conversation and beery company. Well done, boys, and keep up the good work.

And, lastly, to all those craft brewers out there who have kept my fridge full and my mouth happy, a huge thank you. I hope that this blog has helped to spread the word about the types and styles and brands of good beer that are out there and that some of you have been encouraged to try some of the same as a result of these pages. Keep supporting the blokes who are getting some terrific brews out into the market and support the blokes like Cloudwine, Purvis and Sword’s Select who are retailing and showcasing these beers.

Stay safe, be excellent to each other and, for goodness sake, drink some great craft beer and tell your mates about it.

Prof. Pilsner

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ale Stars was a ‘Bell Ringer’

I’ve always believed that beer people are the best people. You can get a whole bunch of them together, give them all a few beers, start a conversation, let it run unchecked and just sit back and enjoy the show.

Such was the case at last nights’ fifth instalment of Ale Stars at The Local Taphouse. Rather than a ‘show and tell’ by a guest brewer, Ale Stars tends to lean more towards a ‘Q&A’ style forum with input welcome and answers rarely technical. But, when the boss shifts the focus from the ‘informative’ to the ‘interactive’ and the room is filled with passionate beer lovers and a couple of brewers, there really is very little room left for quiet contemplation of your beer.

Wheat beers were on show this time around and Shandy had his hands full just trying to get a hold of the promised beers as well as contending with a spot of ill health. One of the beers failed to materialise, but the man’s health seemed to improve with each sample! As always, Shandy’s knowledge, coupled with his ability to share it in an easily understandable language, made for a well paced journey through the five different wheat beers.

Neil from Matilda Bay Brewing was on hand to present the first beer of the night, the award winning and ground breaking Kristalweizen, Redback. Laid back and not taking himself too seriously, the man mirrored the beer. A nice easy going wheat beer, Redback was the beer which made Australians aware of both wheat beers and craft brewing, although I think we still called them ‘boutique brewers’ back then. A brief history of the style was followed by a brief history of both Redback and craft brewing over the last 20 odd years.

A Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier and Vitus followed quickly and along with the increase in ABV made some of us question the wisdom in arriving early for a couple of sneaky upstairs beers. The conversation travelled quickly and, courtesy of some knowledgeable input from accomplished brewer AG in the comfy seats, question soon turned to lively debate as styles and marketing and independence was discussed in a fun and lively manner. When the debate is about beer, it seems that no opinion is shot down and all comments get a fair hearing.

Now, I mentioned earlier that these gigs rarely get technical, except to clarify the odd brewing process or to describe a profile element of a certain beer, and even then the tech talk is fairly tame. But you will also remember that I commented that Steve, one of the Taphouse owners was looking for more group discussion. Well, he got it and then some – to the point where he has now decided that for the next Ale Stars meet, a ‘tech bell’ will be employed to ‘call Shenanigans’ on anyone who gets too tech-tossy with either the questions or the answers! Fellow Taphouse partner Guy might want to argue the toss as he was responsible for most of the science lesson last night!

A Hoegaarden Grand Cru was due to draw the curtain on the night but Neil and his generous masters had a sneaky beer of their own with which too further dent the spirits of those who drew the short straw and had to drive. Yeah, thanks guys. A Sebastian Reserve Dunkel capped off the night with something a little different and special. And for those wondering, yes, Sebastian is named after a pet duck. Of course. And in case I wasn’t pissed off enough at having to go steady on the amber, Steve finishes the night officially by shouting every Ale Star with a Christmas Thank You beer!! Yeah, Thank You!!!

But I don’t want to give the impression that I was at all disappointed. Ale Stars is a sensational concept for beer people. Never taking itself too seriously, open to all and informative as well as entertaining, this exBEERience, if you will, is a great opportunity for the average punter (and there are plenty of ‘average’ punters on hand – hello to Dr Lager) to talk beer, drink beer and bend the ear of other beer lovers and brewers alike. I suspect it is also a great chance for the brewers to see the satisfaction that the fruits of their labours give to the end consumer. Speaking to Neil afterwards I can attest to the fact that he was surprised by the passion and the interest in the room and pleased that he was able to contribute to what most agree was the most enjoyable Ale Stars so far.

To Shandy, thanks again for a magnificently casual professionalism in hosting the night, to Steve, Guy and Justin likewise for a great concept perfectly delivered and to Bec and the staff a big thanks for the friendly service of the beers and the food. And, as always, a huge shout-out to the Ale Stars themselves for the support we all give the concept and the growth that this night seems to enjoy from each previous meeting. An hour or so after the event a handful of insightful conversations around the bar were winding down and I could write ten posts with just the chat I had with AG, Shandy, Steve and Neil!

As the pumpkin hour approached and we realised, yet again, that we were left holding up the bar with AG and Shandy, we reluctantly trudged off into the cool Melbourne night filled with the warm glow of wheat beer, good company and a gutful of giggles to look forward to the next instalment.

The next, by the way is scheduled for January 22. BYO tech bell.

Prof. Pilsner

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Beer Nerdy kind of challenge

I am always on the lookout for a new angle or a beery challenge or something just a bit different at which to direct my energy when it comes to beer. Sometimes the tasks I set myself are a little ‘beer nerdy’ even by my standards. But, a bloke’s gotta be passionate about something.

My local daily paper published a regular feature last week titled “the beer lovers’ guide to Melbourne”, a list of the top 30 ‘Beer Hot Spots’. I reckon these things are more about appeasing advertisers, scrounging for freebies and greasing business relationships than they are any well researched and ranked ladder, but they are usually a good enough read and give at least a plug to some good beer places.

The story listed “the best places to drink, brew and learn about beer” and divided it into local brewers, pub breweries, the best bars, homebrewing outlets and ‘something different’. Reading through, it occurred to me that these lists are always a bit subjective and will always have omitted one or two places that someone else considers better than best. Generally, though, they are well put together and at least they are exposing new beer people to the places and people who make beer happen.

And, now that I have finally completed my search for the Sierra Nevada, I am a bit lost, actually. In need of a new challenge. And then it came to me. Use the list. Use the list, Luke.

I thought I’d try to visit each place on the list. In order. That should be nerdy enough.

Prof. Pilsner

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Had to share this one with you. I never realised the solution was so simple. This letter to the editor comes from the Herald Sun in Melbourne on Thursday December 11. I laughed.


‘Has anyone noticed that street violence has increased with the changes to smoking laws in clubs? Patrons are forced on to the streets to smoke, causing all these problems.
The police and Government need to look into this matter as I believe this is a major factor in the problem’.

Jenny Denko, Sunbury.

I’m not sure where to begin so I will compose my thoughts while chanting ....


OK; Smokers are not ‘forced’ to do anything, they choose to smoke while at the venue and smoking is rightly allowed only outside. Smokers are not being violent because they smoke are they? I have not seen that warning on a pack yet. The police and Government can’t ‘look into this matter’ because they are too busy dealing with the idiot actions of people like you who are incapable of walking and talking at the same time. Oh, by the way, you must be as thick as a whale omelette to believe what you said. Meanwhile, here’s a reply I’d like to see.

“Stoopid is as stoopid does”.
Forrest Gumps’ Mama

Prof. Pilsner

Saturday, December 13, 2008

And Amy Winehouse can be your anti drugs campaigner

A quick follow up to a story from last year when a local Gen Y’er named Corey made the headlines for running a little party at home that got well out of hand after the internet was used to ‘advertise’ the event.

Corey copped all sorts of flak – mainly because instead of apologising or showing remorse, he spoke to any media outlet that would show up and eventually became a caricature of himself. And a dickhead, though I suspect he already had that art mastered. Anyway, Corey got himself an ‘agent’ or a ‘manager’ (maybe a ‘parent’ might have been more useful) and tried to make a career out of being a tool. A couple of unsuccessful nightclub appearances (Geez, you’re even more of a dickhead up close!) and even less successful attempts at hosting parties for other dickheads, and Corey faded away. Until last week.

Clearly unimpressed with Corey’s earnings, his manager offered him up as a consultant to the Premier, John Brumby, who is not a million miles away from Corey when it comes to arse-brained schemes. His latest effort to quell the growing problem of out-of-control youth is to declare war on the ‘me’ generation and demand of them respect. On Friday the Premier released a plan “to restore respect throughout schools and the community”. “I am concerned about an emerging culture of alcohol and a lack of respect,” the Premier said, presumably keeping a straight face the whole time.

Mr Brumby plans a multi million dollar campaign to steer young Victorians into volunteering for key fire, rescue, welfare and community groups and to ‘change the school curriculum to teach teenagers right from wrong’. Quote, unquote. A million dollar campaign to teach right from wrong? How about a nil dollar plan to back the police when they send these dumbarse little scrotes to court and they get a pat on the back and a ‘try not to do it again’ from the do-goody, namby-pamby, social engineering judges? Or allow the coppers to have a stern word with the mouthy little wankers when, at age 8 – 12 they begin their anti-social antics and thumb their noses at the law?

So Corey is going to offer the boss his advice on promoting respect and controlling the violence perpetrated by so many of today’s youth. “They need to be entertained or have places to go so that they aren’t on the streets where the violence occurs,” Corey said. In a written statement from his manager, obviously, so that the spelling could be corrected and the crayon smudges erased. Of course these days kids just don’t have anything entertaining in this technology-deprived, under age nightclub banned, internet free ‘prison’ of a society, do they? Shit, twenty years ago we thought the space age had arrived when Atari brought out their new state of the art follow up game! This is way better than Pong!!

Corey also suggested street parties, concerts and relaxing laws so some licensed venues could be used for under 18s events. Cos there just aren’t any parties, concerts or nightclubs around, are there? Dickhead. The Premier, on the other hand, wants troublesome youth to volunteer for emergency services like the SES and the CFA because what we really need is Dickheads assisting in the extrication of other Dickheads from crashed cars or putting out fires lit by bored and mindless Dickheads. To be fair, the Government hasn’t asked for Corey’s ideas, he’s just offered them up, but what’s next?

Maybe we could get Paris Hilton to advise on celibacy, or Shane Warne could head up the Culture and Arts department? Ronald McDonald could be your childhood obesity advisor, Drunken ‘Schoolies’ could draught retail alcohol legislation and Baz Luhrman could make ads for the tourism commission!! Crazy stuff!!

Cheers, Prof. Pilsner

Friday, December 12, 2008

Looking after your mates?

From the sunny sunshine state, Queensland, comes this story of Christmas spirit – looking to do well upon your fellow man. Not sure that I approve, but clever is clever. True story. Thanks Tim, for the tale.

Recently a routine police patrol parked outside a local neighbourhood tavernLate in the evening the officer noticed a man leaving the bar so intoxicated that he could barely walk. The man stumbled around the car park for a few minutes, with the officer quietly observing.After what seemed an eternity and trying his keys on five vehicles, the man managed to find his car which he fell into. He was there for a few minutes as a number of other patrons left the bar and drove off. Finally he started the car, switched the wipers on and off (it was a fine dry night), flicked the indicators on, then off, tooted the horn and then switched on the lights. He moved the vehicle forward a few cm, reversed a little and then remained stationary for a few more minutes as some more vehicles left.At last he pulled out of the car park and started to drive slowly down the road. The police officer, having patiently waited all this time, now started up the patrol car, put on the flashing lights, promptly pulled the man over and carried out a Breathalyser test. To his amazement the Breathalyser indicated no evidence of the man having consumed alcohol at all!Dumbfounded, the officer said 'I'll have to ask you to accompany me to the Police station this Breathalyser equipment must be broken.''I doubt it,' said the man, 'tonight I'm the designated decoy'.

Beer Blokes like a good story but we don’t promote drink driving.

Prof. Pilsner

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ale Stars to harvest the wheat

For those in or around – or planning a quick trip to – Melbourne next week, keep Tuesday the 16th free for the next Ale Stars get together at The Local Taphouse in East St Kilda.
Coming into the warmer weather the featured beers are wheat beers.

Neil from Matilda Bay Brewery will be the guest brewer and I am assuming that Shandy will again host the event. I hope he is because I think I still owe him an apology (and Steve) for the Scottish/Irish accent fun I poked in the last Ale Stars review.

Redback Kristal, Hoegaarden Grand Cru, Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier and Aventius Weizenbock will be the beers for sampling and discussion and the fact that all these beers are a nice citrusy tangy kind of offering, means there should be room left for just a couple of ‘afters’.
7.00 on Tuesday December 16 is when the fun kicks off at 184 Carlisle St East St Kilda. $25 a head gets you your four samplers and a host of gourmet pizza as well.

Prof. Pilsner

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Never disappointed

I have always lived life and drunk beer by the following guideline;

“This is the second best I’ve ever had.”

As a Beer Bloke I am often asked to nominate my favourite beer or to rank the one I’m presently enjoying in my all time ‘best-of’ list. I always come back to my guideline. It’s the second best. The second best beer, the second best steak, the second best holiday, the second best sha ... well, you get the drift.

This mental application means that the best is always yet to come. There is always another. I don’t need negativity like Jack Nicholson’s character in ‘As Good As It Gets’ – no, this is NOT all there is. The best is always yet to come. It makes for an enjoyable time, every time. There are no such things as ‘bad’ beers, just ones you wouldn’t have again. Good beers and better beers. Just never the best. That could be the next one. Or the next one. Or the one after that.

Those who have followed my search for the lost treasure of the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale will understand that I don’t await the first sip of this beer with trepidation or fear that it won’t live up to my own hastily created hype. It CANNOT disappoint me. Well, unless it’s flat or stale. Or my ‘mates’, who’ve tormented me previously with this beer, have secretly removed it from the beer crisper, uncapped it, replaced the contents with cats piss – or worse, Carlton Cold – recapped it and then snuck it back into the fridge. That would probably disappoint me. But other than that happening, I win.

I will enjoy it because it has been such a saga for me to get it. The journey is just as important as the destination. Or, as my daughters’ Kinder teacher said, ‘It’s the process, not the product, that counts’. And because I have waited so long. And because I already know that it won’t be the best beer I’ll ever have. Because that one is always still to come.

Prof. Pilsner

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I know what you mean

Over on Stonch’s Beer Blog, Jeff has posted a piece on the seasonal crowd who only frequent pubs at this special time of the year and some of the challenges that they pose to the year round regulars and the staff of the pubs they visit.

I am experiencing the same sort of thing in the restaurant as the corporate party crowd descends and brings with it many ‘fresh heads’ who may never have even thought to visit a restaurant like ours. This is not always a bad thing and it can even be a great opportunity to snaffle a few loyal regulars from other places around who may have been taking them for granted.

It can be frustrating when a new guest complains about the fact that you don’t have his favourite spirit or beer, but these blokes are thankfully rare. It does bring up the point that Jeff made and that is; to what extent do you ‘gear up’ for the Christmas crowd and how far do you go to accommodate their whishes or whims? I see the chance to expose them to something they may not have had and might just find themselves liking. I will sometimes pick my mark carefully and offer him or her a ‘beer back guarantee’ – try the beer, if you really don’t like it, I’ll buy you another. We both win in the end.

It can also be a good opportunity to talk beer with people who are accustomed to being offered just the standard big brewery fare whenever they go out and these guys really appreciate the extra attention to their beer drinking needs.

You will always get the few who can’t, or just won’t, be swayed from their favourite brew and that’s fine too. Spend your time and experience on those who you might ‘convert’ and the Beer World gains another to its population. They are the ones you may see back again – it’s pointless wasting too much time and energy on peanuts that you really don’t want in the place again anyway.

A pub is certainly a different beast to a restaurant in that my people have usually come in as a guest of someone else and not made the decision themselves whereas, as Jeff points out, his ‘Once a year Regulars’ come in as a result of some vague concept that they should visit a proper pub at Christmas time even if they wouldn’t do it any other time.

I like using this time of the year as an opportunity to make a few new friends and to move some stock that might normally sit around the fridge or the cellar. If we all get a ‘win’ then I don’t feel too bad. Merry Christmas.

Prof. Pilsner

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Barons Best Beer In Battle of Britain

It really did happen, but it was also a great excuse to use all those ‘B’ words in a title!

Barons Brewing Company, who were featured and promoted late in November, have taken out the top gong in the JD Wetherspoon International beer festival last week.

Barons was invited to enter and represent Australia in the international category and offered the Barons Black Wattle Original Ale as their signature brew. A very nice amber ale flavoured with native spices, the beer was selected ahead of three other overseas contenders from California, Denmark and Tokyo, and a total of 50 nominations for best beer.

The competition was run in 717 Wetherspoon pubs across the country and attracted votes from some 8500 punters so this was no mean feat, despite what some locals think of the ‘chain’ pubs and the anti-sentiment of some CAMRA factions. I would be interested to hear fro my blog mates in Old Blighty as to their thoughts on the ‘validity’ of the Wetherspoon festival. Either way, I am backing Barons as a legitimate winner, so there. And here’s why ...

Black Wattle Original Ale has been floating around as a bottled brew for about three years and when head brewer Richard Adamson was invited to brew a batch at the prestigious Marston’s Brewery at Burton-On-Trent he specifically designed a version of the Black Wattle that would savour the ‘real ale’ experience – open fermentation, bright filtering, cask conditioning and hand pumping – to ensure a genuine ale rather than a sort of native favoured Aussie standard beer. The local brew went through six different versions and some serious tweaking before being unleashed on the public. That’s brewing dedication, isn’t it?

In addition, the win has attracted some interest from local importers who are looking at getting on board the Barons Squadron and letting our mother country’s beer lovers experience these innovative beers.

Prof. Pilsner

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Eyes have it

What do beer and eyes have in common? Well, apart from the fact that you need eyes to be able to fully appreciate the colour and the look of the beer, and the fact that eyes are reasonably handy in finding your way to the pub, it seems there is more to it than you might think.

A study released this week shows a strong possible link between drinking beer and going blind. It used to be just about GETTING blind. Apparently men who drink four or more beers a day have six times the chance of going blind from macular degeneration than other drinkers and teetotallers.

The study involved 6700 people – I don’t know much about science so I don’t know if this is a good size for a study that might scare the shite out of beer drinkers – and featured people aged between 58 and 69 years (aren’t they a fair chance of going blind anyway?). The researchers also stated that they didn’t want to base a general health alert on one study. Probably should have just kept the results to yourselves until you were sure, eggheads.

I thought I’d better counter balance this with a study that might make beer drinkers feel that they can do something to prevent the effects predicted by the ‘evil study’. So here’s the ‘good study’. It comes from a few years back but I can’t see any reason that it would not be just as relevant. Dr Karen Wetherby conducted a survey of 200 blokes in Germany and found that staring at women’s breasts is actually healthy for you and just a ten minute perve is the equivalent of a 30 minute aerobic workout. A concentrated gaze resulted in lower blood pressure, less heart disease and a slower pulse rate compared to those who didn’t get a daily eyeful. Hmm.

“Sexual excitement gets the heart pumping and improves blood circulation. There is no question that gazing at breasts makes men healthier” said Dr Wetherby who went on to claim – and who am I to doubt her – “our study indicates that engaging in this activity just a few minutes daily cuts the risk of stroke and heart attack in half”. IN HALF!! If women had FOUR, maybe we’d become immortal!!

The study concluded that .. “by doing so consistently, the average man can extend his life expectancy by five years”.

All in all, that’s a nice set of figures.

Prof. Pilsner

Here is a simple self test below. Check your pulse rate before and after. Let me know how you go. And ladies, the study didn’t say anything about the effect of staring at man-boobs on your health. Sorry. Oh and by the way, Dr Karen Wetherby appears quite a bit in searches for ‘urban legends’ – but don’t let that rain on your parade.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Answers for Aaron

I met another beer guy in the restaurant on the weekend and he had an enquiry about a Mexican beer called Mexican Bohemia. I hadn’t heard of it and so I promised that I would set my dogs on to it and chase down the details. More than that, I promised that I would get word out to my American blog mates and see if I could get the REAL scoop on this brew. Isn’t the internet thingy great!?!

The source and supplier websites all talk about what a highly sought after and multi-award winning beer Mexican Bohemia is and I never expected anything other than that and so we shall move on. A few beer blogger sites have some glowing remarks to recommend it and others tell me which beers they prefer to this one.

All the comments seem to suggest that the beers best feature is its ‘European-ness’ and the fact that it has been around for a hundred years. Apparently imported into Australia since at least January 08, it has been available only in Mexican restaurants and occasionally through some retailers. I imagine most have steered clear due to the saturation of the Mex beer market by Corona and Sol and, more recently, by Dos Equis.

So the cry for help goes out to my North American bretheren – and any Mexicans who may have stumbled across the worldwide beery phenomenon that is Beer Blokes. What is the true story of his fabled brew? Who drinks it and when?

Thanks for your interest, Aaron. The beer world is getting smaller and smaller and the answers should come in shortly. Otherwise we’ll both have to go with company line that it is a truly international standard Pilsner style but ‘rich in hops and corn’ and ‘a delight to drink’.

Prof. Pilsner

Monday, December 1, 2008

November Wrap Up

As we all race irreversibly into December and the ‘silly season’ I am taking the opportunity to recap a few important bits and pieces arising from the last month or so.

Movember is drawing to a close (as is both Mo-Vembeer and the more conventional incarnation of November) and I am in the process of finalising my donation total to the cause. Any charity that can encourage blokes to get off their arses and see a doctor is worth supporting. Even though getting off your arse and seeing a doctor might mean the doctor getting off his arse and inspecting yours. Plus, it beats the hell out of dying early.

I managed to squeeze a few new beers into the Mo-vembeer framework this year and have calculated the amount I’ve spent on them to determine the final tally to donate. You really should try it, it’s fun, you get to choose and drink nice beers and you help out your fellow bloke. I’ll list all the Mobeers once I’ve finished drinking them all.

November also saw the Beer Blokes third anniversary. We began this rubbish in November back in 2006 as a result of our syndicate win in the Melbourne Cup Carnival that year. And, while Dr Lager has been busier and busier with family and work, he still drinks plenty of beer so he’s still a Beer Bloke. Plus he helps me out with the technical side of things when I try to break the Internet.

Work commitments also meant that the Pilsner and Lager families were unable to share a holiday this year and I have to say that while the beers still tasted great, it’s not the same being on holidays and being the only beer drinker.

We’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to help out our fellow beer drinkers by answering their various beer related queries, settle their bets for them and probably start a few arguments as well. We have promoted beer related competitions and events as they crop up around the web and we have done our best to advertise the highlights that Melbourne’s local beer scene has to offer. I do appreciate the comments we get and share with blokes and other beer bloggers and hopefully we can continue to provide/research/make up all the facts and stats and stories you could ever need.

I will now raise a frothy glass to you all to toast the end of the month and wish you all well going into the Christmas Season. I can tell you, from experience, that Christmas and kids just makes the beer taste even better.

Prof. Pilsner