If we send one person to Unterzaunsbach…

We note there’s been a fair bit of introspection recently in the blogoshire.

A comment on one of our recent posts reminds us of one reason why we do it.

Mike004 doesn’t say in his comment whether he went to Unterzaunsbach because we recommended it, but we do like the fact that, if you Google it, we’re on the first page of results.

Equally, our recent series of posts on Passau may not have set the world on fire in terms of comments, but, before we went on holiday, we struggled find much online to guide us. Hopefully, we’ve done something to help fill that gap and map (sort of) unknown territory for future beer explorers.

Mike004 also pointed out that Peschl stopped brewing in 2008. What on Earth were we drinking if not Peschl? We are confused and would be grateful for any intelligence.

iPod/iPhone: handy on holiday

We interrupt our series of posts on the breweries of Passau for this announcement.

If you’ve got an iPod Touch or iPhone, we can’t recommend highly enough the excellent foreign language dictionaries available as apps from Ultralingua. The German-English dictionary is very comprehensive and helped us decipher several complicated menus in pubs and restaurants on our recent trip.

The beer specific apps aren’t always the most essential for beer geeks, it turns out.

A certain I don't know what

Sometimes, however carefully and accurately you describe something, you just can’t capture what it is that makes it great. Yes, Abraham Lincoln was a tall man with a beard who wore a black hat, but, factual as that description is, it somehow misses the point.

A few times recently, we’ve described the general characteristics of a beer and realised that they could apply to a thousand other brews. We’ve had to resort to words like ‘zing’ to get across an additional, elusive quality that makes that particular beer great.

Is it freshness? A quality of carbonation? Subtle flavours which more refined palates than ours could identify? We don’t know and, until such time as we do, ‘zing’ will have to do.

It's only beer

Does anyone else get fed up of being told “it’s only beer” and not to take it too seriously?

Most people with hobbies know that the subject of their interest isn’t that important in the great scheme of things. Global financial crisis, climate change, careers, family — those are serious.

In our case, beer is something in which we’ve chosen to indulge our interest just seriously enough to occupy a few of the spare hours when we’re not worrying about all that other stuff.

We take lots of other things just as seriously, too — Bubble Bobble, the Beatles, curry, spaghetti westerns….

What’s the point of a hobby if you don’t thrown yourself into it?

Who cares about accuracy?

Graham Wheeler, who wrote a book of homebrew recipes with famous beer writer Roger Protz, jumped into a comment thread over at Ron’s blog recently to defend his sometime collaborator. Ron was being a bit sarky about Roger’s apparent wilingness to trot out stories about beer which have been largely discredited. Graham’s argument seems to be (heavily paraphrased):

  • professional writers are too busy and skint to be accurate and
  • no-one but weirdos and nerds care about accuracy anyway — accuracy doesn’t sell to the man in the street.

Would any professional writers out there agree with that?

When we were starting out learning about beer, we bought one of Roger’s books and enjoyed it, but we were working on the assumption that he was at least trying to be accurate.